I was expecting this to be a hugely stressful weekend. It’s one of my Kinderbesten weekends, which is fine. However, between them they have two birthday parties to attend this weekend–which means noise, socialising and leaving the house (three of my favourite things! Twice!! So … six???). I’ve also got to fit in the traditional Saturday morning weekly shop before the first birthday party happens. Finally, the Elderbeast is having his best friend sleep over on Saturday night. As I’ve probably written before, the best friend is a relatively excellent child BUUUT the noise levels when they get together are something else. I should really look into appropriate medication for it. Or headphones.

Anyway, as you’ll have gathered by the title of this post, it all turned out to be far less worse than expected. Shopping happened nice and quickly. The first party was a drop and run affair, which meant the Kinderbeast and I got some quality PlayStation time in together (which essentially translates to a Plants vs Zombies session in which he tells me what to do, and I generally fail to do it with any degree of success).

The Sleepover, later that day, was probably my most dreaded part of the weekend … but the beasts ended up spending most of the evening in their room playing on their Switches. It was so peaceful, in fact, that I was able to start watching the first couple of episodes of Dark on Netflix–which is definitely not the sort of show to watch when you have limited capacity to pay attention to it .

That just left the party on Sunday morning (yes, I’m actually writing about tomorrow right now, what’re you gonna do about it?) This party was in a park by the beach, which means it was not the sort of party I could slip away from (because I generally prefer it when the Kinderbesten don’t disappear into the wilderness). It was also late in the morning on a roasting hot day, meaning that everyone would be heading to the beach and there would probably be nowhere to park.

Yes, I will embrace the doom and gloom in the face of a child’s birthday party!

Furthermore, it being post-sleepover I also had to take the Kinderbeast and his friend along, with the inherent risk of them getting (even more) bored and whiny (than me). I will freely admit that I spent much of the morning wishing I had an excuse not to go, but fortunately I’m not (yet) evil enough of a parent to deprive my kids of some birthday party fun.

Parking was a mess, as expected. But we parked. The weather, in the best twist of the day, was almost perfect: it was hot, but the sky had clouded over (which meant there was no need to spend the whole morning hunting for shade) and there was an excellent breeze coming off the sea to keep the heat away. Furthermore, some genius had brought along a box of water pistols, which kept the kids entertained for a ridiculously long time. Even the Elderbeast and his friend managed to last the whole two hours without complaining once. Things got so okay that I even ended up being sociable: I started chatting to the mother of one of the Kinderbeast’s friends and found out that she feels much the same way about these parties as I do. A kindred spirit!

So, a weekend that I was partially dreading, but pushed ahead with anyway. And my reward? Everything was okay …