After days of cleaning and sorting and ultimately hiding everything around my house, today finally arrived.
Shortly after I decorated the lawn a group of cyclists came down our street and stopped to point and coo. At least I like to think they were cooing. I had streamers of pink tulle blowing from the trees. I had ribbons and bows tied to branches. I had poofs of pink tulle sprouting all over the lawn. Seriously, if there were any real honest-to-goodness woodland fairies in the neighborhood, they would have been falling over themselves to come live at our house.
I would attach pictures, but in the background of every darn picture there's a lawnmower or the burn pile or one of our seven vehicles, or a heap of bikes or or or....
But I'm getting ahead of myself. So here I am in my house, baking and whatevering when what to my wondering eyes should appear but a small fairy child and her mother nearly two hours early. I am not wearing party clothes. I have not showered. I very possibly have cupcake batter in my hair.
But what a blessing, because I was thinking what I should have done was to set up a playdate for Lucy so she would have something to do besides peck at me like a duck. I am glad I had thought of this, because usually if I see a guest arriving nearly two hours early I fast forward to having a nervous breakdown.
Fast forward instead to the rest of guests arriving. They all picked out their fairy crowns, which I had made from fake ivy vines and a bunch of ribbon. Come to think of it, once they put them on they looked a bit more like a crown of thorns than a fairy halo. Paired with the emergency back-up fairy wings I had ordered (which were packaged as Angel Wings NOT Fairy Wings), I wound up with eight Pagan Christ Fairy Angels twirling around on my lawn. On Yom Kippur.
Now I know there's probably some kind of Science that tells you how to make cupcakes from a cake recipe, but it escapes me. So I flipped through my shelf of cookbooks. Nothing. I went online. Nothing. I mean, there were things, but they were not Vanilla Cupcakes as specifically requested. And then I remembered that I have a book which refers frequently to cupcakes. A book I read cover to cover upon receiving it last Christmas.
Yes, I used Amy Sedaris' recipe for Lucy's birthday cupcakes. From a book subtitled "Hospitality Under the Influence." I have to say that the recipe printed in the link is not nearly as interesting as the version in the book. Not that the end product isn't the same. My point is, just go get the book. One of my guests read part of it while she was here and I better go make sure she didn't steal it. I thought her diaper bag looked a bit pointy when she left.
Party, per invitation, was 2 to 4pm. Last guests left at 5:30 and I promptly had a nice hot soak in the tub and did a little knitting - oh wait, that's my alternate reality in which I am not a completely insane person who sometimes likes double-booking parties.
I was not all that interested in cleaning my house for a bunch of 5 year olds, so I figured we should invite a bunch of our friends over afterwards. You know, at 6. In hindsight, the house and grounds were TRASHED by the time the fairies left, so really all you have to do is tell people they are coming after a 5 year old party and you don't have to clean ahead of time.
By six the weather was looking sketchy so we moved all the food and drinks inside. At 7 it looked like our house was going to explode so we moved all the food, drinks and people back outside. Fortunately, this was our group of Self Service friends - you know, the ones who know how to make themselves at home and help carry stuff and basically run the party themselves while you sit inside and show people your cupcake recipe. We have some high maintenance friends, but we may have forgotten to invite them. Ever.
Friends are good. Parties are good.
Sleep is good, too. Goodnight.