Call me old fashioned or nostalgic, there is something about celebrating your child’s birthday at home that tugs at your heart.
Maybe its the month of October and festivities, maybe it’s the anticipation of festivities that ushers in such feelings.
The Millennial parents these days spend considerable energy, effort, planning and of course a great deal of money in hosting their toddlers / Preschoolers birthdays at all kinds of fancy joints. Themed Adventure Parks, Water Sports Arenas, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and the likes of it make a decent killing by opening their doors for such celebrations.
By no means do I stand on any judgement here and nor am I questioning such preferences. I quite understand the challenges faced by the millennial parents due to nuclear family structures and the hectic work schedules, which leave the young parents with less time and even lesser energy to plan such events at home.
I am simply trying to paint the canvas with some birthday celebration hues. The choice of frame is entirely yours.
Let’s begin with the child’s third Birthday celebration, as the first two are more for the parent than for the child, isn’t it?
By age 3, children are stepping out of the ‘ego’ stage (My Mummy! My Papa!) and begin learning how to make friends, jump the trampoline , know the meaning of a ‘gift’ and the word ‘party’. They want to contribute in household chores and want to listen to more and more stories.
They begin to understand that Birthdays mean cake, friends, fun and lots of people around.
In this state, if you announce that their Birthday party is going to be hosted at home, you will see a whole new face of your child cropping up .
You are likely to be bombarded with such questions:
Will I get lots of presents?
Can I have gems on my cake?
Please show me picture of my last birthday?
Can I not invite my younger brother / sister? 🙂
Will I have to share my presents?
Will you make pizza?
You mean all my friends can come over to my home?
Post the announcement, think like a budding entrepreneur – this is the perfect time to tap the excitement and allocate age appropriate responsibilities for the party , like :
- Your room has to be super clean , dear
- Let’s pick up 5 toys that you are willing to share
- Let’s pick up 10 books that you are willing to share
- You get to choose what colour icing to put on your cake.
- You get a chance to help mummy & papa bake the cake
- Let’s make triangle sandwiches!
- You will be the host standing at the door receiving all your friends!
And that’s the day your child can learn real life lessons.
The excitement will build up days before the party. Take your child shopping with you, be it groceries or return gifts.
Let you child stretch with you when you bend or step up the ladder to bring out the extra cutlery.
” Ah! that’s where she keeps the extra spoons! “(Your child will make many such ‘Columbus’ discoveries)
If papa has to contribute for creating the fun game – Tailing the donkey – he will receive willful help and attention from the child.
“Go, get some of your crayons “, says the parent. And off the young one dashes.
“Get me some more chart paper”. Your child runs like a budding athlete and you didn’t know that!
“Let’s clean up the mess as your room has to be looking the best for the party “. Action follows and you can almost beat the ‘Housekeeping team ‘ of the best hotel in town.
“Will you lay the table for your friends “. Likely reply, ” oh yes, but the cake has to kept where no one but me can reach it! ”
And then arrives the big day. Your home will be the epicenter of so much of vibrant energy.
Curious kids, excited kids, naughty kids and hurricane kids 🙂
There will perhaps be some orange stains on your carpets, a few fingerprints on your sofa and the dining room may resemble a battle field at the end of the day.
But the memories you will create, the energy you will generate, the life skills that you will help build and the adrenaline that will flow, will be unmatchable.
Your young prodigy will have a secret hint of admiration, joy and pride in his/ her eyes that you may perhaps find difficult to read and the young one may find no words to express the same.
Your child will begin to nurture a strong sense of pride in his home and parents hereafter.
Big or small, yellow or white – that’s his home and his fortress.
Years later while clicking through the family album, your child too will wonder – “How did they do they do this all?”
Your child may just turn around and give you a quiet little hug and a loaded look.
You may wonder then, would it have been the same had we not made the home as the core of all his/ her childhood celebrations ?