Saturday, September 8, 2007

Happy Birthday to Marcus!

The verdict is obvious. We have had a great party. A look across the room and everyone can see how much fun the kids all had at Marcus' 3rd birthday party today. The party started at 11am and 75% of guests arrived by 1130am. The kids just laughed, played, ate, drank and played more till 2pm. Since most of the kids are at least 3 year old, the kids could play Pass-The-Parcel and the Pin-the-tail game for a Bear and a Cow which E drew.

As usual, we catered way too much food. Even after everyone had at least 2 helpings and some even had their third, we still have 1/3 of food left behind. The food was great though, especially the yummylicious mee goreng, chicken curry and sweet & sour pork. The kids couldn't stop helping themselves to the delicious cereal crackers and mashmallows and all the kids came back for more helpings to the melt-in-mouth strawberry & fresh cream cake which Marcus chose himself. I bought a slice a fortnight ago for Marcus to try and the moment he saw it, he asked me sweetly "mama, can I eat the cake please?". He shared with me, but kept holding my hand, as if worried that I would not feed him. He ate 3/4 of that slice, so when I asked him if he liked it and wanted it to be his birthday cake, he immediately shouted a really loud "YES!". It was indeed so divine that all the neighours wanted to know where it was from and most mums had at least 2 helpings. The whole cake was quickly devoured, except for one piece that I saved for my dessert to accompany my cuppa now. :)

We were a little disappointed though that while all the guests had so much fun, Marcus seemed a little reserved this morning and didn't want to participate in the games at all. He didn't pin the tail and was reluctant to pass the parcel, so he was more like a spectator. Though towards the end of the party, he did warm up and played with some kids, but it wasn't really what I had expected of him. He was probably overwhelmed by the crowd and how all the attention fell on him. He didn't even sing or hum to his favourite Do Re Mi tune when we played it on the stereo. Like all the other kids, he did enjoy the cake very much. For the first time ever, he ate a gigantic piece and asked for more mashmallows. I don't usually give him that, but since this is his party, I went to Candy Empire and got a big pack of the colourful mashmallows to surprise him. It did delight him lots. So with the help of mashmallows, balloons and Hello Panda biscuits, and not forgetting the beautiful Kana, we can be sure that he had some fun today. He didn't care about the presents at all despite his eager parents' urgings for him to rip the parcels apart.

My little Nicholas had some fun too, though he was a little neglected. He was left in his pram for a long while, sitting next Karen's 7 month old Ethel. It was obvious that he enjoyed Ethel's company a lot as he couldn't stop looking at her and wanted to touch her and her pram often. The babies had Baby Bites and sat side by side in the middle of the party room, taking in the buzz and sights, while allowing the occasional adults to come near and coo at them.

It was a great party and I can't and won't take any credit for it really as papa has done most of the work. He wanted to, so I let him. I only booked the venue, designed the invitation and sent to a bunch of people, got the caterer and cake and tied the loose ends. Papa prepared the games, bought the party bags, decorated the room, and got the life of party going.

I had initially wanted to cook and prepare most of the party food as I always feel that the party food is the core of the party. It is my way of showing my love for Marcus (not that Marcus would really be able to tell the difference at this age), by cooking and preparing the food myself. Whenever I go to a kid's party, I don't look for over-the-top catered food, but what warms my heart the most is when I see dishes after dishes of home prepared food that are suitable for kids. I know then that the host has put in thoughts and efforts to cater to the needs of the kids. It is a kids' party after all. But I admit it's hard work to cater home-cooked food for 30 adults and 20 kids, like we did last year. So when E suggested catering this time, I gave in. It wasn't a bad choice, just a little too expected I feel. The party was a big hit nonetheless and what's most important is the guests and birthday boy had fun. Now I just have to wait patiently for Marcus to wake from his nap and encourage him to open his presents to satisfy my curiosity and for E to recover from his party planner exhaustion and upload the videos and photographs we took.

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