26 October 2009

My Little Boy is 4!

I’m not a perfectionist anymore.

I realised this on Saturday, in Morrisons, stood in front of disposable tablewears (Indicator No 1) last minute shopping (Indicator No 2) for Chickie’s fourth birthday party. One pack of perforated paper tablecloths were slung into my basket alongside non-matching paper napkins (Indicators No 3&4).

In 2007, preparing for Chickie’s second birthday party went something like this:

Two months prior, family members received ‘The Masterplan’ outlining the ‘creative vision’ and responsibilities.

Accountant – Runner
Sister – Make Up and Hair Design
Grandad – Set Design and Props
Grandpa – Sound and Lighting Technician
Nanna – Food and Beverage Manager
Grandma – Post Production Co-ordinator
Me – Creative Director

A homemade ‘Happy Birthday’ banner featuring three self-illustrated chicks in orange and yellow formed the central theme.

Co-ordinating invitations, an exact pantone match to the ‘Happy Birthday’ banner, were designed and circulated.

Chick balloons reinforced the theme and we all remember the look of relief on Grandad’s face (Set and Props) when he finally tracked down the only yellow and orange balloons with chicks on them in the Home Counties.

On the big day, the team gathered together at 0800 hours in the church hall for their motivational briefing. This was especially important for Mum (Food and Beverages) who never responded particularly well to the pressure, tending not to sleep or eat for the fortnight preceding the party. Giving her the additional responsibility of creating a three tier train cake with alternating orange and yellow chickie passengers had left her looking unwell. I nodded in my sister’s direction (Hair and Make Up) before pointing at our mother, who was muttering to a tray of ‘chick’ themed fairy cakes in the corner.

“If we can all just focus our attention back to the flipchart” I said, tapping my marker against the board.

Mum looked up with red-rimmed eyes.
“Right then, you clear on what’s to be done?”
Six beige faces stared back.
“Go, go, go!!!” I encouraged, shooing them off to be the best that they could be.

In the post-party de-briefing, Grandad came to realise that incorporating a pink balloon in the entrance decor was against everything the party stood for and clearly not on my diagram, and Accountant was enlightened on the fact that using a ripped piece of serviette as a ‘present table sign’ was grounds for divorce and almost compromised the entire project. Nanna was encouraged to practise her icing skills and Grandma to develop more initiative.

“But thanks for your help. Next year, we’ll make it even better” I concluded.

And we did. Nanna had colour in her cheeks. Grandad had sausage rolls in his. The balloons clashed with the party boxes, the invites had a typo, the cake was from Sainsbury’s and the only theme was mayhem.

In honour of the birthday boy, who has taught me that perfection is not for him!


Blogging To A Better Bonnie said...

Happy 4th Birthday, Chickie,
from the East Coast of America!

You 2nd birthday party sounds a lot like the parties my daughter has had for the last 7 years, with the exception that her Mommy (me) is a solo act since the entire family lives out of state.

I may have to take a cue from your Mum and shoot for non-perfectionist status. Maybe I won't lose as much hair ;-).

You, Me and Chickie Pea said...

Thank you Bonnie! That's Chick's first international birthday greeting!

Non-perfection is the way forward. I highly recommend it!