Like Christmas, the Sprogs’ birthdays are planned with military precision. Six months ago, I ordered loads of Hawaiian hula party paraphernalia for Sprog 1′s party. I got invitations, lolly bags, a dangly parrot, blow-up fish as party favours … The idea came from an ad in Sydney’s Child magazine for an entertainer who does hula parties. Cool, I thought. I love Hawaii. The ad promised she’d teach the kids to hula, paint frangipanis on their cheeks, play Hawaiian games with them and do Hawaiian craft. All I’d have to do was provide mock-tails and order home-delivered Hawaiian pizza. Easiest kids’ party ever! Especially for Husband, who usually acts as unpaid party entertainer at these things. Last weekend, I finally attempted to contact the Hawaiian entertainer. I sent her an email. I waited - impatiently - for four days. No reply. So I rang her. It went straight to voicemail. So I texted her. Nothing. I was getting a little hysterical by this point, because after extensive googling, she appeared to be the only kids’ Hawaiian party entertainer in Sydney. What I’d been choosing to ignore all this time is that Sprog 1 isn’t really a hula girl. She’s into books about zombies and vampires. She wears a lot of black. She’s desperate for a pair of plastic fangs so she can trick or treat as a vampire bat on Halloween, with tomato sauce dribbling down her chin as fake blood. She’s really annoyed that I won’t let her watch a DVD called Zombieland that she’s discovered in the TV cabinet. Grass skirts and flower leis aren’t really her thing. She’d apply a fake skull tattoo over a frangipani any day. So I think she’s secretly relieved that I can’t contact the Hawaiian woman. It means she can have the party she really wants – a spooktacular. She’s already put in a request for zombie cupcakes, with undead arms rising out of them. She also wants a redback spider birthday cake and lollies that ooze a blood-like substance when you bite into them. I’m not entirely sure how her female classmates are going to respond to the terror theme, but at least I don’t have to worry about the AWOL Hawaiian chick anymore. Hmmm, let’s see, what should I fret about next?
TONIGHT’S MENU: The olds are coming over. I’m thinking about takeaway fish and chips. It’s a cop-out, but I’ve cooked A LOT this week. The washing up has been monumental, due to the continuing lack of a dishwasher (the repair place rang on Tuesday to tell me it was going to cost another $240 for a new motor belt thingy. I asked through gritted teeth what their position was on the $240 control panel they’d already – I’m presuming mistakenly – installed. They said they’d get back to me. Still waiting …)