Back in Grade 11, my teacher Mr. Vertolli told us that we should always use unlined paper to do math problems.
“Lined paper forces you to think in straight lines. Use blank paper so that you think in circles.”
Well, I can honestly say that I definitely think in circles. Unfortunately, this means that when it comes to planning and organizing anything, I end up taking a roundabout route. Unlike my sister (who’s a teacher and Type A personality), I have trouble being systematic and detail-oriented. Also, I’m still suffering “Mom-nesia”. I’ll have a running list of tasks that need to get done in my head, but I end up forgetting a bunch of things and just “going-with-the-flow”.
Turning one is a big deal. You can throw caution to the wind and finally eat everything. Bring on the peanut butter! So, I wanted this day to be special.
First things first – send out the invites. In the spirit of being a little more eco-conscious, I decided that we would go the paperless route. Thank God for Facebook! Next, we needed a place. Our condo has a party room. Yay! I sent my husband down to book it. Done.
I then found out that the room only holds 25 people. What, what, what? My family alone is about 32. So, I Facebooked everyone with the change of venue.
Wait a minute. I’m missing people. Facebook again.
Next thing was to get the decorations and party favours. I had a vague idea of having trucks as a theme for the party. So, I enlisted the help of my sister and made a trip to Dollarama.
You can get cars, dinosaurs, and Dora. But no freakin’ trucks. Plan B. The new theme is “Happy Birthday”! Like I said, I go with the flow. Decorations done, we needed to get stuff for the loot bags. This was especially vexing since we had boys and girls who ranged in age from 2 years to 11 years (I think). I wasn’t kidding when I said that I think in circles. I must have went around the store 20 times trying to decide on what to get. But, I finally selected a number of items that would surely hold a kid’s attention for at least 15 minutes.
Food. There was no menu set. Of course we had to have Filipino staples such as lumpia (egg rolls) and pansit (noodles). And, I definitely wanted my sister’s cupcakes and bacon-wrapped water chestnuts (Thanks sis!). But, when it came to planning actual dishes, it was very generic. I knew I wanted things like chicken, pasta, and fish. What kinds of chicken, pasta, and fish dishes were not really determined until the last minute. Just make it, they will eat.
When the big day arrived, I was excited but a little apprehensive. I was also a little tired from staying up until 4 AM to make cookies, lasagna, pasta salad, and tortilla wraps. Thank God for coffee.
As people trickled in, distinct groups started to form. Older adults congregated in the kitchen to talk politics and rail about the recession. Parents and kids moved to the basement to watch “Treehouse” and run amok. Non-parents and harried fathers huddled around the TV in the family room to watch UFC.
Cake time! My hubby and I knew that this was our son’s first opportunity to indulge in sugar. I actually hoped that he would make a real mess of it. He didn’t disappoint. He was on that stuff like white on rice. With frosting and crumbs smeared all over his face, he clapped his hands with glee. Enjoy it while you can kid. That’s all the refined sugar you’re going to get until your next birthday.
Gift time! Wait a minute. This wasn’t on the agenda. I actually didn’t want to open gifts because:
1) It feels like you have spotlight of God/Allah/Yahweh on you.
2) Birthday boy wasn’t going to sit still for it anyway.
3) There were only about a GAZILLION kids buzzing around like vultures.
But, it’s all good. Really. Go with the flow, right? So with my game face on, I opened the presents. I wanted to be organized so things wouldn’t get mixed up. It quickly became “Oh, look at how cute this is! No, these aren’t your gifts. Put that down. We don’t play with that.” Sigh.
Me (to hubby): I can’t believe that you’re just sitting there!
Ben: I’m watching my own kid. Look, he’s good.
I believe that things happen for a reason. This was a test to see how we could cope with a multiple brood. Verdict? Epic fail, hon. Epic fail.
It quickly became witching hour for the kids. As they came down from their sugar highs, they needed to go to bed pronto. So goodbyes, thank yous, loot bags and party favours were quickly dished out. Whew!
All in all, it was a great shindig. It was really wonderful seeing everyone (especially my cousin’s brand new daughter). Hello, hubby?
I’m so grateful to everyone for coming out and sharing (enduring? surviving?) our son’s special day. There were only a few hundred details that were missed (thanks to Mom-nesia). And, I ran around like a chicken trying to talk to everyone, round up the kids, and make sure everyone was looked after. Next time, I’m hiring a party planner. But, the new memories that were created more than make up for it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Hope you all had a good time. Ma familia loves you.
I just wish my camera hadn’t died (grumble, grumble).