“NO, NON, NON!! Keep the broom handle high. Try to steer it away from heads…” Possibly, in hindsight, not the most sensible of ideas to play piñata at a birthday party peopled by five year olds, half of which speak a different language to the other half.
The piñata, a home-made paper-mache balloon shape stuffed with sweets and bits of paper, was hit by a stick fashioned from a too long broom handle. The children, a mix of French and English, had no idea what was happening, as some cried with outright fear and others, notably small French girls, whacked the airbourne globe with such gusto that within minutes the spherical beast was broken. Allowing the fittest and bravest to snatch up the sweets, faster than lightening they worked, leaving the slightly slower children spinning in their wake.
In my minds eye the party would be a success of domestic goddess proportions; a beautifully laid table, brimming with moist, light cakes, home-made lemonade and delicate sandwiches. The children a kindly mix of pretty little girls and gentle yet fun boys. The games would be played with pleasure and laughs and the food consumed before they left clutching the perfect party-bag a rosy glow to their faces…
KISS – Keep it simple – stupid; surely a useful piece of advice to follow? Only sometimes it seems quite hard to keep things simple. Having boy/girl twins has always made things slightly leftfield – in the domestic goddess department. Having chosen simple party games to explain to a multi-lingual group: the piñata just hit it and catch the sweets, pass-the-parcel; a no brainer – surely and find the hidden sweets?
Those days of being terrified of adults appear to be long past. Pass the parcel, a game where in 1980 you sat quietly in your peers living room, watching the parcel go around, waiting, hoping, it could be you to win the prize….in 2010 the odds have changed, each wrapper comes with its own sweetie prize, but the actual prize? The children of today cry, whine and sulk openly if they don’t ‘win’.
After the near death experiences of the piñata, wrestling the broom handle from the hands of one very tenacious young visitor, the hopeless sulking attached to the pass-the-parcel, this domestic goddess efficiently sent the guests outside to get some air as she reached for the vin blanc.
Simplicity is certainly a good rule to follow; simple food, simple games and perhaps just one simple language?