Birthday parties, dry January – and what dentist visit?

Birthday parties, dry January – and what dentist visit?

by Emma Hargan
article from Wednesday 29, January, 2020

WE HAVE NEARLY MANAGED to crawl our way through the endless January days. Everybody is skint, everybody is trying to eat healthy (mostly because we’re skint and can’t afford takeaway’s), everybody is trying to exercise and me? Well I’m doing none of the above but I decided to not drink a drop of wine for the whole of January. I do enjoy a couple of glasses of mummy’s medicine on a Friday evening after the kids are down sleeping. After a week of keeping two little humans alive, keeping the house from falling apart and working, I think it’s fair to say it is well neededdeserved. So yes, the WHOLE of January. Yip, no more wine o’clock for me on a Friday night. It’s actually easy. Really easy. Super duper easy. It’s only been 27 days. It’s only 4 more sleeps to go! Only 96 hours… okay I’ll stop now.

We had started off great with Lily’s toilet training and she has been doing amazing. Up until the last couple of days. I think the novelty of going to the ‘big’ toilet has worn off and she’s now getting fed up of going back and forth. We are now at the stage where she tells me she needs to go and then I say ‘let’s go then!’ and she shouts, ‘No!’ and runs away. That is until Jamie decides he needs to go to the toilet and then Lily magically needs. We have three toilets in the house and whichever one Jamie goes to, Lily has to go too. Uuuugh! I thought that you only needed to have two of everything if you had twins! I didn’t realise this also applies if you have kids less than two years apart as well. Christmas time and they both had to get ‘Stitch’ from the cartoon Lilo and Stitch. A pink one and a blue one. Two Buzz Lightyear’s. But James says he’s drawing the line at plumbing in another toilet in the downstairs bathroom for Princess Lily. Fair enough.

So this week, the kids have been looking forward to going to their wee friend Ellie’s 5th birthday party on Sunday. Lily hasn’t a clue what’s happening but Jamie on the other hand hasn’t stopped mentioning it all week. I made the mistake of telling him a week in advance as I thought it would be a useful bargaining chip. For example, ‘If you don’t get dressed for playschool, you can’t go to Ellie’s party on Sunday!’ and ‘If you don’t share with Lily, you can’t go to Ellie’s birthday party!’ And bingo, it worked perfectly. The only thing that I didn’t take into consideration is the constant questioning and mentioning of the birthday party all week.


Jamie - ‘Mummy? How many sleeps to party?’

Me – ‘Six more sleeps.’

Jamie – ‘Mummy? Go to Ellie’s party and Lily going too?

Me – ‘Yes, Lily’s going too.’

Jamie – ‘Mummy? Mummy? Mummy? Mummy?

And Mummy’s head explodes.


Same as above.



Jamie – ‘How many more sleeps now Mummy?’

Me – ‘Only one more sleep!’

Jamie – ‘Me and Lily go to Ellie’s party?’

Me – ‘Yip, we’re going tomorrow! But we need to get Ellie a present today. What do you think she would like?’ (Hoping to deflect any more questions about the party)

Jamie – ‘A horse.’

Me – ‘Oh we couldn’t fit a horse in the car. What about something else?’

Jamie – ‘NO, A HORSE!’

And mummy’s head explodes again.

Sunday morning arrived and after suggesting to Jamie yesterday that we could maybe get Ellie a horse for her birthday next year, he finally agreed and settled on a doll and a wee handbag. We had to leave a bit earlier as we were going to pick up my friend Georgie first before heading on to the soft play centre for the party. So it was all hands on deck to get breakfast done, kids dressed and change of clothes packed etc.

It was all going so well. Everyone all organised and ready to go.

“Right, give Daddy a kiss and let’s go.” I said.

Lily ran over to James and gave him a kiss and cuddle. Jamie stood for a second and put his hand on his mouth. “You okay Jamie?” I asked.

“Mummy, pee pee, quick quick!” He said while racing to the toilet.

And then disaster. Barf central, all over himself.

“Mummy, sore tummy.” Jamie said with watery eyes. “Go to party?”

Oh my heart! The poor wee soul is going to be crushed. “Oh Jamie you can’t go if you have a sore tummy.” I said while consoling a devastated wee man. He knew it though and gave me a kiss.

“Just go on and take Lily, the girls are expecting you. He’ll be fine.” James said while lifting Jamie up and cuddling him. I felt awful leaving him but he calmed down and sat with James.

Me and Lily headed off to the party and Lily wasn’t one bit bothered that Jamie wasn’t with us, in fact, she was all excited and singing away in the back of the car without a care in the world. We arrived at Georgie’s house in plenty time and set off for the party.

What a place! It was just a big soft play area with slides and climbing walls and there was even a separate bit for toddlers which was ideal for Lily. The birthday girl, Ellie, was all excited and gave Lily a big hug. Ellie’s mummy, Annie told us there were over 30 kids going! No bother to her, I can barely look after my two! Lily had a ball and despite my worries that Lily might be scared or intimidated by all the kids – ha! She had no fear whatsoever. In fact, she was getting annoyed with me trying to help her down the slide.

“Mummy, no!” Lily said while pushing my hand away. That told me.

After an hour or so of playing, it was time for the birthday cake and some dancing which Lily bopped along to happily. After that, it was more playing and then Lily’s favourite food, burger and chips. I couldn’t help feel so sorry for Jamie as I knew he would have loved it. Lily took that long to eat her food that the kids were starting to get picked up by their parents to go home. Me, Annie and Georgie were too busy chatting that it was only when the soft play staff started to hoover around us that it was time to go.

“I’m going home for a drink and a headache tablet!” Annie said, while me and Georgie and I walked out in stitches!

Lily was so exhausted, she slept the whole way home in the car. We got home and James and Jamie were cuddled up on the sofa watching Minions. James said he was complaining he still had a sore tummy.

The following morning, and Jamie had had a good night’s sleep. He ate his breakfast but I made the decision to keep him off nursery just in case. I glanced at my diary..


“Did you remember you’ve got the dentist this morning?” I asked.

“Err yeah but I’m not going, it’s just a check-up, I’ll phone and change the date.” James replied.

“Why are you changing it? Just go and get it over with. It’ll not be like last time when you had to get a tooth pulled, it’s just a routine check.” I said.

“Aw I’ll just…”

“You’ll just go.” I interrupted. Honestly, it’s like having three kids at times. All the size of James and he’s frightened of the dentist!

10.25am - The kids and I dropped James off at the dental surgery and headed off to get some shopping for half an hour.

11.00am – Arrived back at the dentist to collect James.

11.30am – James gets in the car.

“Well that was a waste of time!” He says. “I never even saw the dentist, I’ve been sitting in the waiting room all this time! I said I wasn’t waiting any longer and I just left!’

“What? What did the Receptionist say?” I asked.

“Oh she just apologised and shrugged her shoulders. Never mind, let’s go.” He says.

Fox. Ache. The struggle I had to get James to make the appointment and then actually come – and now this! They don’t make it easy! Not that James secretly minded I’m sure.

When we arrived home, James went to lift his iPad and sit down at the table.

“Eh what you doing? I asked. “I need you to take that stuff to the recycling and then can you fix that tap in the kitchen? Oh and can you lift that bag of clothes up to the attic and…”

“Hold on, hold on. I couldn’t have done all this stuff if I was at the dentist appointment so can it not wait until the weekend now?” James interrupted.

“Well you’re not at the dentist now are you? So you can help out here!” I replied.

That evening, Annie and me had arranged to take the kids to the soft play place again at the weekend seen as Jamie had missed the party. I definitely won’t be telling Jamie where we are going until we are literally walking out of the door – I’ve learned my lesson!

James then came into the living room and collapsed in a heap on the sofa. I think he was slightly tired of all the jobs I given him. Let’s just say I don’t think I’ll have to nag him to go to the dentist the next time! Ha!

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