Obviously, the poor thing has come to realise that the celebration of her birthday pales in significance and is drowned out by the general hype and excitement of the festive season.
She (like her siblings) start planning their next birthday party a day after their last one, but she has come to realise that many people are away on holiday or have other plans that time of year, so are often unlikely to attend her parties.
So she had thus far been satisfied with having only her cousins over to help her celebrate- obviously, since cousins are family and simply cannot get out of it.
But this year, she has developed a particularly close bond with two friends, Somaya and Jenna. She and Somaya had been best friends in Grade R. They have two completely contrasting personalities; the one complementing the other perfectly.
I remember the first time she met Jenna. It was the nerve-racking first morning in Grade 1. I accompanied my baby to her table, while I tried not to let her see me fight back my own tears. She'd looked so precious in her little school uniform (albeit a hand-me-down from Tharaa). I made conversation, trying to sound excited, when suddenly the cutest, most confident little angel approached her.
"Hello. My name is Jenna. Would you like to be my friend?"
Immediately I was comforted. I knew she would be okay.
So despite the fact that we were holidaying at Goudini on her birthday and were having a very impromptu birthday party the following morning, Nuha insisted that we invite her two darling friends. I found it so embarrassing to spring this last-minute invitation on her friends' mothers, that I insisted my obliging husband make the calls. Luckily, both mommies were such great sports, both agreeing to have their daughters at our place by 11h00 on Saturday morning.
We had already requested that my sister-in-law (who is becoming quite the expert at baking children's party cakes) bake something for Saturday.
Jenna and her mum were the first to arrive. I had never met her mum, so I was a bit nervous doing so (I am regrettably no social butterfly). But I needn't have worried. The mother was as delightful as the daughter is. In no time at all, she was helping to arrange cupcakes on plates, which I greatly appreciated.
Then the cousins and Somaya arrived. The children all hopped into the kids' large 4.5m (diameter) x 1m (height) plastic pool (which fortunately Mo and his assistant, Peter had fixed the night before after a hole in it had caused the entire thing to collapse- sadly causing us to have to watch as an untold amount of precious water flowed freely through the garage, down the little driveway and into the street.
After the kids had had enough of swimming, we served boerewors (sausage) rolls and salads to stave off the hunger until the birthday cake arrived. It was already half past eleven and there was no sign of sis-in-law and the birthday cake.
Since SIL is generally the most punctual person on my side of the family, this was rather surprising. But her tardiness was explained when my brother called asking what time the party was starting. Which is when we had realised that we had completely forgotten to inform them of the time of the party and; hence, when the cake should be here.
This would normally not have been a problem. But since it was New Years eve, we had to wrap up the party earlier than we normally would have; since some of our party guests had had other plans for the evening.
My stress about how to keep the kids occupied until the cake arrived proved unnecessary, since they made their way back into the pool before anyone could stop them.
And then the cake arrived. It was so lovely- it had a picture of a smiling Nuha on the one side; adjacent to a Hello Kitty picture. Covering the sides of the cake was the most delicious icing. And with its moist sponge cake layer, it tasted as good as it looked.
|Oh so yummm!!!|
Then it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Nuha. Despite the fact that she had been looking forward to this part, well practically all year, the poor child squirmed with embarrassment at all the attention she was receiving. Definitely a case of 'like mother like daughter'.
Someone then suggested that she should then open her presents. I am always very uncomfortable at this stage of the party, as children often don't hide very well if they do not particularly like a present. I am particularly uncomfortable when I am one of the persons whose present is being opened by the child. I usually sit there as tense as an Idol's contestant waiting to hear if she's been voted out.
But this time I was more concerned about whether my daughter would be gracious to thank everyone and display sufficient gratitude, irrespective of whether she liked the presents she was receiving. Luckily she loved everything she got. I heaved a huge sigh of relief.
She had indicated earlier this year that she wanted a bicycle, but hadn't really insisted, knowing that bicycles are quite costly- and she is generally such a considerate sweetheart. So twelve year old Shakeel and ten year old Tharaa convinced her that she would be receiving Moon Dough for her birthday (about which she was excited enough). So imagine her surprise when older brother and sister brought out her present (in the most dramatic fashion, I must add), and it turned out to be her much-coveted bicycle.
|Shyly, on her way to check out her new bicycle|
Her reaction was one of joy, surprise and shyness. She was so overwhelmed that at one stage it looked as if she was actually crying- with joy, I hope (maybe she had really wanted that Moon Dough ???!!)
Overall the day was lovely. I was so pleased at how much she enjoyed her party. She really really deserved it. The little darling is so eager-to-please, and is really the most uncomplaining of my lot. I am so deeply grateful to everyone who made her day so special.
|Who needs a clown at a party when you have Shakeel|