‘Ok Mama, ready for the party. Where’s the gift?’ shouts Neel.
Where’s the gift? Where’s what gift? What’s what gift? .... Didn’t buy it!!! Help!
You’d think I’d learn from past experience, but I never do, do I?
So, the marathon panic session begins yet again.
I charge up to the hidden stash of gifts they’ve been given – duplicates etc. Pull out the cooking set. Won’t do. It’s a boy’s party. Not a single rotten car. Or Beyblade. There’s a headless superman. Won’t do! Books? The kids too young for Harry Potter and too old for Noddy. Money’s too cheap to give! Help Help!
‘Mamaaa, getting late!’ the yell drifts up.
The cooking set it will be! Maybe the little boy will grow up to be a great chef and thank me for it endlessly (and call me for 5 star meals?)
Wrapping paper’s squashed into a ball. Kids had a fight with it. Store is closed! I read somewhere you can iron out wrapping paper. Yippee! Plug in the iron.
Try to tear the price tag off the cooking set – a chunk of the box peels off. Aaargh!
Iron the wrapping paper and it works! Something’s going right. No wrinkles – just that bit in the centre left – press the iron harder – and – gosh – a great big burn! No, no, not now!
Swaddle the peeling plastic cooking set in the burnt wrapping paper. Try to cut off the darned cello tape and it starts sticking to everything but the paper. To the scissors, to the iron, to my fingers.... to my teeth (don’t ask!)
Maybe I can cover the gaping hole with the gift card? Nope, too small. There’s a magazine lying around with a big ad for Eurokids. Have a brainwave! Cut out the beaming kids in the ad and stick them over the burnt hole. They don’t cover it. Cut out a teddy bear’s head and add it. There! Done!
Go running down the stairs and fling the gift at Neel poised at the door, who catches it expertly and if he wonders why he has a slippery parcel with a Eurokids ad and beheaded teddy bears on it, he doesn’t ask.
Neel is never invited to this particular boy’s birthday party ever again!