Busy busy days

As a parent, and I am certain all parents will agree, I find I have little time to myself.  And as my daughter gets older, so my me-time shrinks (oh yes, those who are new to this, it does.  And you thought a baby was a lot of hard work ha ha ha!) I don’t mind actually.  I am happy to do anything with my daughter, play games with her, be her tea time friend, run around the park with her and do all the parenty things we must do for our children.

Often, though, it goes way beyond these usual things.  For example, my daughter recently celebrated her birthday (actually it’s our birthday as she was born on my birthday but I don’t seem to have much of one anymore – which is OK.  At least I can tell everyone we share a birthday and, for now, my daughter is delighted with the idea of having her birthday on mummy’s birthday!)  But birthdays are hard work – at least once your child starts school they certainly are!  When she turned one:  big family party; two:  big family party; three: big family party; four: small family party (we were in UK then).  Those were easy.  Then came first year of school and first school birthday party.  We didn’t know what to do so we had all her friends (ten all together) and some parents at The Harvester (which is like a family restaurant).  they had a special party room and loads of fun.  Not too hard either as there was nowhere for them to go plus having the added benefit of some parents staying meant the children did not run too wild 🙂  The biggest stress was her cake which was a Barbie doll cake and never having made one of those before I thought it would be easy to make the morning before the party ha ha ha!  What stress, never mind.  I got it done, somehow 🙂

Copyrighted to Karen Payze

Then when she turned six, I decided that it would be far easier to have four of her closest friends around to our place for a play, some food and some cake.  WELL, I don’t think I will do that again in a hurry.  Only four friends, you may say.  What’s wrong with that, you may say.  Easy peasy, you may say.  Not exactly.  Four friends was easy.  they are all lovely kids so no misbehaving.  BUT for a party, you need to entertain them because for some bizarre reason, they suddenly forget how to play by themselves.  So it was pin the tail on the donkey (they enjoyed that!), musical statues (most of them enjoyed that), find the hidden items in the garden to get a prize (they really enjoyed that!) then it was food: sarnies and snacks and sweets and coldrink – and kids can be fussy when it comes to the flavour of coldrinks – and finally the cake.  But I was very clever by then and had made the cake the day before 🙂  That one was a butterfly cake because everything had to be butterflies.  She loved it, which I am very pleased about because it was a lot of hard, sweaty, time-consuming toil!  I think I slept for two days straight following that ‘easy’ party.

Copyrighted to Karen Payze

And so we come to this year’s birthday, number Seven.  I decided I was not putting myself through the trauma of number six again but still wanted to do something different and exciting for her so proceeded (about a month and a half in advance) to make inquiries regarding entertainers.  I thought this would be a great idea.  I could hire a hall, hire an entertainer for an hour or two and do the catering side myself.  At least with the kids entertained, I wouldn’t have that stress as well.  So I found a very reasonably priced hall in a nearby village and then started sending out inquiry letters regarding entertainment.  The entertainers I contacted ranged from a magic show to a clown to a face painting specialist to a visiting fairy or princess who would play games with them to a sporty person who would do sports games.  It all sounded very exciting.  Until the email responses started filling up my inbox.  And the prices that they charged ranged from £140 for an hour show to £290 for a two-hour spectacular including a gift for the party girl.  What?!  I immediately thought to myself that I should become a child’s entertainer!  Oh crap, now what could I do?  Then I had a second brilliant idea and started emailing for prices for indoor soft play equipment and indoor jumping castles.  I figured that the kids could entertain themselves with stuff like that!  Well, starting at £80 for an hour, I quickly changed my mind.  But the soft play thing did give me another idea and so, eventually, we ended up at the leisure centre indoor soft play.  It was actually really worth it because it was 45 minutes of the kids going wild (all ten of them) then 45 minutes of eating and all I had to do was provide the cake!  This cake was a pony cake.  My daughter LOVES ponies (particularly My Little Pony).  Again a lot of hard work (the cake that is) but far easier than last year – I’m slowly getting the hang of making them, which is a good thing as there are several more years of it still to come!

Copyrighted to Karen Payze

And, because I had no other stress regarding party planning (aside from making invitations and putting together party bags), I decided to make my daughter a party dress (first time ever).  Yes I know what you’re thinking… Turns out I’m pretty good at sewing and the dress was really pretty, even though it was a bit inflexible for running around a soft play.  She loved it and I was very proud 🙂

Copyrighted to Karen Payze

Not the best picture I’m afraid but I’m certain you get the idea 🙂

So another busy time of year for me is over.  Not that this is the end of the busyness, as friends visiting, after school activities going on and of course the in-school things that must be done (like turning my child into a clown for a workshop) are never-ending and so the days, weeks and indeed years will fly by which is why you will often hear a parent say where has the time gone!  Well, now you know 🙂


Copyright  © 121012 by Karen Payze



  1. Awesome cake and dress skills there, Kaz.

    You’re raising the stakes each year. She’ll want a pony soon, best get the vet practice in soon.

    • Karen

      Thanks 🙂 But no pony I’m afraid, it wouldn’t fit in my garden 😉

  2. What?! No room for a pony, or a sauna to relax the Mom? LOL! Kidding aside, you are a fabulous MOM, and your daughter is one fortunate kid. BTW, you’re a most engaging writer and a superb photographer.

    • Karen

      Haha I wish – maybe I’ll win the lotto one day 🙂 Thanks for the lovely comment. It’s because of readers like you that I enjoy writing 🙂 Have a fab day!

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