“Mama, how long until my birthday?” asked my son the umpteenth time in February. I said, “Fifteen more days.” He was turning five full years and was becoming quite a handful.
He was growing up into a boy. He was climbing up trees, gazing at new models of Hot Wheels cars, race cars, collecting dead rubbish and doing everything a boy would do.
I could no longer call him a young toddler. He was almost a little boy, and he kept counting down the days to his birthday from one month before.
He asked, “Can we have a party like last year?” I said, “I will try.” We had just shifted to a new locality, and I was not sure if he had made enough friends whom I could invite.
Of course, there were a couple of friends from the same old school whom I knew would definitely visit . And also, there were his two sets of grandparents, my extended family and my husband’s family. But, they were all not really his age, and I was wondering if he was going to be disappointed with not so many children around for his birthday party.
So, we went ahead and invited all the children whom he claimed were his friends in the new place. We then invited the family, too. We were sure there would not be more than ten children whom would turn up. But, to our surprise, all the children who we invited and some additional children who we did not invite turned up, too! The more, the merrier!
Our son seemed to have become instant friends with all the new children. He was having a whale of a time!
We had a cake in the shape of Spiderman, my son’s latest fad and super hero, upon his request. It was a rage among his friends. In the children’s eyes, he was almost a hero, as he got to cut a Spiderman cake. We cut the birthday cake and passed out the snacks and drinks. The children had second and third helpings and were happily feeding themselves and making a ruckus.
My son suddenly asked me if he could open a gift wrapped box, which seemed extraordinarily big. I was unsure of the etiquette. Could we unwrap gift boxes before the guests left? Or, should we wait as a courtesy?
I decided that we should wait. But, the children persisted. Could I control twenty odd five to ten-year olds and their excitement? Not to mention their need to satisfy their curiosity, too?
So, well against my better judgment, all the gift boxes started getting unwrapped. I was sure a disaster was going to ensue. They unwrapped an airplane, a bike, a remote-controlled race car, a set of color pencils, crayons, among many other things.
I tried to remember who gifted what. I had to eventually give up. But, in the end all the kids were having fun, and it made no sense to maintain any false sense of decorum. And, they did not fight. Or perhaps, just a little bit for the airplane. It was huge and made a lot of noise.
It was soon night-time, and we bade good-bye to our guests. We were tired and still had to clean up. We collected ourselves and reflected on the new friends we made through our son.
The party was a hit, although there were many things which happened which were not the norm, like unwrapping the gifts during the party and hosting all the extra children that showed up as friends of friends to the children invited.
My son said he had the best party to date. Nothing went as planned. Everything was spontaneous, but there was nothing which I would want to undo or redo.
My husband was meeting half the people for the first time in his life, too, but still played the charming host’s role perfectly for which I am grateful.
Perhaps, next time, I may not plan the same kind of party because it is a lot of work, and my son’s network is growing. But, I am sure we will whip up something still fun for him that would allow his friendships to blossom.
How do you celebrate your child’s birthday? Is it a closed family affair? Or do you invite a lot of his friends?
Have you ever played host to a party where you were meeting half the people for the first time?
This is an original World Moms Blog post by The Alchemist of India. She rambles at the Alchemist’s Blog too which can be found here.
Photo credit to my husband for clicking the best Spiderman cake in the world.
What a fun and exhausting time you had! We try to keep birthdays to small groups of friends and extended family – there always seems to be plenty of laughter and noise. And the birthday person gets to chose what we eat for the evening meal on the actual day of their birthday too. Birthdays are fun and the kids love to celebrate them don’t they?!
Oh yes, my son chose our dinner too. Thankfully, it was my Indian easiest recipe (similar to a crockpot recipe). Perhaps, I will post it sometime in the recipe section?!!
Sounds like a typical kids birthday party, even half way around the world 🙂 Our big girl is 3 and is already talking about her 4th birthday 5 months away! We have NEVER had a big party for her or her sister but I don’t think I will get away without one this year. And her friends have set the bar pretty high. The trend in SF for young girls is to have Disney Princesses arrive and entertain. She has been to parties where Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) and Tiana (from Princess and the Frog) arrive!!!! So she is already talking about what princess is coming to HER birthday party. Yikes!
Thank god, here in sub-urban India theme parties are not yet so popular. Even w/o that, we thought our bar was high … 😉
Sometimes spontaneous parties are the best, especially when trying to meet new people. Way to roll with it! My older son is 5, and you are so right about that feeling like a turning point from toddler to boy. Before preschool, we hosted parties at our home with our friends and their kids. But now at school age, we invite my son’s classmates and usually take the party to a kid venue. Either way, I find kids just love to play and eat cake, no matter where they are and who they are with. Happy birthday to your boy!
Thanks Tara B. Spontaneous parties are best. But I learnt next time I cant have it at home. Yes, give them cake and the freedom to play. They wont disturb you for anything. lol.
You are so nice to go with the flow when all the extra children showed up!
Thanks for sharing your son’s birthday party story with us!
Veronica Samuels 🙂
Thanks Veronica. The extra children were no trouble at all; all handled by my ‘grown up’ son 🙂
Must have been a sooper time with all the kids around. My niece’s birthday party just took place and it was a mayhem in the fun way. I am sure for the next bday, you will have to rent out a hall to accomodate all his good friends. 🙂
Thinking about this, thank you i dont have a kid yet :p
Praveen, It’s easy to think that way, but once you have kids and once you are part of the mayhem, you wouldnt want it any other way 🙂 😀
Hi Alchemist!! Belated birthday wishes to your son 🙂 Yeah, I can understand what an effect the spiderman cake must have had on the kids, your son’s popularity must have sky rocketed in kiddy circles! and kudos to you for hosting 20 + kids…. you guys must have had a whale of a time 🙂
Thanks Yuva. If I knew I was about to host those 20 kids I would have been a nervous wreck and cancelled the party. What amazing talent these humans have?!! We have the ability and capacity to rise to the occassion and make things work they ought to work.
Nice post which It was a rage among his friends. In the children’s eyes, he was almost a hero, as he got to cut a Spiderman cake. We cut the birthday cake and passed out the snacks and drinks. The children had second and third helpings and were happily feeding themselves and making a ruckus. Thanks a lot for posting.