I've been away too long. Meanwhile much has happened. But all of that can wait. First the most momentous event of them all .... the kids reached the ripe old age of five.
And we decided to have a party. For the first time ever we went in for the regular rigmarole complete with tattoo guy and magician.
First there was the guestlist
Most of the kids' friends were still vacationing including Hrit's favourite buddy. After a careful tally he realised there were very few boys and was terribly upset because the 'boys' team was smaller than the 'girls' team.
However that did not deter him from distributing invites with abandon, even to girls and also to girls he didn't know the names of. Along with the invites he gave clear instructions that they were supposed to carry gifts for 'me and my sister'. I swear I never taught him any of that. Mercifully the absentees balanced out the new invitees.
.. then the big question "What should they wear?"
We found Naisha her dream dress.. a pretty pink party thing she fell in love with at first sight. She preened till I lost patience and locked it away. (Thankfully she didn't bring up the question of the Chaniya Choli
). Hrit's clothes took forever but finally got sorted.
Less than a week before the party Hrit decided he wanted to be a 'hair cutter' when he grew up. And what better place to hone his skills than his own head? Two days in a row he chopped off his hair -- once near the parting and then right above his forehead. The hairdresser I took him to refused repair work advising me to simply cover up the patches with what was left of his hair... and that was that.
Then there was the question of the venue
The house was ruled out. (The cooking I might have managed but the post party cleanup... yikes no). After much deliberation and checking and rechecking that the monsoon hadn't progressed beyond Kerala we decided to have the party in a semi open space at a neighbourhood restaurant.
D - day dawned..
.. sunnily enough. But we'd tempted the Gods and they didn't disappoint. They made sure the monsoon hopped skipped and jumped to our city and opened up the skies precisely half an hour before the party.
We had to settle for a tiny room in the same restaurant. It was a bit of a crush.... but the kids didn't notice.
The decoration guys had to give up half way through and hastily put up some balloons at the new venue... and that was all the kids seemed to want.
The husband was called upon to ferry the guests to and from the venue.... which meant the party started and ended bang on time.
I tried to dress up for the occasion too. While I stuck to my jeans I ditched my trustee canvas shoes for a pair of heels and also, a first, I got my hair done. The rain however banished both my vanities in a moment. The downpour flattened my hair in a jiffy and as I waded through the overflowing drains the sandals gave way.. so it was back to the trustee shoes. I ended up as the most relaxed though dishevelled hostess.
With the sister and and SIL by my side (Couldn't have done it without them) we managed to pull it off. We had fun as did the kids. They sat through the magic show, got all excited at the pigeons the magician conjured up, played Queen of Sheeba with gusto and burst balloons with a vengeance.
Learnings for next year
1. Kids do NOT need fancy venues.
2. Kids do NOT care for decoration as long as it is fun to destroy.
3. Kids can dance to ANY music.
4. Kids can eat ANY food as long as it's not spicy.
5. KIDS DO NOT LEAVE WITHOUT RETURN GIFTS.