Recently, we’ve been reading (and watching a DVD of) Winnie the Pooh quite a lot. R is very taken with the party that Christopher Robin holds for Pooh, and has been saying ‘tea party’ a lot. So I decided we would have a tea party of our own. In the morning, I told her that’s what we would be doing in the afternoon, but first we had to go and get all the things we needed for it. This was pretty useful as I had to go and get a few bits from the supermarket; R doesn’t mind a trip to the shop every now and again but she does get bored quite quickly (as do I, to be fair). So we made a list together and then when we got to the supermarket I got her to look out for certain things, like cucumber and butter and apples. It kept her really occupied and if she started to get tetchy I talked to her about what we were going to do to prepare for her party, and asked her who she was going to invite. (“Tigger, Piglet, Wenlock” – she loves that Olympic mascot – “Daddy, mummy”. An illustrious guest list.)
When we got home R went for a sleep and I quickly made some fairy cakes. When she woke up she came downstairs and we decorated them. I’d picked up some little sweets in the baking aisle, like Smarties but smaller, and made with all natural colourings. We made some yellow icing – R had chosen the colour at the shop – and spread it carefully on the cakes…oh, alright, we dolloped it on and watched it run onto the counter. Then we made patterns with the sweets on the icing.
After that R helped me stir some mayonnaise into a tin of tuna for sandwiches, and I cut up some cucumber and apple. R then trotted through with a bag of those organic snacks that look just like onion rings or Wotsits, so that even though you’re trying to be all middle class and healthy and stuff you just look like you’re shoving the unhealthiest crisps in the world at your toddler. We put them in a bowl too. I figured Tigger might like them.
Then we set about making the invitations for our tea party. I supplied envelopes, paper and pens, and R wrote them out and decorated them. I’m not sure they followed Debrett’s rules, but she seemed quite happy with them and I didn’t hear any complaints from Hello Kitty or Bunny.
We brought all the small chairs – two little wooden ones and a mini-Ikea Poang chair that R reads in – and put them round the table, then put a nice white tablecloth on the table (a hostage to fortune, obviously, but I just chucked it in the washing machine straight afterwards) and R helped me carry all the tea things through. Then we got our singing teapot out – what’s a tea party without a singing teapot? – and we were ready to begin. R poured tea for everyone and we all had some cake and sandwiches and a merry old time was had at our very first tea party.
She’s talked about it lots since and in fact, we’re going to have another one today. The cats are invited to this one. I’m sure they’ll be delighted.