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Monday, September 10, 2012

Let them eat cake

Usually it's our kids creating a stir around the food table at birthday parties.

Last Friday we were at a local park with friends, celebrating a kid's birthday party. It was a stellar party - there was cake, cake icing, cheese flavoured yummies, yummy flavoured yummies and, oh yeah, stray kids no one knew shoving all these goodies into their cute, freeloading mouths.

The four year old girl had taken up prime position in front of the half eaten cake for about five minutes before she was noticed.

A lot of whispering behind hands and subtle pointing of fingers occurred before we finally had it sorted she didn't belong to any of us.

"Sweetie," said one of the parents. "Where is your mummy?"

She answered us between mouthfuls of cake. "She's gone."


"Then is there someone here who's looking after you? Someone you know?"

"Yep," she said. She switched her attention to the biscuits.

"Umnn, maybe we better go find them then?"

"No, it's okay," she said, grabbing a handful of Twistees and shoving them all in her mouth at once.

"But this isn't your party," she was reminded.

"That's okay," she said. "I don't mind."

Shortly we worked out how she came to be at our table. Her name, and not a common name by any means, was the same as one of our friends kids, so that when our friend called her daughter over for some cake this girl also answered the call, thinking she was being invited to a tea party.

Several minutes later she was presented, still chewing on cake and lollies, to a woman she pointed to at the far end of the park who was chasing after a couple of kids.

"Lose something?" the woman was asked.

"Ah! Thank you," she said. "Her mother's gone home for a minute. I'm watching over her while she's gone."

Doing a great job too.

And, amusingly, she continued to do a great job for about fifteen minutes, after which the hungry little cherub was back sitting between two of our friends and asking for more cake.

Only this time she brought a friend.

Kids grow up so fast these days. We didn't start gatecrashing parties till we were in our late teens. Next time we have a party for a seven year old we might have to look at hiring security. Or buying a bigger cake.

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engineerMum said...

This made me laugh! We had freeloaders at our last park party. The lure of a well laid out water fight was too much to resist from the other kids. Fortunately we sprung them and there were suddenly enough water pistols to go around. You have to applaud their ingenuity!

Jo said...

I kind of expect a few gatecrashers at park parties. I once took my kids to the park only to find that another kid in my son's kinder class was having a party he hadn't been invited too! (he wasn't particularly friends with this kid but he was with some others that were there) I wasn't sure what to do but the mum just welcomed him, found him a spare superhero cape like the others and let him join in. Soon both my kids were eating birthday cake and having a great time - they had no idea they were gatecrashing - I, on the other hand, found the whole situation rather awkward. Oh well.

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Bruce Devereaux is one of the nicest people he knows. When not at work he enjoys reading, writing, hiding from his children and not changing nappies.


His career, and if we used the term any more loosely an e might fall out, has included a gardener, a personal lender, a console operator, a stop/go man (not as big a bludge as you might think but great if you’re into sunburn, abuse and varicose veins), a cleaner of banks and pubs and, for a very brief period, a door to door salesman (until the last door he knocked on was answered by a very scary woman with tremendously hairy legs).


Bruce Devereaux currently works as a forty-five-year-old award winning customer service officer (glass statuette available upon request) for the Bank of Queensland and as a very casual employee for Corrective Services. He likes to believe he excels at both but then he has always been prone to exaggeration.


His favourite colour is green, with a picture of Dame Nellie Melba on one side and General Sir John Monash on the other. His favourite flower is self-raising.

 If you see him around town, call his wife immediately - he's probably snuck out and left her alone with all the kids.


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