Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Reluctant Birthday Boy

Ayaan turned two this weekend. As with all things with Ayaan, things turned out quite differently from the way we had planned it.

We agonised for ages over how to celebrate his birthday. We considered having a proper birthday party and having some other kids over. But we were stopped in our tracks by the fact that we don’t know very many kids. At 29, I wasn’t exactly early off the block in the baby-making race but for one reason or another, not many of my friends have kids yet. The one couple who do were out of town last weekend for a family wedding. And while Jai does have two cousins in Mumbai with young kids, one of them has been advised bed rest for her second pregnancy, while the other was all pooped out from planning and executing her sister’s wedding last week. Moving on from this idea, we considered going for a fun weekend trip to somewhere with a beach or a swimming pool but this didn’t work out either due to a combination of factors – disgustingly hot and humid weather, no available reservations at any good place and more people (three grandparents and us) than could comfortably fit in a single car.

So finally we just decided to keep it simple and celebrate his birthday quietly at home with the grandparents and then maybe go out to an early dinner to a kid-friendly place like Pizza Hut. Easy fool-proof plan, wouldn’t you say? Hah! Fool-proof maybe but definitely not toddler-proof. Because of all days, Ayaan picked this one to refuse to go down for his afternoon nap and was therefore not in a particularly co-operative mood by evening.

To start with, he refused to blow out the candles and I had to quickly do that to keep him from touching them. He was quite happy to assist with the cake-cutting but tried very hard to take a more controlling role in smashing the knife through the cake. We managed to save the cake and cut it but when we offered him the customary piece of cake, he clamped his lips shut and refused to let even the tiniest morsel pass through. Here he is - turning his face away in his final rejection of the foul-tasting substance...

He also refused to wear the birthday caps we had bought to create the birthday mood.

He finally had a half an hour nap in the car when we went to drop a friend but that only served to make him really clingy and cranky. Given his mood, we decided to cancel the dinner plans but since the maid had left, I had to prepare his dinner – which I slaved over (it was just pasta but cooking does not come easily to me) only to have him reject it – he was too grumpy to eat. So we finally just gave him some ice cream and put him to bed. Phew! What a day! I hope birthdays will get to be more fun, atleast for him if not for me.

It was not all bad though – the day did have its redeeming factors. A family friend dropped in for a while with her daughter so he had a good time playing with her. And he got a lot of gifts from various friends of ours, all of which he loved, but the favourite one was the tricycle my mom gifted him.

And though nothing has changed yet (except the subject line on the weekly Babycenter mail from 'Your Toddler This Week' to 'Your Preschooler This Week'), it is going to be a big year for him (and us) – he starts school in June, he will be a pageboy in two weddings around Christmas time and we hope to do atleast one long holiday along with him. Wish us luck for what I am sure will be another fun, frustrating and eventful year.


  1. Aw sweet. Here come the terrible troublesome twos Rohini - all the best to the both of you!

    As for birthdays for babies, I always feel that the day serves as more of a celebration for the parents than the kids until they are a bit older and can figure it all out. Maybe this is just exactly how Ayaan planned his birthday. He is probably thrilled at how it went to his plan - older now and doesn't need that nap!

  2. congratulations rohini! birthdays are always fun, no matter how things plan out! here's wishing you and ayaan happiness always! :-)

  3. Aww - I'm sure birthdays will be much more fun for Ayaan from next year onwards. He'll make friends at pre-school, and you'll have to have a party next year.

    Happy Tooz to Ayaan - and good luck to you and Jai! :-)

  4. Here's wishing Ayaan a belated Happy Birthday !! And lots many more to come !!!

    I've seen this happen too with Abhay and it is so true - till they are at an age when then can really understand and enjoy a party, having a party is more for us as parents than for the child.

    Here's wishing you all a great year ahead :-)

  5. Here's wishing Ayaan a very very happy second birthday! and all the best to you and jai...whoever coined the term 'terrible twos', really knew what s/he was talking about :)

    talking of bday parties, i'm not generalizing, but i think girls like a nice party and dressing up early on. on her bday, tara loved the fuss and the dressing up and even did a 'namaste' to the cake when the candles were lit (she thought it was a pooja).

  6. [30in2005] Oh he still does need that nap - or there is hell to pay, like on his birthday. I think he just got over-stimulated

    [Harpreet] It wasn't fun while it lasted but it was memorable and had Ayaan stamped all over it.

    [Moppet's Mom] I know, I won't get away this easy next year. Planning a party for a bunch of 3-year olds promises to be stressful.

    [Gauri] Well, it wasn't that much fun for the parents either :(

    [Aqua] Wow! That sounds like a fun birthday...

  7. cute pictures! happy two to Ayaan...the Marvin strip says it all :)

  8. It was probably fun till the cake cutting bit. then all downhill. we had organized this puppet show and tara got scared instead of enjoying the show. so she cried for a bit, threw a tantrum and then spent rest of the time nibbling at a samosa in a corner ignoring the show. what a waste! but she didnt remove the bow on her head the entire time. vanity :)

  9. belated birthday wishes to ayaan... he and my brat seem to have ended up not really having the birthday we planned huh?! i didnt want a party yet had one.. and the brat was overstimulated byh the end too.. throwing chairs over... phew. boys! and yes, he still needs his nap. page boy huh?! thats lovely!! no one in my damn family is getting married and that is good because my devil will certainly not let any ceremony go on peacefully...

  10. Rohini,
    Happy b'day to Ayaan and welcome to the two's! In a few years you will recall even this with fondness like we always do :) and ofcourse you have pictures to support it!
    Yes, this is an exciting stage for both the parent and the child...been there :)

  11. Happy birthday to Ayaan and congratulations to the parents! After my son was born somehow every month felt good - wow he is now 3m, now 6m etc etc...so in that sense initial stages I think seeing your child grow up and understand more, interact more, look older etc feels so good...
    As for b'day party I have also decided already that we will have a low key family thing when he turns two in Aug. Esp with another new born to handle can't cope with planning a big party...he had a huge celebration in India for his first b'day - so I don't feel so guilty - he can have a party next yr!
    Does Ayaan ride his tricycle in the house? When are they ready for riding a tricycle? My son was playing with one at the store the other day but I wasn't sure when to buy one for him...

  12. Happy Birthday Ayaan and Good luck mom. I'm getting there soon and I'm peeing in my pants already :)

    Tell yourself this ten times a day. These are Terrific Twos and not Terrible Twos. Let me know if it works :D

  13. hi rohini,

    congratulations on having completed two years of eventful motherhood-i think its the mothers who should be celebrating because the kids won;t know whats happening on that particluar day anyhow.who knos next year will be a better birthday.so forge ahead-the die's been cast!


  14. Happy birthday to Ayaan. I think once Ayaan has his friends to celebrate his birthday, he might enjoy it.

  15. Wish a great year to Ayaan- school and page boy!

    All the best to u too- does the vacation serve a dual purpose:-) - to do with the previosu post....

  16. Happy birthday, Ayaan!

    Is that you in the pics? Your hair has grown long!

    I am going to hav a lot of fun reading your blog :D

  17. Happy belated birthday to Ayaan! My little one has her first birthday party next week and we - in keeping with the Korean tradition - rented an entire buffet hall and invited 40 thousand million people. My husband's family, my friends, our new workmates, my husbands highschool friends (!), the people next door ... etc.

    The chance of some kind of social/familial/cultural disaster befalling us is quite high and I'm starting to think that maybe we should have just made plans to stay home and eat icecream under a blanket!

    Anyway, good luck with your toddler/preschooler! I'll be constantly reading for the good stories/topics .... but also for the sneak peaks into what my parenting world may look like in a year! :)

  18. Wishing Ayaan (& you) a great year. With your first child the twos are a bit difficult because that's when they start to realise they're independent personalities. Luckily by the 2nd child you sort of fiure it out & learn to work around it:)

  19. [Kodi's Mom] I know! No matter what the situation, I can always find a Marvin strip that fits perfectly...

    [Aqua] Now I feel better. ;)

    [Mad Momma] Here too, key family members have been suitably warned about the downside risks of having my bratty son as a page boy...

    [Orchid] Exciting and frustrating but I am sure I will miss them when he is older

    [Noon] Well my mom got him a Mothercare tricycle and it is labelled as 12 months plus. He hasn't quite figured out the pedalling but he does ride it around by pushing the ground with his feet. So far he's driving it only in the house.

    [Poppins] I have really have to delude myself to convince myself that the Terrible Twos aspects of Ayaan's behaviour are Terrific :)

    [Sharmila] As you said, the die has truly been cast so there's no option but to forge ahead!

    [Sunita] You're right. Next year should be more like a real birthday party

    [Artnavy] Well, for that it would have to be a weekend without Ayaan :)

    [Sudha] Yup that's me and my long hair which I am starting to get irritated with given the hot, humid weather

    [Melissa] Can't wait to read about your first birthday experience...

    [Hillgrandmom] Ayaan hit the trrible twos at 20 months, or so I think - maybe it's going to get worse before it gets better!

  20. Happy Birthday to Ayan! Discovered your blog through a link on Sunayana's, after reading this post I suddenly appreciate the elaborate bday partys my mom used to organise for me all over again! :)

  21. Happy belated birthday to Ayan. My little girl developed the "terrible 2's" rather late. At this point I figure they'll last until puberty hits. : )

  22. Happy birthday to another boy who is also growing up so very fast!

    Rohini, I tell you woman, you've got to stop scaring me. While reading your post it suddenly struck me, all WB has to do is not sleep in the afternoon to completely ruin any birthday party we might plan this September.

    I believe a daughter would have been easier on me. That's what I tell myself.

  23. hey, happy birthday ayaan! I had kept mindful note of may 20th in order to wish him and forgot all about it. ayaan looks very grown and tall (hint of jealousy on the tall part). I am ust starting to agonise over what to do for Karan's birthday which is coming up next month. i stand warned thanks to your blog, that things are definately not going to go as planned.

    i loved the cominc strip- cos i feel the same about karan, that nothing's gonna change when he turns 2!

    here's wishing ayaan a great year ahead and you and jai all the luck you deserve for raising a toddler through his terrible two-year!

  24. Hey, you have been tagged!!

  25. [Anansi] In general, I find that I appreciate my mom a lot more after I had Ayaan and realised what effort it takes to bring one up (and this after two years!)

    [Mint] Well, in Ayaan's case, we had a premature case of the TTs - maybe they'll sooner? One can always dream

    [Sue] I wouldn't count on it. I have a colleague whose stories about his daughter put Ayaan to shame. And stop scaring you? But it's so much fun ;)

    [Lawyeramma] The trick is to have really low expectations. And yes, Ayaan is pretty tall so far - thanks to his genes - his dad measures in at over six feet and I am pretty tall myself.

    [Sunita] Damn. I already have another one pending. Will get around to it in a bit if that's okay...

  26. Rohini I tagged you - may be some one else also did for the same topic - just letting you know..

  27. Guess what? He won't remember this, although you will. We did throw a big bash for our first two kids' first birthdays, but it was more for the relatives than for our kids. The first birthday party we had with any amount of kids at it was Noah's 2nd birthday--because we finally moved to where our friends with kids are!

    Don't worry--by the age of three, they remember. Then they start asking you every week when their birthday is going to be again! :-)

    Happy birthday to your little man!

  28. Happy Birthday to Ayaaan!!! From me as well as the Ginga Boo. I'm sure the year won't be frustrating, hopefully the other kids will drain some of his energy. The little cycle is awesome. I think I used to have one of those, only metal, and would ride around with my sister in the back of it.

  29. [Noon] I think it is the same tag. Coming up next.

    [Talena] Always good to get a head-up on what to expect next... though it would be hard to top your pirates party

    [Ranjit] I think those metal ones were much sturdier. You should see the state of his wagon and I am sure the cycle will follow suit soon. Whereas my cycle was passed down to my cousins once I was done with it.

  30. Belated Happy Birthday to Ayaan, dont worry Rohini, Krish was the monster through his first two birthdays, and actually slept through his first. It was only his third birthday that he actually understood and began enjoying... am sure Ayaan's third will be great plus you will have more kids to invite thanks to his being in playschool...

  31. Rohini - you've been tagged !!

  32. Take your time Rohini.

  33. Hmmm. I've just returned from seeing my nephew who's a little over two and I perfectly understand now the cartoon strip :)

    I'm sure it's not getting any easier for you.

  34. Hey Rohini, just saw your comment at Poppins, and wondering about the Bombay meet and the details on it, would love to join in if it hasnt happened already...

  35. belated happy birthday ayaan!
    and good luck to you rohini... and what do you know - for the second year running sonny refused to eat his birthday cake.....