I've gone and done something rash. It's something I have been sort of thinking about recently especially over the summer when we have been lucky enough to frequent some first birthday parties and what with Wriggles' second (SECOND!) birthday fast approaching, in a fit of lunacy and madness I have asked some people over for a birthday tea. People with children. Sane, married people with children and dogs that I go for lunch with and loiter by swings with our buggy-inhabitants. I have been upfront and promised no wild excitement but parking spaces and liberal use of my kettle (evidence if ever needed that I haven't socialised with the real world in the last few weeks) and now someone has replied and I can't detract the information. I've even ordered some Very Hungry Caterpillar birthday paper plates and now am wildly trying to remember what party bag contents we might have received over the last few months.
Now, even without the ex-premature baby and dabbling in serious mental un-rest in the past factor, I would be probably close to hyperventilating. I am not the worlds most natural host. I have of course previously thrown parties either solo or with flatmates and they have generally had two factors in common: one) a bizarre mix of people, some who know too much about each other and some who have never caught sight of each other before and never want to again and two) everyone getting blind drunk to cope with point one. Granted, I have not done this strictly since pre-baby university days or been to a reciprocal one along those lines but, but, but...
Add in the aforementioned factors and already I am a gibbering wreck. The thing is that anniversaries render me a quivering mess of flashbacks. Last year, I tried, I really tried. I knew in the lead-up I was all over the place after having haunted the wards of the hospital over the summer months with Wriggles having admissions every other weekend, so I thought I'd keep it simple. We went a music class for babies which on any other day, would have been great fun. As the opening chords rang out however, I started having a panic attack. I had to mime the whole way through 45 minutes, panic ever increasing as my throat felt like it had swollen to astronomical proportions and sobbed on the way home, finally breaking down in front of the postman delivering flowers and a beautiful message from my mother-not-in-law.
Wriggles deserves it though. I'm really not convinced she has the faintest clue about birthdays, etiquette, occasions and gathering (or that her mother is having a panic attack in the corner) but she will when she is older, and when she looks back through photographs and asks me what did we do? Was it fun? Was I cute? I want to be able to answer properly and say you were great. Everyone LOVED you as a baby and wanted to celebrate how amazing you are, so came round and ate cake and then all the babies hit each other over the head with balloons. Or something along those lines. Something light and jolly and properly celebrating how fantastic she is and that everyone who knows her really does have a soft spot for her. I don't want to dodge questions and explain when she is older Mummy just couldn't cope with painful memories. Because, yes, there are really painful troublesome memories attached. But it is also a whacking great memorial to the best thing that ever came into my life and began her own adventure in her own right. And she will not be known as an "ex-prem" forever. When she gets older, and medically and health-wise can hold her own a little more, there will be less appointments and less unexpected events and she will 'just' be Wriggles.
What do you DO at parties? How many packs of Quavers do I need? What if the cake goes wrong? Can I hide in the broom cupboard if it all gets too much?