Saturday, 31 May 2014

Magic Number Seven

Seven is a magic number.

It is a lot of candles on a cake.

It is the difference between a cake that looks like a cake - something that grown-ups might like to eat too - and one that looks like this, from last year:

It is the difference between having a tea party with cup cakes and jelly and ice-cream, and going out to the cinema with a few mates from school, which was this year's 'party' choice.

It is a long time in years and it makes for one very grown up little girl.

Things have begun to happen very fast indeed.  She had a sleepover with two friends.  And they were entirely sensible, asking to brush their teeth after their 'midnight' feast, and all asleep by 10pm.

Her present from us was a tablet (much debate and agonising).  We haven't sorted out the internet controls yet, but she has, unfortunately already downloaded 'Candy Crush Saga'. On the upside, it means that presents are getting smaller.  More expensive, yes, but less plastic, bulky and ugly. She is more self contained.  She had a friend round to play earlier in the week and they sat quietly and made bangles for an hour and a half.

She doesn't volunteer for anything anymore.  She used to be the 'pick me, pick me' person, unable to stay in her seat with the effort of thrusting her hand upwards.  She was forever up on stage as the helper in the pantomime or magic show.  Now she would rather sit back and watch other people make fools of themselves, which is a little sad.

But we giggle together at something shared.  Often.  I do a lot of laughing with the boys, too, but it's usually at something they've said or done.

How do I feel?  Proud of my so clever and confident and beautiful girl.  Slightly wistful for the innocent bygone days of pleasures that don't involve a screen and downloading stuff.  A tiny bit frightened by how fast it is all changing...

Currently reading: Strange Music by Laura Fish.

Friday, 30 May 2014

Have the Bumps Gone Out of Fashion?

I only ask because it has never once occurred to me to give any of my children the bumps on their birthday.
In fact, I'd forgotten that they even existed until my memory was jolted by the sight of Arsene Wenger receiving them courtesy of his team following their FA Cup win.

Seeing this white-haired man in his mid-sixties being casually tossed aloft - and looking both delighted and slightly sheepish at the same time -  reminded me of that mixture of fear and exhilaration that came with getting the bumps on your birthday.  It was part of the whole deal...cake, candles, making a wish, presents, musical statues, the bumps.

So where did they go?  We've attended dozens of children's parties in over the last seven years.  Not even a sniff of them.  Wikipedia described them as one of a number of 'birthday torments' that might be inflicted.  I wondered if contemporary health and safety fears have banished them to the annals of history.

So, ignoring all that, we decided to reinstate them for Gertie's seventh birthday.

I think she enjoyed herself!

Currently reading: Death at Wentwater Court by Carola Dunn
Don't's half term!