The McBaby was invited to a birthday party today by one of his fellow attendees at nursery so I took him along to the leisure centre, dressed up and with a lovely gift under his arm. It wasn't until we arrived that it occurred to me that I wasn't ONE HUNDRED percent sure what the girl who invited him looked like, so it was a little difficult to wish anyone a happy birthday lest we got the wrong person.
And if you don't know who the birthday girl is, then it's hard to know which one is her mum. I greeted the lady I thought it was and vaguely offered to put the present on a chair. She asked what the McBaby's lunch order was and indicated the bouncy castle so I think I had the right person.
The McBaby took a lot of persuading to bounce up and down and wrapped his legs around me like an octopus so that I had to get on there as well in a maxi dress. After 15 minutes of non committal bouncing from the McBaby, before he got into it and started flinging himself down the slide, we were told we could go into the soft play bit, which meant of course he created an equal fuss about getting off the damn thing.
He needed a bit of coaxing to get onto the frame, but then spent ages running up and down and shouting while I slunk into a corner, noticing that I was definitely one of the older mums. I haven't yet been asked if I'm the McBaby's grandmother, but it's only a matter of time and if I can hide from the question under a bit of soft play matting, then I will.
Besides, the only other parent I recognised was a father who I'd admonished for nearly rear-ending me on the dual carriageway. He kept his distance today. If he'd done that on the main road then there wouldn't have been a problem, but I digress.
After a lot of soft play, we headed upstairs for the party tea. Weirdly, it was in the room where I usually do yoga so it was hard for me to steal one of the McBaby's chips with that in mind, but what the hell, I did anyway, almost exactly on the spot where I do my downward dogs. I try to bag the very corner of the room as it's the coolest spot (as in there's a bit of a breeze - there's certainly nothing cool about me trying to do a warrior pose). Through the door and you come to a room full of equipment and beyond that is a fire escape that leads to the outdoor pool. After eating his food and refusing any juice, the McBaby went into the equipment room and started playing with a broom, rather than any of the other children.
A few followed him in there, and as the door was shut, I didn't worry too much. However, when I looked up a split second later, the McBaby was nowhere to be seen. I burst through the door and found he had climbed down the fire escape, leading a charge of four more toddlers that I had to bring back in. The staff then gave me a pained look and locked the door.
It was nothing to do with that, but the birthday girl then started howling through our rendition of 'happy birthday' - much like I did on my last birthday. There's something incredibly cute about watching a table of toddlers eating party food but not quite grasping why. We left the building clutching a party bag and a slice of Peppa Pig cake and bumped into MrM on the way out who'd been working out at the gym. Who knew all of us could have so much fun at the gym at the same time?