Sunday afternoon was Jasmine's 'Abschlussfest' (end of term party). They happen every year (naturally) and feel as though they last 365 days.
They are interminable, if I had a good excuse I wouldn't go, but it'd have to be an excuse that'd convince the kids, 'cos they like going - they get to charge about with their friends and have fun, I have to hang around looking like a spare part while all the other parents who known each other since kindergarten (more often than not kindergarten when they, themselves were preschool kids - I'm soooooooooo not joking) gossip in little huddles.
It's not fun.
And I have Ben's next weekend.
It started with cake, they always start with cake, kid's birthday parties always have the cake at the beginning, then the activity then the meal, so I should have known to expect a long, drawn out do shouldn't I?
So, 28 degrees, blazing sun, we're eating cake and drinking tea and coffee and chatting - well, when I say "we", I really mean "they". I couldn't face cake or tea or coffee in that heat, so I had some water - which was probably meant for the kids.
After an hour or so of "socialising" we got down to the entertainment. First the children had a little piece for us based on St Saen's Carnival of the Animals which they've been studying, and then we were taken outside for some "games"...
Imagine "It's a Knockout" meets school sports day and put 2 bossy German mothers in charge...there was tea bag throwing (tea bags here come with a string and a tag, so easier to throw), bobby car racing (small plastic sit on car for 2-4 year olds), apple bobbing (that I know), a tug of war (between the parents of years 3 and 4 - we won) hula hoop-ing, scooter racing, a water chain thing and a Dickmanns eating competition.
It was endless, and then there was a presentation from the children (or rather mother of one of said children) to Herr B the teacher, a song from the leaving children and then finally a song from the year 3's to the departing year 4's, which was quite sweet, or would have been if it had come earlier, maybe 3 hours earlier...
As soon as the last chords of the last song died away I was out of there, collecting my apple cake container and my tea thermos (we'd all been given explicit instructions on what to bring, I was instructed to provide apple cake & tea - had to borrow an apple cake recipe from a friend (and a tin to bake it in) as it's not one of my 'go to-s' when I think "let's bake a cake") and dragging my unwilling child behind me. Jas wanted to stay, not for the barbeque, but just for the fun of charging around in the heat with her friends. I was declared to be an unfit mother by her for ruining her fun, but as I told her - I had another child at home (there was no way on earth that Ben would have stooped so low as to join us, he's 13 for heaven's sake) who needed feeding, quite apart from the fact that they'd neither of them been to bed before 11pm on Saturday (Germany's thorough thrashing of Argentina had to be celebrated by children as well as adults - although they indulged with the soaking of each other with wet stuff, while we grown ups drank it).
At least for Ben's abschlussfest I will have Simon's company, he gets back from almost 2 weeks away in Korea & Shanghai on Friday evening and then is going to be expected to partake in one of the busiest Saturdays we've had in a long while, I should start taking bets on when he'll crash and burn...