Help! There’s a birthday in my home

There’s more to being a parent than posing prettily with the cherub, wrote a slightly hassled friend on Facebook. The reason? Her son’s upcoming birthday or at least the decision making process of it. I could not resist an evil and slightly relieved laugh.

So it wasn’t just me who dreaded the birthday juggernaut- the planning, the presents, the cake, the theme and of course, the return gift, which is a must give these days unless you have been living under a rock or are very brave and do not care for public opinion, especially from pint sized people.

At our home, the older one’s great birthday party has come and gone and I am already being asked about the next one that comes in February next year, courtesy boy number two. My first predictable reaction is a groan.

Considering that boy number two is turning one, an age where chocolate cake elicits the same reaction as Cerelac, a full-fledged birthday party seems rather pointless. Yes I am one of those moms who are absolutely on the fence when it comes to birthday parties.

I do love the idea of planning one, especially as the boy loves having them. I go through party ideas on the net and even think of cards the boy and I can make. Though this is exactly the stage where the idea hibernates for the whole year.

Why do I get the birthday jitters?

Part of it of course has to do with the fact that I spend the D-day moving around the house like a bird on wheels and the post birthday part of it picking up confetti from every bit of floor and furniture. These days, just the thought of doing it makes me feel rather tired.

Confetti apart, the jitters are probably also because I am not a well-planned mom and good birthday parties always require planning. I can’t make up my mind whether to do a humongous creamy concoction for a cake, theme based of course or go the healthy wholewheat route.

One look at my son’s face and I know it is either cream or fondant. Healthy stuff never looks as good and simply cannot be turned into Chota Bheem or Spiderman.

I’m also rather last minute in the return gifts department, starting off with nice, thought-provoking ideas like gifting plants or homemade chocolates in a jar (a friend of mine once gave jam in pretty jars, still feel like bowing to her) before succumbing to the easily available (and acceptable) ones.

Acceptability is rather important in the return gifts department because no matter how hard you teach your child, she/he is likely to walk up to the host and demand, ‘ok aunty, mamma says I need to go now. So where’s my return gift?’

She/he is also likely to dissect and analyse said gift with a ‘I have the same thing at home (Sketchpens), ‘Borrring’ (Sipper/cup), ‘too girly’ (photoframe), ‘too kiddy’ (art kit), ‘for boys only’ (frisbee).

Now before I sound like the mom from hell, let me try for some redemption. I actually look forward to the birthday parties. It gives me a chance to make the brat endlessly happy as only kids of a certain age can be. Even if that means cake with green colour cream.

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About Reshmi Chakraborty 62 Articles
Reshmi Chakraborty is a features writer and mother of a 6-year-old and a one year old. She lives near Bannerghatta Road.