I reach his house on the dot of 5pm (thinking that rightfully children's party should be betwen 5pm to 7pm) but the kid is still in his nappy’s. His birthday suit was brought the last minute and his pants were long, so his mom had gone back to the shore to do some alteration. He is dressed in his new shirt and a nappy. Cute!
“Happy Birthday dearest Hirankh” I say handing him his birthday gift. He slaps the gift few times and then throws it aside. (what does he care if I braved the heavy rains and spend thirty full minutes at a toy store searching an approriate gift which is educational and musical, quite suitable for his age- a musical tea-set which sings different rhymes every time you pour out the content from the kettle into the cups)
“Won’t you open the gift and see what I got you” I say, he looks at me and grins,takes another small plastic toy and stuffs it in his mouth. He just has two teeth up and two teeth down and he is always putting things in his mouth.(to stop the itching perhaps)
I start to sing a nursery rhyme, “twinkle, twinkle, little star…” he gets interested. I have been singing this same poem since last six months with actions and now he had learnt to recognize it and imitates my gestures for this poem.
I feel good that he is responding and want to sing more nursery rhymes, but the little master with short attention span, soon he is bored and shifts his attention to more plastic toys to stuff into his mouth.
His mom returns from the store and dresses him up and he is ready for his friends. He crawls to the hall which is decorated with lots of baloons and streamers.
His first guest, a 14-months-old, arrives at 6pm, one hour late. A loud music to full volume is played and both the kids shake heads and hands as they sit opposite each other.
Soon more friends arrive, all under five-years old. All shy at first, hiding behind their mom’s legs but with little nudging they start to smile and are attracted by the basket full of toys kept in the middle of the room.
Hirankh loves kids and he is gurgling and babbling, happy to be amongst so many kids around him. He rolls on the floor, tries to stand up, falls, stands up again, shakes his head and enjoys the music. They play with soft toys, kicking ball, squeezing the noisy toys and jumping on a bean bag. The care-takers stand at a small distance, alert, watching the kids while mothers discuss the likes and dislikes of their children.
Potato wafers and smiley-shaped snacks are served and all kids move to the centre table, nibbling the wafers and dropping some on the floor. Its 7pm and the party has just begun.
The party goes on till 8 pm when the birthday baby cuts the cake.
This was a fun party where I enjoyed one-year-olds interacting with each other…….