The word ‘Parties’ takes a new form for someone who has stepped into the motherhood phase. Parties are not just about hanging around with people, dancing to loud music over cocktails. Instead, they now involve participating as a team with little humans who find great pleasure in staring at colored balloons, wearing funny party caps as they feverishly wait for the birthday cake to be served.
Yes, these are the only parties that I have attended for almost a year or so. I also know that birthday parties will require my constant visitations in the coming years as well. Every parent knows that birthday parties of other children (sometimes their own too) become a frequent and the most regular outing.
Do I love these parties? Absolutely! For every mother, the only two magical words are ‘Kitchen closed’ which these parties aid to. Plus, it allows the toddler to whack-smack-be pals with other kids too. And then, there are return gifts. Who doesn’t love them? So, yes, I am a big fan of birthday parties.
Last week, my husband announced that we would be going to a birthday party and that I should work on three things – prepare a gift, dress myself, dress up my son. I have made a few mistakes in these areas but I have learnt from watching other parents. Anyway, once the morning sun rose as usual, the two men of my house woke as well, with their hungry stomachs. I busied myself on filling their tummies, bathing and dressing up the little one, with a scream here and there, I hopped into the shower and dressed myself in five minutes (being a mom made me realize that mini-timed showers do exist!) – I glanced at the watch wondering if I could grab some breakfast. That’s when husband informs that it’s almost time to walk out of the house.
I tell myself that I can skip breakfast, perhaps, I can treat myself to a sumptuous lunch. I hear my toddler giggle beside me, his eyes speaking the words, don’t be too sure about that. Why not? I thought aloud, you’ve slept ten hours straight, you are well fed, you’re in a good mood today – I am sure I’ll have a good time. With that thought pasted on my mind, we hopped into the car and drove off, appearing cheerful and merry. What could possibly go wrong here?
Once we reached the venue, my toddler slipped out of my hands to explore his surrounding while my husband and I chatted away with other parents, discussing about how it is sometimes, nightmarish to live with kids and at the same time, how we adore all their impish tricks. Thirty minutes later, everybody summoned for the cake cutting; balloons, candles, chocolates and excited kids filled the room.
My toddler, who has now sprung into my arms, is getting slightly discomforted by the crowd. I distract him by singing the birthday song into his ears while the cake is being cut. He calms down when a piece of white cream covered-chocolate layered cake comes around. I smile and chat with another parent while he nibbles at the cake. Somebody announces that it’s time for food, ah my favorite part.
After piling my plate with delicacies, I settled into a chair comfortably with my toddler beside me, tugging at a balloon while eating mouthful of food. A few seconds later, after I had three mouthfuls, he started wailing loudly. I offered him food, which he spat right on my plate. Toys, balloons, chocolate – my last resort (video rhymes, too). Nothing worked. He simply wanted me to get out of there.
Husband, the savior, comes to my rescue – offers to take the toddler off my hands so that I can eat in peace. As I gobble mouthfuls of food while I smile cheekily at other parents (oh yes, everything is fine), husband is standing right beside me appearing helpless while the toddler seems to be screaming out his lungs – I need to be here with this woman.
I give up my plate of food, my appetite drowning in the screams. I pick my toddler and head straight to the car where I buckle him up in the car seat and drive around the empty parking lot. I checked his reflection in the rear-view mirror, he is now calm and composed, letting out a huge yawn. His sleepy eyes seemed to be telling me ‘Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you’ as he drifted into a deep slumber.
While I waited for my husband (who was having his meal in real peace) and drove around in circles, I thought about a story, the fox and the sour grapes. For some reason, I felt like the fox that day. I looked at my son’s sleeping yet surprisingly beautiful face and thought aloud – you’re not going to win every time, remember. Someday, at some party, I’ll finally get my share of food.
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