BEING a relatively new mother, I thought it would be great to throw a party to celebrate my two-year-old's birthday. Unfortunately I hadn't realised birthday parties are no longer the junk food fests of my youth.
Having been up since 4am baking, I perhaps wasn't in the best mood to have my shortcomings as a hostess commented on by a mother whose daughter attends "enhanced play sessions" and "creative gymkhana classes".
Things started well: children piled in, helped themselves to cupcakes, hit one another with balloons and consumed half their body weight in fairy bread. Then Botox-mother sidled up and whispered, "I've never had to deal with this before". "Deal with what?" I asked. She hissed, "Junk food."
I looked at the table covered in half-eaten cake and sticky fingerprints. "There's fruit kebabs," I protested.
"Yes, with marshmallows."
I said she could have given her daughter some of the bread. "It's white," she said as if I'd offered cocaine.
"And the honey?"
Apparently I'd committed the ultimate faux pas in the eastern suburbs: I'd thrown a birthday party that did not cater for the gluten-free, lactose-intolerant, no-dairy-before-5pm, nuts-are-evil brigade. I'd gone for brightly coloured food with a dangerously high amount of fat and coma-inducing quantities of sugar. My card was marked.
"It's not done," she said, pointing at me with a manicured finger. For her daughter's party, she had hired a nutritionist and buckwheat pancakes, organic muesli with goat's yoghurt (low fat) and rye bread with (no sugar) jam was the fare. And to drink? Water with a slice of lemon.
"Did your son enjoy the food?" I asked a friend who attended the nutritionally healthy party. "Hell, no. He kept asking why there wasn't any cake and who'd hidden all the sweets."
As I watched this mother and daughter leave , I felt desperately sorry for the little girl who will never know what it feels like to eat so much cake that you feel sick or to drink so much cordial that you spin round and round in a circle until you throw up in a heap. Buckwheat pancakes have their place but maybe not at a two-year-old's birthday party.