A Happy Birthday for a Neutral Boy

Finn turned 6 a few weeks ago and I decided to throw a party and invite his new classmates as well as our neighbours. You know how it is when your kid starts at a new school. Every day as soon as Finn comes home, I pounce on him and demand details of his social life, whether he loved the lunch that his mother lovingly packed for him and why fergodssake he hasn’t returned his library book. And every day I get “Oh, nothing happened”.

WHAT?! What do you mean nothing happened?! Mum needs details! Do you like your school Finn? What do you think???  “Oh… Neutral!”.

Ugh I HATE that “Neutral”. That’s his latest favourite word. His school reader asks him to select a face each day to show how he feels about the book he’s been assigned to read and he loves the bloody neutral face with it’s little tight mean pursed lip.  In this respect I’m not even sure he’s our offspring. I think the last time I was “neutral” about something was about a decade ago. And I was lying at the time!

Anyway where were we, SCHOOL! So since Finn’s birthday is conveniently at the start of school term, we decided to invite all his little friends over so I could do the whole meet the parents thing since I hardly ever do the school drop off as I’m sleeping working. Days went by and RSVPs started trickling in until we had a veritable flood. We ended up at about 30 adults and 35 kids. We crossed our fingers and hoped for good weather so we could get everyone outdoors! And I quickly ordered a huge cake with Finn’s favourite things on it – stingrays, coral and squid. With neutral expressions of course.

Behold! This is Finn’s marvellous cake, made by a lovely local lady called Viv. It was amazing! She worked so hard at it. She came in beaming , staggering under the weight of this enormous cake and terrified that Coco our greyhound would gobble it out. She finally hoisted it onto the dining table, wiped the beads of perspiration off her forehead and said to Finn “Do you LOVE your cake???” and Finn said “Neut…OWWWW!!! Why did you kick me mama!?”

I said to Viv “It’s fantastic! Finn is speechless with joy!” while Finn rubbed his ankle and whimpered. I got Lilian our caretaker to beat him with a switch from the olive grove later. Just kidding.

Luckily on the day itself we had lovely NEUTRAL weather, not too hot and not too cold. Just right for herding kids and outdoor play.

This is Squid, Squid, Orca. Finn’s version of Duck Duck Goose.

Our neighbour Anne, whom you may recognise from, like just about every other blog post, brought her beautiful gem of a pony Smudgy and decorated her with fish because she’s a SEA HORSE geddit! Heehee. Don’t kill me RSPCA! This wasn’t the first time the Jeremiah Dixon family has painted her hooves with glitter polish and stuck random things on her.

All the kids adored Smudgy and she got loads of apples from the orchard afterwards for giving 25 kids rides!!

It was evident that none of the kids really wanted to play any of the 25 party games I had meticulously researched so we let them free range and have water bomb fights.

Pick your own apple goodie bag – country style….

Unsupervised games such as “Climb the rubbish heap” are so much more fun anyway.

We also had an Easter egg hunt which was great because the kids went off and scoured the 10 acres for specks of chocolate while the adults swilled wine and placed bets on what kinds of injuries we would have from the kids rolling down the hill in wagons.

Daddy brought out the birthday cake and the kids loved it. Pineapple coconut flavoured. Very outré.

Happy birthday darling Finn Finn!

We really enjoyed having his birthday party and meeting all the lovely parents and kids at his new school. Everyone was super relaxed, very welcoming and there’s a real community vibe at his school. I’m proud of how he’s settled back into life in Australia and really looking forward to the rest of the year ahead!

2 thoughts on “A Happy Birthday for a Neutral Boy

  1. Harlo Cyrstal Mummy,
    I chanced upon your blog and it is really “magical” … i really love the photos you’d posted on AU countrylife !!!! You are AWESOME! So beautiful… u noe, we never get to see the “countryside” of life in Singapore. My boy is 5 , he loves nature, he loves fruits and vegetables and always asking me to bring him to a fruit orchard that he can do fruit picking… I wld love to go to a place that has that kinda scenery, is there any farm stay or orchard that you could recommend me, something like wat i see in your photos…beautiful blossom and super fresh zucchini, lots of veg patch around ? I m so inspired by what i saw on your post, i must plan a trip to AU , maybe Melbourne, any good farmstay or orchard ard ? …. Hope to hear from you .. if you care to share ; )

    Doveymum from Singapore

    • Hi Serene, sorry for the late response, I only just saw your comment!
      We are so lucky to stay in the Mornington Peninsula and it is really beautiful. But we’re moving back to Singapore next month as I have accepted a job there.
      If you visit Mornington Peninsula, it is 1 hour from Melbourne and a really easy drive. There are plenty of places to stay here especially on the vineyards like Tussie Mussie Retreat.
      The best orchards are Sunny Ridge Strawberry farm, the Ripe & Ready cherry farm where you can also fish for trout (you will definitely catch at least 5!) and too many vineyards to count. Montalto restaurant has many sculptures in their garden and kids love to play there, you can ask them to pack a picnic lunch for you and take it to the gardens too. Make sure you come at the right time though because it is winter now and a lot of things are closed. late spring or summer is best for harvesting fruit. Take care!

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