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.