Jamaican Mommies by Shanoy Coombs: From Jamaica; for the world
In the beginning, I DECIDED on a Candy land multi coloured Pool party (Simply because she couldn’t settle on a single animated character and she loves water just like her mama). The party would feature multi coloured streamers, helium balloons (I really should invest in one of these), a rainbowy cake, coloured tutus all around (yep she has enough to suit herself and about 6 friends Thanks to one I made last year and about 5 others from a family friend who makes beautiful tutus such as this one here I would also round out the tutu troop in this cute little number. I imagined about 20 people max, but got up to over 50 once I started an actual list (gulp).
Of course, what good is a kiddie birthday party if I didn’t throw in some DIY stuff, so while working with a budget, I decided to borrow some super cool foodie ideas from our previous post on Fun summer foods for kids ; I wanted to toss in Roasted frankfurter kebabs, multicoloured cheese sandwiches, have a lemonade stand with multicolored ice cubes and do cute cheerios cups a la the usual sweets on a table. I had it all figured out. The kids would laze and play all day, indulge in water games with their water squirters, overindulge in rainbow coloured candy and fruits, Kai’s tutor and I would go DIY gungho with the multicoloured decor; two adults would be assigned on pool duty, my artistic brother assigned to face painting duties, professional photographer (aka family friend snapping away) while the other parents lazed around having polite chatter. It was 6 year old perfection if anyone bothered to ask me.
On hearing MY very colourful plans, with a raised eyebrow, father of the child (
because I’m still a little mad at his reality check) announced “Who is this party really for?” Without hesitation the words rolled off my tongue “Kai of course, Being 6 years old is a big deal, such an exciting time and we have to celebrate accordingly” but even as I said it, it slowly sank in that in the midst of my extravagances, I hadn’t quite asked the birthday girl what she would like for her birthday. I hesitated even further in asking for her input simply because MY idea sounded so surreal and so, so perfect ( Ok so maybe it really was a bit much about me)
So with all the willpower in the world, I remained calm enough to ask and then hear the birthday girl declare:
“Mommy, I am so excited about my sleepover party” (Wait, what? Aren’t you a little young to suggest this? When did we agree on this? But you love the pool and you love coloured tutus and you love helium balloons and you were supposed to want the fabulous birthday party I have been planning for you- Did you father set you up to this?)
She went on “And Daddy can set up the tent and we can all sleep outside” Sure this super huge tent has been lying around unused for over a year and it really can pack in the 2 queen sized blowup beds we have here, but still 🙁
“And Mommy we can watch Alvin and the Chipmunks all night. Mommy, You know my friends would love that”
And “Oh mommy, remember you said I could come and get my nails done. Can I come with you now that I am six”
And just like that, in several run on sentences, she planned her very own party and literally sent a message “Chill mommy, it’s not even your birthday” (
I’m still over here weeping and tempted to take her by the pool for a site visit so she can share my candy land vision). Deep Sigh.
Now having been served a very huge dish of “Mommy it’s my birthday” it got me thinking that it really is not about me and will likely never be. At 6 years old , my child posted me a very ouchy memo. As you can imagine, it will only get worse from here and I am dreading all those “But Mommy, it’s not about you” reminders. On the bright side, I was also served a fruitful dose of the most important reminder that you should always talk to your kids. Get their ideas, let them know their input is appreciated; Let their little celebrations be a BIG deal- but not for you, primarily for them; Rationalize with them, Anticipate their feedback but Encourage them to have measured and realistic expectations and encourage independent thought leveled by adult wisdom.
So a little heavy hearted, I am realigning MY birthday party plans to include:
and in her little world that will amount to “The best birthday ever” (Yes she says that every year even when we gave her a single cake and then headed to my Uncle’s funeral on her third birthday)
So realignment in tow, I’m now onto mission I have been bossed by a 6 year old. So let’s go pinteresting and get on with the new birthday plans.
Ever had a similar scenario? Did you make something all about you to then have your child remind you that no it isnt? Drop us a comment below and let us know.