I’m out of time! Tomorrow is D-Day! My personal x-factor-style judging panel (Phenom-A-Mum) will be arriving tomorrow at 2pm promptly. She’ll decide whether I get a thumbs up for awesomeness, or a thumbs down and get thrown to the creepy little pixies who punish dads for bad birthday celebrations.
There is no escape.
Which is why this is going to be a show-and-tell update tonight. I’ve got to get back to the trenches!
What was that? You want to know how those cool but gross looking jelly worms turned out? I wish you hadn’t asked. They aren’t doing too well.
Pretty wrong-town, huh? And getting them out of those surprisingly bank-vault-like straws is not easy, or fun. So, as soon as Granny had finished the elephant ears I handcuffed her chains to a different table and got her squeezing each of the hundred little slimeys free of their bendy plastic cocoon.
I can confidently say that they look grosser than expected, but I fear they are now too realistic for the party munchkins to be brave enough to try them. Little E ran screaming when I dangled one in front of him this morning.
Next on the jelly list are Frogs in the Ponds. My first attempt at standing the little chocolate amphibians up in the setting jelly cups was fairly abysmal. Note the suicide swimmer below:
Some optimistic cheering from the home team supporters (my parents) led me to yet another MacGyver-esque stroke of kitchen genius. These Freddo Frogs are the confectionary equivalent of the town drunk; you turn your back to hail a taxi and they are face-planting the floor. So all they needed was some Karate-Kid inspired support:
I’m going to begin marketing these on Monday. Look for ‘Mr Miyagi’s Frogs’ at your local discount clear-out store.
The crafty butterfly treat bags were also assembled on the Granny production line. Luckily she uncovered a critical flaw in my completely unplanned plan. The pegs were too small to go over the bags. We had our own OK Corral shoot-out going on with metal springs springing off all over the place. A quick visit to Spotlight (Ha! As if. Never drop in on a Saturday) and these old-fashioned pegs have become the googly-eyed solution.
CONSUMER WARNING! – I almost lost a hand performing the following task. Please do not attempt at home.
Or maybe just wear some gloves. Because cutting out seventy-something animal silhouettes from tortillas really hurt my hand! I had an elephant-shaped indent in my palm for ages (please refrain from the obvious ‘trunk’ jokes that I am already giggling at).
Next up from your local Granny-factory; pass-the-parcel. I was inspired by an attractive yet extremely boring lady on YouTube to add a toy AND chocolate to each layer of the parcel. But that was the only tip I took. No one needs to have a bucket-worth of glitter and stars and fairy dust and sparkles leap out at them every time one of the kids cracks a layer. Do these people have live-in cleaners wandering round after them?
I did manage to prep one item for the adult attendees. Homemade egg-free sausage rolls! Let’s be honest; of all of the fancy party food that I’m slaving away to create, these humble sausage rolls are going to be the only thing everyone scrambles to eat. Kids included.
That brings me to the cake. THE cake. THE BIRTHDAY CAKE. Yep, that sink or swim element is also part of my punishment… I mean, responsibility. No pressure Dave. It’s just the only part that will be immortalised on a thousand Facebook walls for eternity.
So I needed to focus and get all super-zen-like. It was time for the cake-ninja. But Little E decided that today was a good day to skip his afternoon nap. All of you parents know what that means. Hello dummy-spits for no rational reason! It wasn’t boding well for your brave, brilliant and surprisingly handsome hero.
But it turns out that I am the luckiest dad around. Want to know why? Because my beautiful son stopped cracking it and began helping with the vacuuming. So cute! [Please note that the vacuum was not turned on. I don’t want a mountain of hate mail about child labour camps flooding my inbox. We only do retiree slave labour here.]
This gave me just the right amount of time to whip up an amazingly simple-but-crazy-good, nut-free, egg-free chocolate cake (a big shout out to my Mum-In-Law for researching and lab-testing this recipe for me!).
Not only that, but I also squeezed in a sweet-as pizza dough. Have you ever used ’00’ flour? I thought it was flour that was just the right size for a new-born to bake with. But it turns out that it makes the GREATEST DOUGH EVER! (Can you tell that I’m really getting into my role as house-chef?).
While all of this industry was happening inside the house, Grandad was quietly renovating our entire garden. And washing the windows! I have never ever washed our windows. I just assumed that they were tinted glass.
It’s all coming together!
I’m off now to chop up pizza toppings, mix up a couple of dips and decorate some marshmallows before bed.
Tomorrow is the big day. There’s a lot to do. But I think that this dad might just make it.
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