Ollie’s Half-Birthday. 7.30am and we are all in the bathroom, (apart from Tom who’s slipped out to work at 6.15am). Even the cat is in here. I would like to go to the toilet in peace but the kids like me to be within a metre of their squabbling.
Ollie’s half-birthday has not put Daisy in a good mood, especially as Ollie needs clarification on what it involves. For the record, half-birthdays just merit a nice cake or something.
“So is my party tonight, mum?” asks Ollie lolling against the laundry basket. “You’re not having a party, Ol!” replies Daisy fractiously. “Well will I get a Lego Chima then?” “You’ll get nothing!” “But it is my birthday”, “It’s not! It’s your half birthday!” I leave them to it, sneaking down the stairs to put the kettle on.
Ollie’s half-birthday has made him very chirpy, especially as he’s negotiated a Lego magazine out of me. He peddles to school and back without any fuss or bother. As we get closer to home I start worrying that the local Co-op won’t stock the kind of high-end range of Lego mags that he desires. I ask him what he wants for tea to change the subject. Straight off the bat he says: “Sausage sandwiches with turkey and pears.” Ah yes that classic combination that we have never had before.
He’s in such a good mood that he insists on calling me “girlfriend” all day, said in an American accent. It’s slightly embarrassing in public. At the local garden centre I am ordering 150 litres of manure when Ollie comes bounding over. “Girlfriend! There’s some pretty flowers over there. Shall we buy them?” The cashier looks up sharply from his calculations. Who is this woman pushing forty with her much younger, much shorter boyfriend? I pay up and usher Ollie out of the shop. He needs to be gagged in public.
At home he insists on making these Bakewell flapjacks immediately. I have things to do though, and wouldn’t mind shutting my eyes for a few minutes on the sofa. Not a chance. I thought the magazine might keep him amused but he doesn’t like to see me standing idle for a moment, so the whip is cracked and baking commences. It’s 2pm and I haven’t had lunch for goodness sake!
I have to hand it to him though, the boy knows what he’s doing. The end of lunch coincides with a rich smell of cooked flapjack filling the air. We have a decadent mid-afternoon pudding of warm Bakewell flapjack with custard on top. It is incredible, the jammy bit in the middle reminding me of school puddings, in a good way. We wolf down the last few mouthfuls and race to pick up Daisy.
Later that night, after swimming lessons and a long day in Cambridge (Tom), we reconvene for dinner. We stack the flapjacks on a cake stand and light a tealight. Neither Ollie nor I mention we’ve already had this pudding once today.
I tuck the half-birthday boy in bed, which means getting in with him. “Thanks for being a great companion today,” I say.
“That’s alright, girlfriend.” He replies, and snuggles down to sleep.
We used the above recipe but doubled the quantities. A lot more jam is needed than specified! To make it dairy and gluten free, change the butter to Pure spread, and the flour and oats to gluten-free varieties.