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A Surprise Birthday Party

My mail-box is inundated by mails and information latest from Moms and BabyCenter. I can’t blame them, I did sign up for valuable gyan – a long time ago. One of them even sent a reminder for my daughter’s birthday next week. Thank you very much, I couldn’t even forget it if I tried – the hourly reminders have started long ago.

A Surprise Birthday Party - Kids - Parenting

How many more nights to sleep, Mama? She even had invite cards designed for some friends with the day and date and house address, a bit mis-spelt. No specific time was indicated, a small detail overlooked. It was going to be open-house in any case. They would play in the garden. Could I learn how to make choco lolipops, please? And vanilla muffins? Simple enough!

You see, Madam who is turning 7, has had a good time attending 3 birthday parties in two months’ time. I am happy as this is a new place and she has made friends easily. Or that people here celebrate birthdays of their kids – a sign of the economy picking up? Whatever be the case, it has been a welcome change from wondering if it was the colour of our skin, or my persistent belief that Belgians do not celebrate birthdays of their kids, none of them plausible enough. We’ve had a good time finalising outfits and deciding on gifts (within the budget) and me the additional advantage of expanding my driving skills.

So, it was only fair that my daughter assumed that we will celebrate her birthday too, inviting her favourite friends. And here I am torn, because we’ve been experiencing a bit of behaviour malfunction. Now, if only it were a bug and you could reprogram it away. Nor do I want birthday celebrations to become part of contracted negotiation on good behaviour. Because acceptable behaviour is the minimum one can expect, isn’t it? I am talking of instances of talking back, attempting to skip school work or do it shoddily and even lying when caught out. The parent in me would admonish and forgive and cajole the child to be good. But it was the child in me which took this up, mis-managed it and now it has reached the stage where the birthday celebration is somehow equated to forced good behaviour (when clearly your heart is not in it) or you’d-better-notice-I-am-good-and-so-I-hope-the-party-is-on type of expectation.

Things are getting better but there is not a complete turn-around. We will need to give it time. And so, I am planning to play a bit of a spoil-sport now. We have declared there isn’t going to be a celebration. It is disappointing even to write it here. So far, she has taken it stoically. That made me feel all the more bad. But shh! (and keep this a secret please) there will be a birthday party after all!! No, little sister is not going to be part of the plan as she may spill the beans. They are often in cahoots, the two. I will be handing over invites to 7 kids from her class, as was originally planned. This may take some doing as I do not know her new classmates by face.

A cake will be ordered, making it at home will be a giveaway and of course, that’s easier too:) I have decided on what to serve. Planning some games for the kids and also brushing up my Dutch as I will be the hostess. And I know enough not to mime. I will be buying return gifts on my own. Yes, it takes away the fun of doing it together. But we parents felt that not doing it at all would be too much of a disappointment. Please don’t tell her anything, okay 🙂

Vibha, aka Chatty Wren,  is a full-time mother to two delightful little girls. She blogs at about her life with her little ones, ups and downs of living in a foreign country and anything else that catches her fancy.