Moving from ‘Quasi Cinque’ to ‘Cinque’

We had an auspicious birthday in Monforte this week – Master T turned five. As it happens, five is a big birthday and one that requires extensive planning.

Master T has been telling everyone (friends, neighbours, the post lady, Alice in the café, random strangers in the park …) “mi chiami/sono quasi cinque” – my name is/I am almost five – for almost a month now.

In addition, Mum and Dad have had a wide range of promises made about what will happen once Master T is “a big five-year old”.

Celebrations started a week ago with a party while Grandma and Grandpa G were still here. Master T invited a couple of his good friends while Jo and I fretted about the protocols of hosting a party in Italy.

Our initial plan of having it in the local park was thwarted by the Spring Weather – a good thing it seems, since reactions to the proposal ranged from bemusement (those crazy stranieri) to horror (those crazy stranieri…!!)!

So, our little cottage was rearranged and the party was held inside. The kids were introduced to new Australian thrills like ‘Pass the Parcel’, ‘Pin-the-Tail-on-the-Donkey’, ‘What’s-the-Time-Mr.Wolf’ (all big hits), and fairy bread (ah, not so much…).

Master T thought it was brilliant and we think his friends thought it was ok as well. The cake was…well…um…homemade and with a ‘chapeau’ to the CWA ladies – who knew the challenges that fondant icing would present!

On his actual birthday we had planned a very low-key celebration, including unwrapping our gift and enjoying yet another cake (noting we may have overreached with the first cake, the second was very simple).

We had also promised his choice of breakfast cereal (he settled on Miele Pops – think cheezels covered in honey and needless to say, they won’t make the cut next year!), and a packet of his very own orange Tic-Tacs that he was allowed to eat all in the same day (“Go crazy” I hear you say, but apparently mum did it on her birthday and he’s been determined to enjoy the same special treat ever since). The Tic-Tacs were gone within the hour!

What we hadn’t planned for was the enormous effort made by our friends and family to help make the day special. Skype ran hot for five hours from the moment Master T was out of bed and he received a steady stream of emails and messages.

In addition, his brilliant Blackwood friends skyped with fresh baked cupcakes, candles and a fine rendition of happy birthday, there were amazingly generous gifts (particularly given the bravery required to run the gauntlet of Poste Italia) and Grandpa M was able to share in the fun of the candles that wouldn’t blow out (and possibly got more of a kick out of them than Master T… !).

Our thanks to all of you for the amazing effort – you made our big little five year-old feel very loved and special, and this auspicious birthday one to remember!

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