So, my son is going to turn two in 1.5 months and it is already giving me nightmares.Not because we would officially enter the "terrible twos" stage (unofficially, we are very much there), but because there is incredible peer pressure to host a birthday party.
With that, let me enlighten the fortunate souls who are yet to have a child. Every parent, with an increasing percentage of disposable income, are ready to spend most of their savings on the apple(s) of their eyes. Combine that with a creative parent and a realm of opportunities opens up. For example, there was this lady whose four year old son liked "Chota Bheem (CB)" (yes, the cartoon character). So, she hired a decorater, leased a hall, included some lifesize scenaries, characters, games, arranged for a giant themed cake, return gifts and dresses (but of course).
And then, there are moms on the other end of the spectrum - those who think they are above such cliches, and hold creative parties - making their own cupcakes, creative activities for kids at home (like organising a finger painting contest) or outside (like workshop-parties where all the kids are invited to a toy/pottery workshop). The possibilities are endless.
Next year, the parents say the obvious - I dont know how I can outdo "that" party.
The kids say the obvious - I want something better.
Needless to say, the bank balance mutters the obvious too.
And this is where the heart of the issue is. Worse than competing with other moms for a beautiful birthday party is competing with previous party-thrown selves.
We attracted a lot of flake for not hosting a party for our one year old (apart from the traditional homam). And I am sure that we will attract more so for not intending to throw a party this year as well, and for opting for a boring idea of taking him to a zoo or a lake or an adoption drive, because that seems to be very much in tune with our whimsical son's idea of fun, instead of cakes, screaming/fighting kids, non-stop talking ladies (read - me) and hassled elders (also me).
As Ashwin, my partner in crime, put it, "The only reason I can think of giving a party is because everyone else is doing it." And we can safely agree, that's not reason enough.