Thursday, 3 July 2008

Birthday Musings: Part 4. The Relief

Oh Geez. I know I said "no presents" to my friends, but losing the royal mail collection cards, requesting that I pick up my parcels from the sorting office, could be seen as ..... extreme!


These parcels were Little T's gifts that had been sent by our relatives from afar.

I was out all day on Tuesday when the postie tried to deliver them and couldn't make it to the sorting office after school, so I put the cards in a SAFE PLACE. The plan was to collect them yesterday, on the way into town, and get them home in time for Little T to open before we set off to the party.

But have you ever used a SAFE PLACE only to discover that it is actually the Bermuda Triangle?

I am sure I put them in my car! It felt like a good plan.....hmm...perhaps I put them in my bag, but which one? These days I've got more reusable bags than I can shake an unwrapped cucumber at? And one Bag For Life looks just like another.

After 20 minutes of hunting, I found a card...oh but it was the wrong one. This one requested that I pay extra postage costs to release a letter because the sender had underpaid. It was two months old and they only keep items for three weeks. Sigh.

I'm beginning to think I need a PA.... a Mother's Help...or even a Therapist.

At least the card had a telephone number, which I thought I could put to good use.

In desperation I picked up the phone.

Ring Ring, Ring Ring, Ring Ring.

Everything was crossed. No-one would forgive me if the presents were left abandoned...Little T or Mr A... and as for the senders...they'd be aghast.

I was feeling aghast about things coming back to bite you on the bum!

"Hello, Bury St Edmunds Sorting Office" sang a friendly voice.

I explained my predicament. Would I be allowed to pick up Little T's birthday presents without the collection cards?

My face fell at the news that I needed the cards because they use an ID system. This of course is sensible, but surely there must be a way of coping with tricky customers like me.

I could just see it reputation at stake amongst my in-laws. Being generally disorganised is one thing, but being ridiculously out-of-control is more memorable. Little T would get wind of the news one way or other and would never forgive me in the years to come.

"Oh dear" I replied, with a big sense of disappointment.

"I hoped that if I gave you my address, you might have them all in the same place".

"Well, tell me where you live and I'll see what I can do" said the very nice voice.

I gave her my address.

"Yes, Yes, that's good. I know exactly where to find them." she said assertively.

Phew. That was a relief. But she said it so knowingly that I did get a little paranoid that I may be getting a reputation. Have I forgotten to pick up lots of other things that have gone by the wayside I wonder?

Hmm. I really wonder.

Nevertheless, thank goodness I live in little old Bury St Edmunds and not a city suburb. I don't think I would be half as lucky. So with that news I tootled along with my driving licence as ID. One of the parcels was also my order from Lush.

I am so lucky...and so is Little T.

He came home from nursery and opened them up one by one...a snazzy car transporter, a floor puzzle, a few corgi cars and some money. Coupled with the racing driver's outfit that we got him, his birthday was as modest as we had hoped for.

And as for the party, that too was a success. The children enjoyed the painting activity at Coffee 'n' Kids and the only packaging that went in the party bags were the wrappers that came with a couple of chocolates that were on-the-house.

Some friends collected some money for us to take Little T to Bewilderwood, a magical treehouse adventure park in Norfolk and he had a few other presents, including a book, some arty stuff, a garden game, a fishing game and a packet of sweeties. There are also a couple of racing snails.

(Yes racing snails! Don't worry they're not live ones.)

But what the heck...yes there was some packaging and yes the contents may eventually join the casualty bay underneath his bed, but I think he did really well. And after all it's party-time, time to let my hair down. It's also time to reinforce better habits in Little T, to help him look after his toys.

Where I had once been overwhelmed by the expectation of masses of stuff, I am now overwhelmed by people's consideration and acceptance of my whims and the dreams that I have for the Almost Average Household.

So to all my friends out there...thank you for simply letting me be me!

It's now time to start working on Christmas..

....oooh don't you just love a challenge!



Mrs Green said...

Phew - you had me on the edge of my seat there for a moment; will she get the pressies, or won't she.

Glad it all worked out and that the party was a success in more ways than one :)

Happy belated Birthday to your boy :)

Mrs G x

Jo Beaufoix said...

Well done you, that was fabulous. The room looks great, the party sounds wonderful, the gifts perfect and sounds like you have a happy four year old. A belated Happy Birthday to your little man sweetie. Miss E and Miss M send hugs. :D


Hi Mrs G - It has been a great time and thanks for the birthday message ;-D

Hi Jo - tell you something...after all this I can't wait for the weekend. Thanks for the hugs ;-D

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