Do Yourself A Favour
This morning, between baking four huge chocolate cakes and dealing with a toddler suffering from what I thought was fear of the noise the mixer made until I realised it was desperation to lick the batter off the beaters, I finished making the party favours for May Blossom’s birthday party.
Party favours aren’t something I had really planned. I might have flung a few sweets into a bought cellophane bag, maybe, if everything else had run smoothly (as if). Realistically, I probably wouldn’t have had anything to give the small guests to thank them for coming.
But now I do. Now each kid will receive a handmade paper box, decorated with a drawing of an owl and a pussycat in a boat — owl playing guitar, boat containing a jar of honey and plenty of money. Inside each box is an owl or a pussycat, made from denim stamped with paint from a handcarved rubber stamp, with vintage fabric backing, stuffed with a little filling so it’s soft and squishy. They have hanging tabs made from various ribbons. Every single one is different. There is also a chocolate frog in each box.
It’s really quite simple to do, as it turns out. Would you like the instructions? There’s only one step.
Step 1: Make friends with my friends Kate and Amy. Kate made the owls and pussycats and designed the boxes. Amy drew the picture. I did sweet bugger all, except add the Freddo frogs. They are some seriously good friends. And they managed to do this while working and raising their beautiful son.
May Blossom and I visited them yesterday, ostensibly to help assemble the boxes, but really we just ate their ginger cake (me) and drank their coffee (me) and shouted (May Blossom) and kissed their boy (both of us, only May Blossom with open mouth). We were more of a hindrance than a help.
Kate and I met at our last office job, as editors at a big publishing house. On my first day I learned that the pretty girl in the super-tidy but character-filled office down the hall was Kate and was pregnant. My office looked out at a petrol station where truckies often pissed while facing my window, was empty except for an alarming picture of James Freud, and I wasn’t pregnant.
Neither out of mind nor out of sight
I was, shall we say, a tiny bit extremely envious of Kate. But envy has been the basis of most of my good friendships, and this was to be no exception. And fortunately, two weeks later I was also pregnant, so we spent the next seven or so months doing pre-natal yoga in the boardroom at lunchtime and rushing up to the local doctor for heartbeat scans whenever we freaked out about our babies not kicking enough. It was so lovely to have a friend there all day with me going through the same things I was.
Kate and Amy’s boy was born a few weeks early, so he’s two months older than May Blossom. I hope they’ll be as good friends as Kate and I are. Maybe he can teach her to sew and she can teach me.