Sunday, 8 February 2009

Compleanno Italiano!

Now Antonia is making good friends with the children in her class at school I am finding a side effect of this is that we are getting invited to their birthday parties. Antonia is the only totally English child in her class. Everyone else is either Italian or has one parent that is Italian. Consequently parties are, shall we say, Italian style! Culturally they follow a similar pattern to British ones - games, entertainer, food, birthday cake. Where they differ, unfortunately, are not, to me, in ways that are better or even just different. 

The  main difference is that many parties start at 4.00 p.m. In the UK this would be fine, as it would also have a finish time, normally no later than 6.00 p.m. Here some guests, quite literally, are only just turning up then!! Also it isn't that unusual for the party to be on a Sunday, with school the next day. There is no way I can let Antonia stay at a party until gone 8.00 p.m. on a Sunday and expect her to get up for school with a smile on her face the following morning!! How everyone else's children do I have no idea. Why this is acceptable, I honestly cannot fathom. Answers on a postcard. Remember these are for 5 year olds not teens!

The other difference is that here children are given their presents and then open them straight away. In the UK normally presents are opened at home when all the guests have left and then "thank you" notes are written. I prefer this. It's what I am used to but also it means stuff doesn't get lost or broken, little friends don't abscond with things ( it happens!) and if you have bought the party child the wrong thing, you don't know about it! One party we attended the little boy was given some lovely clothes by one friend, he looked at them, then just ran off, with the friend's mother calling after him for his opinion! She looked pretty gutted by his reaction!

I am really happy Antonia is being included and I am getting to know other parents this way but I am also starting to realise I can't go to all of them and when we do, I have to be firm about when we leave!

As to Antonia having one this year......30 odd kids in the garden....really not sure. I just know they would all turn up too!