Paralysing Inertia

I’m lying on the couch in a state of paralysing inertia.  I’m trying to work out how I will survive the week ahead and I have that feeling of dread that I may not be able to pull it all off.

Tomorrow Alfie has his final drama lesson of the term.  Parents are invited to come and not only watch but also participate.  Is there anyone out there who enjoys audience participation?

But attending drama class is the least of my worries.  It’s Arabella’s 18th birthday this week and so I have to organise some presents.  She did ask me to order her a Victoria’s Secret bikini but I’ve only just remembered and now it’s too late to have it delivered here on time.

There’s also the Valedictory Dinner.  The dress code is ‘formal’.  She’s reneged on our deal to wear the Sass and Bide formal dress.  Typical.  The dress has been lent to a friend who will parade it instead.  So we’ve bought another dress but now she tells me she doesn’t have shoes and that she needs a spray tan and where exactly is she getting her hair and make-up done.

I’ve managed to find a place that will do both hair and make-up at 4.30pm on the day.  We haven’t been there before but it’s the only place left in Sydney that can do it.  Arabella wasn’t so sure.  She said, ‘I want smokey eyes.  Will they do smokey eyes?’

‘I don’t know.  I didn’t ask what she has in her kit.  Just tell her what you want when we get there’.

‘What about you, mum?  Are you booked in?’

It was nice of her to give me a fleeting thought.  ‘No, I’ll be doing my own’.

‘What are you wearing?’

Hanging in my wardrobe for almost a year with the swing tickets still attached is a Kate Spade dress that I was given.  Cruelly given in fact because it is a Size 2.  As beautiful as the dress is I haven’t been able to wear it because I’m not as tiny as Kate Moss.  Last week I took it to an alterations business.  I put the dress on and the women talked in Mandarin and gave the dress a few tugs here and there and then put in a few pins and apparently I can pick it up tomorrow.  I understand they can’t stretch it to my size but it may be slightly less uncomfortable with a few darts taken out.  So just like the princesses, I too will be wearing a dress two sizes too small.

After her birthday and the Valedictory Dinner there’s the Graduation Ceremony.  That’s Friday morning.  I also have an appointment in the city that day that despite its importance will have to be cancelled because, after the Graduation it will be ‘all hands on deck’ helping Arabella get ready for the formal.

Yes, you read that correctly.  We can’t quite close the chapter on formals because as luck would have it, there’s another one.  Arabella had a brief interlude at another high school.  It was an all-girls school but not a princess school as in the girls don’t think it’s necessary to have a spray tan and get their teeth whitened before the formal; they just get the spray tan.

A few weeks ago Arabella was notified that past students were most welcome to attend the formal.  ‘Why?’ I screamed.  But Arabella was on an absolute high and already planning her outfit.

Bec and Bridge Bianco V Dress

‘But mum,’ she said, ‘Did you know I’m not allowed to take someone?  Past students can’t take a partner.’  And I said three ‘Hallelujahs’ and five, ‘Praise the Lords’ because that’s a saving of $120.00.

At 4.30pm on Friday there’s pre-formal drinks and Carl and I have been invited as well.  After the drinks the girls are being driven to the venue then the hosts of the pres have invited Carl and I and the other parents to stay on for dinner.  It’s all being catered for and there’s rumours the champagne will be actual champagne, as in French, so I absolutely have to be there.

On the Saturday night I’m hosting a dinner party.  I booked it in months ago before I knew what sort of a week I might be having.  I might have said I will cook them confit duck and I’m hoping that perhaps I didn’t because it’s just that we have Arabella’s 18th birthday party at 10am the next morning.

She wanted a big party; one of those parties that’s at a hired venue and for every 50 guests you need almost as many bouncers and security guards but over the past few months we’ve been slowly able to pare back her ideas so it’s now a Champagne Breakfast for her 25 BFFs.  All girls, no boys and no bouncers.

She would like a rainbow cake.  I’ve never made one before.  I’m doing all the catering and the setting up and I’m not sure how I might achieve this given I have confit duck to prepare the night before that and pres with a catered dinner and real champagne the night before that and the feat of squeezing into a Size 2 dress the night before that.

And I’m going to be out a lot.  Does anyone want to babysit Alfie?

And the day after the week is over, it’s the start of the school holidays.

See you on Facebook!



  1. I think the confit duck is the least of your worries. That just goes in the oven and is left to its own devices.

  2. Wow! What a week, I can certainly see why this would be paralyzing! I won’t babysit but I’ll help with the cooking. Hope it all goes down well. We want pics of you in your dress, I’m sure you’d be a knockout on anything you wear.

  3. kitchenriffs says:

    You’re a really good mom. That’s one tough week you’ve got coming! I don’t envy you. But I’m looking forward to reading all about it!

  4. Can I just say … OMG! And good luck. 🙂

  5. Mandy - The Complete Cook Book says:

    I think after this week is over you need to book yourself in for a full day spa – no phones, no children – just you and yourself. 😀 Oh and just for good measure I reckon Carl should take you out for dinns – champers included – the real French stuff!
    🙂 Mandy xo

  6. You’re a super woman and you’ll be able to do it for sure!!!

  7. Glamorous Glutton says:

    I’d have buckled under the stress and taken to my bed long ago!!

  8. Victoria at Flavors of the Sun says:

    You are the one who will need a holiday, Charlie! Or a proper vacation. I do hope you will post photos of the party and your cake! Good luck with everything!

  9. Jennifer Cullen says:

    I would lie on the couch AND pull a blanket over my head!!! You go girl. And happy almost holiday!

  10. Minnesota Prairie Roots says:

    My advice: Drink lots of champagne.

  11. One more week my friend, take it a day at a time – you can do this because you are the ultimate super mum! 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  12. thelifeofclare says:

    I love that Sass & Bide dress! Was thinking about wearing it to a wedding I have coming up, but for that I would have to a) have the dress of b) be able to afford it!
    Sounds like your week is crazy, but in the good way! I’m sure you’ll kick it in its ass and scream “I can beat you!!!”, all while confiting your duck, looking smashing in that size 2 dress and liking the beaters from the icing of the rainbow cake!

  13. Why was she on a diet? She’s gorgeous!

  14. Jackie Brown says:

    OMG just reading that sounds confusing…. all the best for the week and hope it all falls into place for you 🙂

  15. yummychunklet says:

    Audience participation? Sounds an awful like improv comedy clubs…

  16. Oh my, I don’t know how you do it, Charlie. Only half of what you have going on would make me feel exhausted. Good luck with everything, and especially next weekend. I think I’d be hiring a caterer for the birthday party or buying some pre-prepped food!

  17. Holy cow, Charlie, you are certifiably nuts to try to get all that done. Send Alfie up here — we’ll go to the zoo.

    Good luck with it all and I know you’ll enjoy every minute of it.

    • hotlyspiced says:

      He loves the zoo, Maureen. Do you mean Steve Irwin’s zoo? Alfie hasn’t been there but I just know he’d love to go there. I’ll just pack his bags!

  18. Can Carl stay home this week and help too Charlie? I wish I lived nearer so I could help you, you poor thing 🙂 Maybe you need to bribe Archie to do the party setup- if you dare 🙂 I really don’t think you need to concern yourself with fitting into that dress either sweetie- with all the stress of the week I think the pounds will just melt away! Good luck xox

    • hotlyspiced says:

      No, Carl has a busy week and he’s working on Saturday so he won’t be around much. I’ll certainly let you know how my week progresses.

  19. Claire @ Claire K Creations says:

    Wow Charlie no wonder you’re paralysed! Good luck with it all. I’m sure you’ll pull it off brilliantly as you always do.

  20. GourmetGetaway says:

    OMG!!! You are mad!
    You must be, how are you ever going to survive!
    That size 2 dress will be hanging off you by the end of the week. I wish I were close enough to take Alfie for the week, I am sure he would get on well with my little ones… anyway good luck!
    My the force be with you 😉

  21. OMG that is CRAZY! how are you going to be able to do everything 🙁 And I hope you’re not going to continue blogging because I really think you need a break!!! please take care of yourself and still try to eat and rest well! Maybe you can buy pizza for the kids one or two nights during the week, so you will be able to have some time off to cook and prepare for the dinner party and Arabella’s bday?

    Good luck with everything! I will be thinking of you and if i could, i would definitely babysit Alfie for you! xox

  22. Juliet Batten says:

    That is just so exhausting to read! and how much more exhausting it must be to live!!

  23. All that AND you managed to squeeze in a (very handsome) haircut for Alfie as well!

    • And new shoes, Jo. Did you notice the state of his school shoes? I was trying so hard for them to last until the end of the year. When it rained last week and he complained of wet feet, I felt it would be cruel of me to leave him in that state. The shop assistant looked at his pathetic shoes and said, ‘Wow, he’s been so hard on his shoes’. There was nothing much holding them together.

  24. You have got to be kidding!?! Sorry, but I can help but feel a little relieved that I am not in your shoes this week. Altough I am sure you will get through it brilliantly.

  25. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    Charlie, here’s a cup of tea. And then we’ll book you on a 5 star holiday somewhere where you don’t need to bake cakes or make costumes or pick up anything or anyone 🙂

  26. Wow! That is one crazy week….and I thought I had been busy lately! Good luck with it all…and I hope you get to have a big rest on Sunday xx

  27. says:

    OMG once again I say thank good ness I have a boy and a very laid back one. Beautiful girls have big dreams Charlie. hope you get a rest next week while Alfie is not looking

  28. Wow, I hope you make it through the next week alive… I’m sending energetic thoughts your way 😉

  29. And I thought my last week was bad! Oh Charlie, good luck. They will all be great events – the kinds memories are made of. It is a lot to get through in one week though. And if we lived closer, I would be more than happy to have Alfie come and play with Mr. N! 🙂 Good luck Charlie!

  30. If I were your neighbor I would definitely babysit Alfie. For two reasons–I think he’s adorable and I’d probably really enjoy my time with him, but I’d also just love to be present to see how in the world you manage to pull all this off, Charlie. I can’t even imagine it, really. And I guess there would be a third reason…I’d ask for some rainbow cake!

  31. What a week you have in store! I don’t know how you do it, Charlie. Good luck and I hope Arabella has a memorable time!

Speak Your Mind