01 02 03 Africa Expat Wives Club: 4 today!! Except 'not quite yet dear...' 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

4 today!! Except 'not quite yet dear...'

I am in a bit of a muddle today - and so is my 3 year old daughter. It's all my fault. I had the bright idea of holding a birthday party for her this afternoon - but it is not her birthday today - it is not until 10th July. She rushed into our bedroom this morning looking bright eyed and bushy tailed,
'It's my birthday!' she announced,
'Party' my husband and I added a little too forcefully, 'not birthday, your birthday party.'
Her face clouded over.

The thinking was that because her birthday will take place during the school summer holidays, (in fact we will be in England at the time) I would throw a party for her and her school friends in advance of the end of term. In expat-land, everybody vacates Nairobi during the 9 week break - some for a long time, others for a shorter time - but anyhow, you can never get everybody together. It's cold, overcast and hard to pin people down in July and August, a sort of nomansland type stretch of time. The thought of 9 weeks entertaining 3 children who are out of school worries me deeply.

Anyway - re the birthday, I was carrying guilt. Last year my daugher simply couldn't understand why she didn't get a party. What happened instead was, we went to a v. stylish, smart, expensive, 'middle class audience dressed in Boden' (see previous post) circus in England on her birthday as a special treat. The problem was that she was ill, sick on the way there - so has somehow erased all that from her mind. What she does know is that she didn't have a party with the Bamboola man and a bouncy castle and friends.

In another stroke of genius, I offered to share the party with my daughter's best friend, who is also born in July and will be away from home on her birthday. Now we will have 2 cakes and party guests will be compelled to bring two presents. This just adds to the confusion.

My daughter's friend said in the car yesterday,
'Amber (a mutual friend) says she won't come to my party, but she is coming to yours' (pointing at my daughter)
'OK,' I interjected, 'but you girls are sharing a party - so Amber's coming to both'...I think I trailed off at the point where my daughter's friend said in a frustrated voice.
'Yes, but Amber says she doesn't want to come to my party!'

My main dilemma is that I have my daughter's lovely birthday presents hidden away in a high cupboard and don't know when to give them to her? I have out-done myself organisationally speaking because, among other things, I carried a Sylvanian Families Caravan in its box back from England last April (at that point we were planning to be in Nairobi in July - so would have all been straightforward). Now I certainly don't intend to hump her bulky present back to England again for her to open there and lose all the tiny pieces in various relatives houses. In the world of long haul flying, rental cars and luggage allowances etc. that would be madness.

So do I let her believe it is her birthday today - give her all the presents or what? We are all confused??!! What a muddle.


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