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  • jdettmann

You Might As Well Have a Hotdog

There’s now a five-year-old living in our house. I don’t quite understand how, since I only just gave birth to her. Her birthday was excellent and exciting, beginning with mango pancakes in bed (thankfully she let herself be talked out of having soup), and finishing with pizza.

On Sunday we threw her an awesome Peter Pan-themed party, attended by seven Peters Pan, two Captains Hook, one mermaid, one Wendy (the birthday girl) and one Michael.

We played Pass the Parcel with an ordinary parcel because when I went to buy the fish and chips to put in it I found the fish and chip shop had shut down. Instead, the parcel contained a lame prize in the middle and a chocolate coin in each layer, which turned out to be ill advised because every time someone unwrapped a layer and got their coin, they promptly devoted all their attention to eating it and not to passing the parcel. Meanwhile, anyone who didn’t yet have a chocolate coin cried.

We also played Stick the Wand on Tinkerbell’s Hand. Everyone cheated by peeking under the cardboard blindfold, but the child who cheated the most won. ‘What’s The Time Mr Fox’ went well, with no projectiles thrown at the participants.

At least the food was fantastic. There was fairy bread, a loaf of bread shaped like a crocodile, chocolate ice-cream in cones and my Pinterest-worthy piece de resistance — hotdogs with sails stuck in them so they looked a bit like pirate ships.

Then on Monday morning I woke up and checked the news, which was almost exclusively reports of how the World Health Organization had decided that hot dogs give you cancer. I felt terrible. Nice one, Jess. Way to give all your kids’ friends cancer. I might as well have put a few Benson and Hedges Extra Milds in their party bags. Or made an asbestos piñata for them to smash apart.

May Blossom had a terrible day on Monday because the day after your birthday party is about as long as you can get from having a birthday party, and when she fronted up to pre-school with the news that she was now five, the other kids didn’t really give a toss because five-year-olds only care about one five-year-old, and that is the one they happen to be.

And on Tuesday one of my mother’s dearest and oldest friends was killed in a car accident. Mum describes her as ‘the most alive person I’ve ever known’ and that perfectly sums her up. She was six weeks from retiring from a hugely valuable job, and was a couple of months off becoming a grandmother for the first time. She left two sons and an adoring husband.

Sometimes the world makes absolutely no sense. Sometimes fate needs a great big smack upside the head. Sometimes eating a few hotdogs and a bit of ham doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

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