Bobo was invited for two birthday parties last weekend.
I was quite kicked.
If someone asked me about my plans, I could finally complain ‘you know. Need to chaperone my son from one party to the next’.
I had heard this excuse for years and years all the while gritting my teeth. Somehow parents who said it thought they were superior creatures (though of course, they were just boring). It was nice to test out the chance for being superior.
In the end, I had to cut short a lunch we were having with my friends in order for Bobo to make it the party.
I did not feel superior when I excused myself. Just boring.
The party itself was good fun though. Bobo’s new found love for other kids means he is thrilled to be amongst them even if he just ignores them. The venue was also a play area, with plenty of toys all of which Bobo proceeded to test out one by one. He pushed cars into walls. He chewed the fake ice cream cones in the mini-kichenette. He went through mini-tunnels suited for human beings of 4 feet and below. I followed him, bent over and feeling like Goliath.
Yesterday, I accompanied Bobo to another party. This one was in a plain and simple function room without childproofing or toys. D was not with me. That left me as the sole adult responsible for Bobo and I realised that it can be quite a strain.
Bobo likes to practice his walking at every opportunity and even as I kept a hawk-like eye on him, he ran to the nearest coffee table and shook it. A plate of chips on it sprayed the floor. I rushed over, noticed the birthday boy’s mother rushing over and I apologized while bending over to pick up the chips. The bboy’s mother held onto Bobo and cooed to him ‘oh, you are allowed to eat chips is it?”
“No. He is not” I stood up immediately knocking a couple of more chips. Not that I cared any more.
There was Bobo thoughtfully masticating a chip.
Ever since Bobo started solids we have been avoiding salt in his food. Baring things like idli and bread, we have taken the effort to cook small portions for him separately without salt. This is based on a new-fangled theory about sodium not being good for below one year olds.
We moved on and his friend A made an appearance. A is a sweet and thin 2.5 year old girl who is quite fond of Bobo. She beamed at him, proceeded to lift him and give him a hug and then unable to carry dropped him on the floor. Bobo crashed down spectacularly face forward as I watched. Luckily with A being tiny herself, it was not a worrisome height to fall from. In a while, the parties involved had been calmed and ‘hi-fi’s given.
So far I had let my kid make a mess, not stopped him from getting hurt and not had a single conversation with an adult that I did not know or lasted more than two minutes.
I wanted some food and conversation.
Tucking Bobo firmly under my arm, I hand him a piece of a cheese sandwich and loaded my plate with some chocolate cake. The host then introduced me to one of the guests, a professor. I began to chat about the relative merits of professoring in the U.S. and Singapore while chomping away.
Ah. This was more like it.
Then a tiny hand came into my range of vision, dipped its hand into the cream on the cake in my plate and disappeared. I looked towards Bobo to note his face smeared with cream.
So, the whole avoid-salt exercise mentioned earlier? Included a no-sugar subcomponent too.
We were planning to introduce both salt and sugar once he turned one.
But apparently Bobo had decided to take matters into his own hands. Literally.
I guess what is a birthday party without cake and chips? With that, I ate more cake, wiped the remaining cake from Bobo’s hands and decided it was time to make a quick exit.