I'm a little bit OCD. Mainly in my work environment, but it does spill into my real life. So when I take on a 'project', if I'm going to do it, I will do it properly. The reason I give this background information is because when a friend suggested a theme for The Boy's 1st birthday, I may have gone a little over the top with it.
It didn't help that The Very Hungry Caterpillar was everywhere last year. When I say "it didn't help", I mean it did because it made finding everything for the party so much easier, but it didn't because it then meant that I had to have the party bags, badges, table-cloth, napkins and balloons. I would like to add that my mother bought all of those things that I've just mentioned. I had said no because of cost. She also bought the party hats and dishes. I love her, I knew I got my OCD from her really!
For months before, my crimping scissors and sewing machine were on over-drive, making bunting for the party. The garden was festooned with 50 metres of Very Hungry Caterpillar bunting strung from the trees and pergola. Birthday parties in the summer months are easy; throw a load of toys in the garden and have the party food on blankets for an instant picnic! The food, while I mention it, was of course straight out of the pages of the Eric Carle classic; watermelon, chocolate cake, gherkins (ok it was cucumber but who the hell likes gherkins anyway? They're the first things to come out of hamburgers!), swiss cheese, cocktail sausages, salami, the whole lot! The table looked really enticing.
And so to the centrepiece: the birthday cake.
I spent hours trawling the Internet to find a good idea, and stumbled upon a fabulous one designed by a cupcake company in Vancouver. Shipping, I could foresee, was going to be a problem which meant of course, that I had to make it myself. I scoured the cookbooks for a healthier option to a buttercream topping. What's the point in carefully monitoring your baby's diet, and introducing foods at an appropriate age to aid the development of their digestive system, if on their first birthday you chuck a load of sugar at them? So we had mascarpone & icing sugar topping (straight from Delia's bible). It was scrummy! I adore tiramisu so loved it. Everyone wolfed it down, and I only found one discarded topping, not bad for 15 babies and parents!
Imagine my dismay today when sat in the staffroom, two 'friends' (who have babies two months older or younger than The Boy) decided to completely rip the p*ss out of the fairy cakes I made for him. And I mean, absolutely ridicule! Infront of the other members of staff, some of whom had also been invited to, what I considered his really special celebration. I half-heartedly laughed along with it and over-exaggerated my outrage to hide my rapidly-sinking heart. I asked one of them afterwards if it was really that bad, and she looked shocked. Admittedly at the time, she did say 'Jesus Christ, where's the sugar?' , but when I confronted her today, she was mortified! Maybe she should have considered that before criticising my child's first birthday party?
Next time, I'm going to do a reverse Marie-Antoinette: they can eat stale bread and like it!
That's if I even invite them!