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April 02, 2007

Birthday parties are nt so bad.

One more time I read anywhere about Children's Birthday parties and how parents screw it up, I'm going to scream. What are the options anyway? Pray tell me whats the perfect birthday party for a one year old and I ll go back in time and do the same for my daughter. So your child turns one. The first birthday is special and its not going to come everyday. So the plan is to celebrate. But how? She does nt go to school so not much children to invite. So it has got to be an adults party with few children here and there. Gotta feed them. Cant bother to cook. Too many people so cant have it at home. So a hotel it is and a dinner buffet. Cant skimp on food either. Gotta have some decorations. Bring on the balloons and the ribbons. Gotta keep the children a little busy, so arrange a caricaturist. So you hear theres a guy who takes care of decoration and arranges a caricaturist, you hire him. Buy return gifts for all the kids you expect to attend. Get a special cake. A white forest, egg less, awesome, very expensive cake with a picture of Noddy on it. Apparently the cake guy has never seen noddy in his life because the picture looks like your teenage cousin if you squint your eyes and look at it upside down! Anyway, so the D day comes. You can never predict how your one year old is going to behave. NEVER. She might cry the whole time. She might smile the whole time. She might go to sleep. She might be really excited. She might be cranky or she might be happy. So you gotta take the chance. You dress her in a non frilly, non itchy, plain, soft, pink frock. Keep on telling her that its her birthday and its special and we are going to celebrate. God only knows if she even understands. So the party goes on fine, she actually enjoys the balloons, excited by seeing the kids, the happy birthday song, cake cutting etc... But all these were not for HER. Shes just the reason. Its all for ME who has turned one as a mother. Its MY idea of a perfect birthday party. Its what I wanted to do. Agreed that the kid is too young to know, but I ll always remember the party with fond memories.
"Remember the crisp Jalebis with Ice cream for dessert? Never had such great jalebis ever after!"
"Remember how Aunt G was raving about the cake and how thoughtful of us to have ordered an egg less one?"
"Remember the caricature of your mom with a ladle in her hand standing in the kitchen? That was hilarious!"

Anyway, what I am trying to say is we have children because we want them not because they want to be born. Who in their right minds would want to come into this sick world anyway? So why nitpick on the parties? I mean theres no pleasing the crowd. One of my friends threw a birthday party for her preteen son in a hotel lavishly and we were like "Its so unnecessary". And another friend invited a huge group, cooked herself for all of them and had the party at a community center. People were like, "shes so stingy"! Another couple donated some money to charity and had a quite time with their child at home and we were like "Poor Child!" There no right way, is there? At least for the first birthday. Now that Ashu is going to turn 2 pretty soon, Im already picking my hair wondering what to do. I have nt had time to make friends here and I have only met a few people. So is it really necessary to invite people whom you barely know for your daughters birthday party? Should we have a party at all? Should we just take her out somewhere she ll enjoy? Again, all my theory of what she ll like. And this pattern will continue all her life whether she likes it or not. Ask me, I know. My parents did nt exactly throw a wedding I wanted!

24 comments:

IBH said...

very well written boo....i get a feeling...i know u.....is there a mail id that i can send mail?

B o o said...

boobabytalk at gmail dot com. My email id is on my profile page. Im all curious now... ;)

Moppet's Mom said...

I so know the feeling! Moppet turned one a couple of days ago, and we didn't do a party - just took her out for a 'happy day'. Worked out well, but then - she's one, she's usually happy every day! :-)

robertswayze said...

This was quite interesting to read...thanks for sharing these with us..and well for some really interesting resources and ideas for birthdays do drop by my blog on Birthday Wishes and check out all that i've posted there!!!

Anonymous said...

I am so with you on this one. I have two children and both their first birthdays were celebrated differently. For the 1st child it was the whole show.... party,food, lots of people, entertainment etc. Only thing was she didn't enjoy it after 30 minutes. This made me realise that it was more for me than her. So for my second child I invited just another family and had a priest come over and arranged a puja in the house to bless my younger daughter.. Time will tell which of the two the girls preferred/hated!!!

Shwetha

Anonymous said...

hi boo,

just wait for one more year and you won't have to scratch your head so much. My 4 yr old gave me the list of invitees, the cake she wants, the place she wants her b'day etc for her 3rd birthday. Ofcourse, we had to cut down the invitee list..but hey, the rest was already taken care of :)
-San

@ said...

*sigh*...it is so tough being a parent these days...so much judging, so much scrutiny, so much peer pressure...
I have never had a b'day party my whole life -and I had the happiest childhood one could ask for! (ok, I am also very wierd, but that has nothing to do with parties) my point is kids are content with the simplest of things - a balloon, a cake, a gift, lots of love. I second moppet's mom's happy day out...I would do the same for K. for his first, we didn't really do much other than a puja and some cupcakes for him to smash. it is between you parents and Ashu...who cares what the world thinks??

WA said...

Boo I have a great idea, I think you should throw a party for Ashu in London. I reckon its a perfect idea

Orchid said...

Why don't have you have a cyber-party as well..well you asked, so don't blame me!!! We could all send you pictures of the kids and you print them, make a collage, put it in her scrap book...at least you won't be celebrating with strangers and we on our part wouldn't mind some swiss chocolates at all :)

Me too said...

Tell me about it! For my daughter's first b'day all that took my energy and enthu' was whether to let her blow the candle or not b'cos it wasn't our way(she slept thro' and I & hubby cut the cake is a different story!)! Even if one wishes to have a quiet celebration, who lets you!!

Manchus said...

Umm...that was a post that got me thinking on what I need to do in 11 days for R's first B'day. It is on Friday the 13th, so no way can we plan for a party after work.

We have decided to celebrate by inviting friends on Saturday and Sunday (2 diff groups based on their common interests!). 3 days of cake cutting!!

Anonymous said...

Boo, neenga en kanavula vandeenga...you and Ashu..Ungala naan paathadae illa..still.:-)
And Ashu was enjoying herself at my home...

lakshmi

Priya said...

nooooo idea what you're talkin' about! :-)

btw, let's talk some more on the last line of the post...preferably with your parents, in-laws and your HD in the near vicinity ;-)

B o o said...

Moppets Mom - LOL, thats so true!

Shwetha - As long as the family is happy together, nothing else matters!

San - Ha ha! That would be a relief since I hate making decisions anyway! ;)

B o o said...

@ - I never had a party when I was a child too. But these day, its a chance to socialize as well especially when you live abroad.

WA - I seem to know more people in London than Zurich actually so it is nt a bad idea! ;)

Orchid - Well, trust you to come with up such a freaky party idea! Now why did nt I think of that for MY birthday!! Party or not, you deserve some Swiss chocos! :)

B o o said...

Aparna - So true about blowing the candle part. Just when you are about to do that, some aunty telly you not to and you are confused and theres a lecture on how cakes and candles are nt "our" way. May be I should light a lamp and cut an idli for Ashus Bday. Now thats a thought!

Manchus - Birthday Marathon weekend I suppose! Ashus bday falls on a friday as well and we are thinking of taking her out on Friday and throwing a party on Saturday. Sunday of course, we got to do the cleaning! :(

B o o said...

Lakshmi - LOL! Was I thin? ;)

Priya - Why in-laws and Hd? What did they have to do with the wedding except to show up?! ;)

WA said...

Come over come over, all of us London bloggers would be more than happy to gatecrash Ashu's party

The Mad Momma said...

oops... am i one of the people you're referring to?! :p

well mea culpa .... we didnt throw a party for the brat's 1st bday. just had a cake at home with my parents. and lots of balloons... and ordinary dinner. he had a blast. i dont think a 1st birthday or any other bday is more special than another...

second bday in a month and i am still not having a party. i still dont think he will miss it and i dont think its worth the noise and effort and chaos. plenty of time to do that when he has a concept of death, birth and birthdays! and in all the other parties i have attended the child ends up really cranky or asleep during the celebration.

it might be that it is significant among hindus because i notice they all do a puja. and all my hindu friends are shocked at what they feel is my miserliness and neglect!! my christian friends dont bother to celebrate this early either and quite agree with me. we do have a big party for the christening etc...

all the best with ashu's birthday.. am sure she will have a blast no matter what you decide.

phew.. long comment

Anonymous said...

What's with the dig at you parents at the end?!?

SS said...

Dear Boo

I can somewhat relate to what you're going thru'. My son will be 2 come December and what to do for his b'day is a subject for debate already .. whatever you do will be fun, I am sure and Ashu will 'njoy :-)

I have been visiting your blog for nearly 3 months now and I enjoy reading what you have to say immensely. Your blog is one of my favorites and I am linking you to my blog. I hope this is okay with you. Just wanted to let you know.

Cheers!

Rohini said...

I agree with you that the first birthday is more for the mother - I survived a year of being a mom kind of thing...

Sunita said...

Hey I did a post on my daughters birthday bash today at http://sunitathomas.blogspot.com/2007/04/first-birthday-bash.html and have the exact same feelings.

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