As usual it has been such a hectic time of year that I’ve struggled to keep up with recording events in December. I was determined that Oscar’s birthday would get it’s fair share of attention though so he had a day out with school friends on the 11th, a birthday evening with us on the actual day with a proper cake and then a day with R&A too.
It was good to meet his school friends. They seem really nice lads and were good company. I took the four of them (with Lucas) to Laser Quest first and Oscar came first out of the 8 in their team and Lucas came 7th but he didn’t seem to mind at all. What a good sport he is which was a good job as Oscar was going in to the statistics sheet with glee. Pizza Hut worked out well, not least because they have a special offer where the kids eat free and we had a waitress who made sure we got the best deal possible with our 6 kids and 2 adults. The boys were happily eating the adult pizzas while Joth and I seemed to end up with the kiddy sized ones but everyone was happy!
After that we took them home for a battle on the Xbox and then non alcoholic cocktails and gambling. The cocktails went down really well (Rosy Pippin being the favourite with sugar frosting) and we played Black Jack and also set up the horse racing (Escalado) game. It went really well. Or at least it went well for the boys who went home up on the deal but as the bank I ended up borrowing money from Anton. I panicked a bit after they went home, thinking that maybe their parents wouldn’t be impressed with us setting their innocent boys up for a life of gambling. Joth said we should have used 2p’s instead of 10’s (my idea was to give them £4 in 10p’s instead of party bags and I was going to make it back up to £4 after they lost money but they didn’t!) I’m not used to Joth thinking I’ve done the wrong thing and I even had a bit of a sleepless night over it but spoke to one of the parents later and she was fine so I think we got away with it. Oscar wanted his proper cake on his birthday instead so I made a Baked Alaska but slightly burnt the top of it by being sidetracked when trying to win some money back. His friends looked a bit taken aback. Perhaps they don’t have a smoke alarm.
On Oscar’s actual birthday he was a bit put out that he had to go to school. We did get present opening in first thing as usual so we could hand over more of the Warhammer he’s always after. We managed to get the best photo of me yet from one of these early morning openings where I find it so difficult to open my eyes.,,
Luckily, Oscar didn’t have any homework and we had a pizza raclette and watched the last of the Apprentice. The raclette always works well and it engages the boys in the meal and lets us all do things our own way which is entertaining. Joth always struggles with it to the amusement of the boys. He makes an enormous fuss and just throws thick lumps on the pans so they burn at the top and stay raw in the middle. Oscar always has to make something different so this time he tried dough balls with olives in the middle. Lucas just makes careful pizzas that work with ingredients he is sure he likes. And me? Just lots of ’em of course, all with something different on top. If I’d seen this photo of me first I might not have eaten so many. I look even worse than usual recently. I feel it will require more energy than I can muster to claw some self respect back but that’s another story for another time.
I managed to make Oscar a rugby ball cake which I thought looked OK in the end. Joth was surprised that I was making one as he said he thought Oscar is “past” things like that but I don’t think there’s an age restriction on such things! I think traditions like that matter more to them than they necessarily say (or even realise until they are looking at them in retrospect) and I think it’s one of the best ways I can show I care on their birthdays. It certainly is a labour of love though. It’s never easy to find the baby-free time just before a birthday.
On the 18th we were going to take O and L and R&A to a Warhammer tournament in Exeter as another treat for O’s birthday. It was always going to be a tricky day as I was also working but it was made even more difficult by heavy snow so we ended up deciding not to take them and then my concert in Tavistock was cancelled although I got asked to do a different one in Plymouth! That was a relief as I don’t think we’ll get paid any cancellation fee for the 1st one which is highly irritating. The roads to Plymouth were more manageable than Tavistock and Joth did really well ferrying little ones around in the snow so I could feed Dante at tea time. Dante managed without me in the evening which made it manageable and it felt good to all be back safe and sound that evening after a really hectic day. I enjoyed the playing though. I didn’t think I’d get a “Messiah” in this year.