Internally, I groaned. 7:15 am, trying to get everyone fed, dressed. and to school on time, I couldn’t even think ahead to 3 pm, let alone arrange a tea party.
I asked her What kind of a tea party?, not wanting to be a know-it-all mommy. This time, however, my expectations were right. She wasn’t just thinking a glass of lemonade and cucumber sandwiches. Ella dreams big. She wanted decorations and fancy desserts, just like in the Raggedy Ann book. By 3 pm today.
Messy bedrooms, laundry, and work commitments raced through my head, but I didn’t want to stifle her creativity or the idea that an ordinary day can be something special. So, I compromised with We need to plan for a tea party. Let’s plan one together after school for another day.
This pacified her a bit, but I could see disappointment in the set of her shoulders. No tea party today.
I’m not sure why, but 10:30 am hit and I’d accomplished quite a bit. The rain put a damper on everyone’s spirits, especially after a few glorious, sunny days. Suddenly, a tea party seemed perfect. I called another mom on a whim, asking if her daughters could come to our house after school.Then the boys and I ran to the store for a few special supplies.
We stopped for baby’s nap and a conference call, then I did a quick search for tea party name cards and invites, happening on these lovely printables from Mom & Wife. Thank you, Lindsey, for sharing your creativity! I didn’t have a huge budget for an impromptu party, so printing these made for such a fun solution.
I’m not sure why, but I tend to have a short memory about the benefits of planning something like this. Ezra felt blah on a non-preschool day, stuck inside due to the cold and rain. Now he had something to anticipate, a surprise to share, and a party to help organize. He assisted with putting rings on cloth napkins, “oohed and ahhed” over the tea cups, and set the name cards. His favorite part? Testing out the chocolate, cheese cake, cookie trifle ingredients as we scooped in layer upon layer.
I set out the food right before picking up the girls, then donned a fancy hat. Ezra packed our invitations in his backpack to keep them out of the rain. He then handed each girl an invitation as they entered the car and Ella asked a million questions, all answered by the invitation she felt too excited to read. We’re having a tea party? Today? When? Where? Were you planning this when you told me “no” this morning? And the most important question: What are we having to eat?