That's right, I'm starting off this one with a sigh.
This is the long over-due birthday party post. The one with Noddy in it. The one where my YO turns three. The one where my little one leaves his toddlerhood behind him.
Before I start describing the party, I need to draw out a little table. Of birthdays in my family. Birthdays that are celebrated before the YO's birthday.
September: Bro, YO, SIL, the MIM
October: the Neice, Maa-Janoni, BIL
That's seven...yup, count 'em, SEVEN big birthdays, bashes, cake cuttings, Happy Birthday 'singing' et al, that happen before the YO's, (Okay, maybe not the Bro's but the rest...yups!) Add to that the fact that the entire population seems to have procreated during the winter months (finding pleasurable ways to keep warm, I'm guessing...what, blankets not enough for you folks?!?) and thus spawned in the fall, the majority of birthday parties seem to fall in the fall! So with all these birthdays happening all over the world and Jupiter, the YO was getting desperate for his own bash...with his own friends and his own cake and his own khoi bag, with a 'Happy Birthday' song just for him.
Words can not do justice to portray his impatience. Everyday he'd wake up and ask me, "Aajge aamaar budday?" (Today's my budday?) The same question, at least 150 times through the course of the day. His little face falling each time he was told it wasn't but not enough to deter him from asking me yet again after fifteen minutes. As if by sheer dint of his perseverance, the answer would be different this time round.
And then, it happened. After more than a month of being told, "Naa babu, aajke naa, aashchey" (No sweetheart, not today, it's coming)...it happened. The sparkle left his eyes and the anticipation died.
When he woke up that morning and I kissed him and hugged him and wished him a big, jolly 'Happy Birthday', he just asked me, "Aajge aamaar budday?" and I squeezed him tight and said "Yes, my baby, yes!! Aajke tomaar budday!!", he just nodded sagely and got down from my lap. I think I died a little.
The YO's birthday is on the 17th of October. This time, it coincided with Diwali so we decided to have the party on the 15th, even though Maa-Janoni and the MIM's parents weren't in town. It was the MIM's decision actually. It was breaking his heart to see how badly the YO wanted to celebrate his birthday. I now think we should have celebrated it two weeks earlier, while he was still excited! Anyway, while I had taken Diwali into account, I'd forgotten about Dhanteras, which explains why 70% of the YO's class was MIA. I'm not ashamed to say that I was upset and angry as hell!
We had chosen Timezone as the party venue...a place kids LOVE!! Video games for different age groups, a toy train, rocking animals, cars and planes, a minuscule bowling alley, a tiny merry-go-round and a small kids area.
Now normally, the YO runs amok here. But somehow, that day, his heart just wasn't in it. He saw his friends come in bearing gifts of love, but all he wanted was to be carried by either me, the MIM or his ayah.
It was killing me to see him so distant, cranky and disinterested. All the kids and their parents!, were playing the various video games and having fun. All the kids except my little one. Wasn't anything going to change his mood?
And then...it happened! The smiles...the whoops of delight...the sparkle in his eyes and the excitement. When my DaddyDearest walked in with the cake. One look at the pastry pieces of Noddy and Big Ears sitting in a marzipan and chocolate sponge Noddy car cake and my little boy was jumping up and down with excitement. He refused to leave it's side and watched over it...as if he was guarding over the treasures of Fort Knox; as if he was an M4 watching over her EO and YO.
When it was finally time to cut the cake, I was actually a bit worried about the YO. I was hoping and praying that we be spared a tantrum of YO-tuan proportions when it came to the actual, physical cutting of the cake...and luckily, the gods heard my prayers! Amidst much clapping, singing and blowing of candles, and with loving help from the EO, the Nephew and the Neice, my YO happily cut his cake. He was now ready to eat and party!
Aahhh! Happy times were here again! The menu was simple...pizzas, non-veg momos, veg spring rolls, veg noodles with a non-veg or veg side-dish, and of course, the cake! After the eatings and drinkings there was much more playings to be done and this time my happy little YO joined in with great gusto!
So many friends made this day special. A big shout-out to bloggy Sue
who was there with her Vicks and the heart-meltingly gorgeous Bhablet, as well as to the MIM's BFF who happened to be down from London. Equally special mention to me made of friends P and J (hehehe...PJ!), who catered the food and more so to J, whose birthday it 'really' was! (See! Another one of them fall babies!)
Back home, the presents were attacked with much respect. The MIM had gone out with said BFF and I looked on indulgently at the mess my boys created, their shrieks of delight like music to my ears, especially the YO's.
It was a happy birthday after all!