A normal birthday

A normal birthday

Amidst the crazy cheers of some twenty children ranging from the ages of 8 to 15 crammed in one small living room, H and N turned eleven this weekend.

This year they were very clear in that they wanted a ‘normal’ birthday party which, according to them, they had ‘never ever had’. The Husband and I were quite lost and if, like us, you are wondering what a normal party is here’s how they explained it to us: It should be at home (groan!). They should be allowed to invite all their friends (double groan!). It should have music and dancing and games, gifts and return gifts – the whole deal. Seriously, I see no signs of these two growing up soon.

Even the Husband, who is exceptionally good at bargaining, couldn’t sway them this time round. The only deal he could strike was that this would be the last of its kind and that at twelve they would really be too grown up to be found playing passing the parcel at their birthday party.

That is how, come Saturday, we pulled out every single birthday cliché to put up a normal party. And it turned out to be as crazy, noisy, chaotic an affair as they come.

While the children and their friends had the time of their lives here’s what I did through those two hours..

Separated bunches of younger ones as they wrestled on the floor
Yelled at the top of my voice to explain the rules of the games
Yelled again to get them organised into teams
Handled charges of cheating from the losing team
Yelled some more to reiterate that my decision was final
Pacified one of the girls when someone shot party snow all over her face
Ran out to get the candles because I had assumed the cake guy would put them in and he didn’t
Lighted the candles on the cake more than once because someone blew them before the birthday girl and boy could get to them
Nipped the cream smearing ceremony in the bud
Made sure the plates were piled with cake, pizza and noodles.

I couldn’t have done it without my ever supportive sis-in-law and my dearest niece. Whew!

Don’t get me wrong, I love to have the children’s friends over and every weekend we have a bunch of them huddled together in their room. That was one reason I started the book club too. However twenty of them together, each in a rowdier frame of mind than the next, is a little beyond me.

Maybe I am just getting old even as the twins show no signs whatsoever of growing up. Oh while on growing up I have to add they did help with the party. They handled the invitations all on their own, from designing to printing and distributing them. During the party, H conducted the games and helped maintain order (when he remembered that he was the host, that is). N gave her inherent diva a rest and played the perfect hostess, passing out the food like a pro and making sure the younger ones were well looked after.

The two of them finally got their heart’s desire – the post party hugs and thank yous were proof enough and that made it all quite worthwhile. Doesn’t it always? As I hugged them close, glad that they were in my life, a part of me was praying they would remember to keep their deal next year.

Linking up with #Chatty Blogs from Shanaya Tales

And with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me

42 Replies to “A normal birthday”

  1. Aha! That looked like a regular, normal party!! 😀
    Hosting birthday parties at home with 15-20 kids call for extreme patience and strength. I am remembering the parties that we had at home. Am I glad that they are the things of the past. LOL 😀
    Shilpa Garg recently put up this amazing post…7 Reasons to Travel SoloMy Profile

  2. Happy belated birthday to H and N. I think they did really good because I have seen kids make ridiculous demands on birthdays these days. You have done a wonderful job with them Tulika otherwise these days kids are, well, so unlike how we were 🙂 As a kid, I used to love celebrating my sister’s birthday. We didn’t have the concept of return gifts in our time and I liked that. These days I don’t like what happens in the name of birthdays and that’s why I say again that H and N are good kids 🙂 Let’s see what happens with M. I’m really dreading it!
    Nabanita Dhar recently put up this amazing post…#FeministMondays | Why Does A Woman’s Marital Status Or Her Plans For Motherhood Affect Her Rise At Work?My Profile

    1. Hmm.. I guess I should be counting my blessings. Thanks for the wishes Naba. Another few years and you’ll also get caught in the whole birthday bash madness.

  3. Mine always choose a party at home, and it drives me nuts. I love it, but I also dread it. I find the chaos and noise so much to bare. This year for Aspen’s 13th we cleared out a large space in our home and made it the party room, it worked fantastic to just have addicted area we could close off and they could play loud music and dance. Well done to you, I know how much hard work it is xx #mg
    Mackenzie Glanville recently put up this amazing post…our adventures are not coming to an end #mummyshotMy Profile

    1. Thanks Mac. It’s the noise that gets to me too and also that I’m catering to two children with completely divergent interests and different sets of friends. I wouldn’t much mind if it were just music and dancing. That would be fun, I think.

  4. Awww, don’t they look adorable? 🙂

    A very happy belated birthday to them. Since I’m child free I think I can skip these parties for now at least 😀
    Soumya recently put up this amazing post…Back To YouMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the wishes Shivi. When the children were younger I made sure to invite the moms too, I couldn’t handle them on my own. It’s better now but I can understand why you end up with a headache.

  5. 🙂 Many many happy returns of the day to the both of them .. I am day late 🙁 and that is a beautiful picture .. 🙂 awesome

    he he he but thats what kids do.. and they should 🙂 wonderful


  6. I just had one for my 13-year-old last weekend and can totally empathise with you. I too had cold feet initially and tried my best to dissuade A from going for one of those noisy parties but you know how they are. I went easy on the decorations and outsourced the food, which was the best part. We put on a movie for the kids and had a few games too. It started low-key but went on to become a full-blown noisy one, just the kind boys from ages 7-14 love. Funnily enough, in the end, even a quiet, sombre mommy like me who has always preferred a quiet evening all to herself joined in to make merry with the kids. The only thought that I had that evening was, very soon A would grow up and I would remember this day all too fondly. They grow up so fast these days, I tell you!

  7. Hahahaha – just by your first words I felt what was coming – and it took me some years back to those Birthday parties of my kids – OMG!!!!! That can be so crazy! You describe it so well Tulika – and you had me laugh out loud a some point …. But sure your kids had a blast and something to look back on — Well done my dear- now rest on your laurels 🙂 🙂 big hugs
    Eli recently put up this amazing post…Just that momentMy Profile

  8. That is such a cute picture! I’m sure your twins had plenty of fun. I remember have such grand parties when I was really small, complete with families coming over. Now I can imagine what it must have been like for mom! As of now, birthday parties are inside hostel rooms for me and we don’t mind the mess at all. 😉
    Belated birthday wishes to your lovely kids!
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  9. A very happy birthday to both of them. It’s such a fun birthday party. All with the craziness, squealing kids, the aftermath and ofcourse opening up of all the presents.. phew it sure is fun! And now that it’s over you could sit back relax and read Sita that’s been lying by your bedside

  10. I remember how it used to be during my kids’ birthday parties 🙂 At least you get to have one party for two 🙂 Happy birthday to your lovely twins. Enjoy these moments while you can because once they are grown up they will go out with friends on their birthdays, mine started doing this in their teens and I missed the parties at home 🙂

  11. Hhaha .. I can imagine the chaos. I gave up on this when my younger one turned 9. I also felt that maybe I am getting old. This year too he wanted to get his friends. But we bargained to have a pizza dinner with family and chocolates to be distributed to his friends in the building. My younger one turns 12 on the 14th. Happy birthday to you little ones.
    Lata Sunil recently put up this amazing post…#ThursdayTreeLoveMy Profile

    1. It’s such a relief when the kids agree to do away with the party. Pizza and chocolates sound good. And happy birthday in advance to your older one.

  12. I can imagine how much fun the kids had and what a pain it must be for you guys. I stopped throwing parties at home since each of them turned 6 years. Now, even if they do call a couple of friends home, it is only cake and chips which we anyway get and no gifts and return gifts are entertained. Luckily, both the sons are okay with this. We do take them out on their birthday or subsequent weekend for a movie and food outing along with bowling which they both enjoy.

    I do hope that next year they give you a break. 🙂
    Rachna recently put up this amazing post…The Beautiful Sights and Sounds of Venice in ItalyMy Profile

    1. No parties since they turned 6!! You’re one lucky lady. i think it has a lot to do with the company. because it’s a mixed age group here, they take time to outgrow it all.

  13. Such a lovely birthday post! My heartiest best wishes And blessings.

    How you spent the two hours is a fun read. I could imagine you doing all those things in a ‘normal’ birthday party.

    Stay happy. Stay blessed.
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  14. If I were you, I wouldn’t be too optimistic about them remembering their deal next year. Nonetheless, it sounded like a fabulous party, I am sure the kids had oodles of fun, and that is what matters. At-least that is what I repeat to myself when we throw such a party, and I handle the monster that is post-party clean up.

    P.S. I adore that picture of H&N. <3
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  15. Awww, isn’t that the sweetest picture of them ever? I so hear you on the ‘normal’ parties. I am DONE with them, I swear. Told Gy that last year but she’s already plotting for her 11th in July! God save me, especially since the husband is likely to be in the US at that time. I think I may just go mad. Plus I HATE cleaning up afterwards. Sigh, will the mother in me give in? God knows.

    God bless the little ones and may they have many more birthdays, normal or otherwise 😉 Tulika, I’ll take you away for a girls-only vacation to recover 😀
    Shailaja Vishwanath recently put up this amazing post…How & When to have the Puberty Talk with your DaughterMy Profile

    1. Thanks for the wishes Shailaja. I dream of a party where the children come and sit down on the sofas, they talk and laugh quietly, sing the Birthday song, eat and go away. Believe me I’ve seen those kinds but they’re not the type H and N enjoy. Give Gy that party. She’s a good girl. I cannot imagine her with a rowdy lot at all.

  16. What a lovely, lovely birthday round up post, Tulika! I’m totally at a loss while hosting such chaotic parties and after a couple of them managed to convince the seven-year-old to have no more of those. Yes, I do sound like the evil mom even to me as I type it out here. But, like I have mentioned earlier a bunch of rowdy kids is too much for my nerves.
    H and N look cute and very soon they’ll be all grown up.
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  17. It was fun to read about what all happened at the party. The glad part is it all got over and the twins are content. I have to tell you I am developing cold feet (severly) because I have to throw D’s birthday party for his friends next week (this would be his first party and I sulk at parties) and just like most part of the year, I am on my own with husband abroad. I request you (and everone else who will read my comment here) to keep me in their thoughts.
    Anamika Agnihotri recently put up this amazing post…New interest – Google Voice Search #MondayMusingsMy Profile

    1. Ha ha ha.. Anamika I totally empathise since The Husband after striking a deal took off leaving me to handle the crazy stuff. I will give you just one piece of advice – take it easy, use that phone. I outsourced all the food (all coordinated on the phone) and went easy on the decorations – just balloons – kids love them. I concentrated on thinking up fun games. Be good to yourself. Kids have fun regardless – all they need is the freedom to be noisy. Ping me if I can help.

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