is really stupid as per RD…he says I think too much…
May be I do…I am a ‘ahem’ thinker eh?
But getting to the point..
That party we went to..it was R’s daycare friend’s birthday party..I dont know the girl except that I have said hello to her when I wait to pick up R at the daycare..she smiles, I smile and things are done…we got an invite on Friday night…which means that I have NO TIME to buy a gift and no I am not my father’s daughter who keeps extra gifts for children in his house…Gah to him! but so I was stuck regarding that..also Saturday was FULL DAY working which means that I have no time to buy a present..
I am not even looking into the fact that the birthday invite had a barbie themed invitation which I would think is too stereotyped…but then to each his/her own so I am not commenting on that at all!
then again, we went to the party after buying two puzzles and 2 pens…which brings me to my Question #1 – WHAT to gift children? most children in R’s group as far as I know have everything..be it clips, be it pencils, sketchpens, toys etc etc 😦 The practical me would suggest just giving cash, but for a kid it wouldnt work…The other side of me would suggest a story book,but how do you know what the kid reads, whether the kid reads at all, what is age appropriate to me may not be age appropriate to the parents, and also HOW do you buy the right gift if you are given an invite just a day before 😦
anyways we entered the party hall (RD dropped us and left) and I saw a huge hall decorated like a dream..and the girl wearing the princess tiara and all that…I introduced myself to the lady who welcomed us only to realise later that she was not even the mother of the girl but an aunt *Smacks head!*
I left R since the place was a closed one and then sat in one remote corner trying furiously to blend with the wall paper…I met one of R’s daycare friend’s mother, someone whom I had met earlier and said hello to…
In the party, there was a party host! and a tatoo corner…now I never let R wear tatoos…I know the chemicals that go into a removable tatoo and I am not a big fan of applying all that to a baby’s hand 😦 but ALL the kids were going there, and R came running to me asking me ‘Amma maine tatoo wear karu please’ Well, for once, I was not the cruel one and agreed…Did my heart feel I was right – yes..did my mind feel I was right – no 😦
the only positive point – R at least asked for permission!
Then again there were some kids whose parents had left them and gone…I didnt think I would do that to R
1. because she is too young to be left alone
2. because its a big problem to the parents of the birthday girl to take responsibility..infact I had called up the mother and asked her the previous day and she had said very clearly that we would prefer one of the parents at least or even both because it would be difficult for us to manage young kids..totally agreed…but then again the other side of me said ‘coming for free dinner eh?’
Anyways…so the kids whose parents were not around, I know them because they are in R’s daycare, were not in the best of behaviour,….drinking glass after glass of juice, running around, knocking down people…*Shudder*
then there were games which the host conducted..in which she divided the kids and the parents into two teams and asked them to do various task like make a circle, make a triangle etc etc….interesting concept but then why make the winning team say boooo to the losing team 😦 what are you teaching the kids..that its bad to lose..at this moment, RD would have told me..I am over reacting…yaa may be I was 😦
Then of course there was a magic show that went on and on..and then another game of the parents…and then gifts only for particular kids who won a particular round….is that right?? one kid went crying to his mom saying even he wanted a gift 😦
then as usual the Indian problem of not doing anything on time 😦 I was late myself..the card said 6.30 but I had called up and told the mother that I can come only by 7.30 because I had office…I reached at 7.15…
the cake was cut at NINE!!! nine in the night 😦 R was cranky and hungry by then but thankfully her daycare friends were around so it was okie I guess…
The mother with whom I was sitting and I were one of the firsts to enter the food counters which opened only at 9.15 😦 isnt that too late…I mean, with such young kids, wouldnt you want to start up the food earlier..and of course the variety of food there!!!
I was wondering how superlative the arrangements were, when R’s friend’s mom told me that the minimum amount to book the hall + food there is about Rs.30 K..then additional tatoo, magician, and return gifts (which would have been at least 50 in number looking at the crowd!) and cake…I gasped! I said you are kidding me? she said no…and she mentioned that this girl always gives such superlative parties..last year it was in a famous pizza joint and before that in another big hall!!!
and since R’s friend is about 5 years, she is telling her mother that even I was such a big party…which may not be affordable to them of course 😦
which brings me to my stupid questions
#2 – Is such a party necessary? Who am I to ask this..well a mother of a peer, who cant really afford such expensive parties…
#3 – how to make kids realise that not everyone can afford it…I over heard the kids discussing on how exciting the return gifts are going to be, and how so and so’s return gifts were so drab 😦 and the cake was so yuck 😦 kids can be cruel seriously 😦
#4 – I personally would NEVER spend or as a matter of fact, afford to spend so much money for R..does that mean that I should stop attending such parties…everyone in her daycare was going, so R didnt want to be left out and I went..no the kid whose birthday it was, is certainly not expecting an invitation to R’s bday, but then there is peer pressure and super competition…
#5 – What happened to the birthday parties we used to have? Some food ma would make, cake was either baked at home or bought from a small nearby bakery, there were NO return gifts, children came, played, ate and went back!
#6 – Is such extravaganza a trend only in Mumbai or is it happening in other towns as well?
My idea of a good birthday party
Venue – My house
Food – Cake from outside ( I cant bake okie?), some idli sambhar chutney, some chips and perhaps another sweet
Return gifts – Books or perhaps plants
Gift for the birthday child – Nothing..because I have no STORAGE space in my house!!!
Time – 6 in the evening to 8.30 in the evening
Things to do – Games which can be played by kids inside the house..like perhaps painting or making something constructive or perhaps playing with the atta dough or something (any suggestions)
My actual problems with birthday parties is just the extravaganza attached to them..and my biggest grouse – Return gifts…what a super waste of money 😦 and because your child gets it, you have to give it too..and no, kids dont appreciate books..they want only expensive stuff 😦
Disclaimer – These are my personal views. I am not judging anyone. I dont have any right to judge anyone at all. and if I get invites to extravagant birthday parties, I will attend!