This conversation probably happened over 20 years ago.
- Me: Mummy did I celebrate my first birthday?
- Mummy: Yes you did. It was a big party.
- Me: So, how come there are no pictures (not even one).
- Mummy: Can you imagine, the photographer said all the negative film that he used on that day got destroyed
- Me: Oh that's so sad.
I've always believed that was the truth. But now I'm actually really wondering if it was one of those things my mum just said to me, to stop my persistent questions.
I'll have to ring her up asap to get the true answer.
My elder brother had a huge party. With a guitar cake. In his white shirt and red shorts, bow tie and his little white and red shoes, he looked really cute - but not so happy to be there. He must have preferred to be sleeping. The other older kids at the party looked excited though. No, I wasn't there - but thankfully, I saw pictures.
As children, most of the parties we attended, were 1 year old's parties. We didn't really care much for the child, and trust me in many cases the child didn't care much for it as well. But we loved getting dressed, the games, the food (definitely the party Jollof rice!) and the party packs.
I hadn't been to a first birthday party in ages. As a young adult, it definitely got boring for me. But now, I guess I'm at the stage where my friends are having kids and so more parties.
I've attended two now in the past few months. The first one was pretty huge, in a rented hall with a theme for the day. The cakes, party packs, décor - everything was so pretty. It could have passed for a mini wedding. I was tempted to collect some party packs for my unborn kids. I didn't. Unfortunately, the poor birthday boy looked like he'll rather be sleeping.
The second one was smaller - held pretty much in the living room. But still cakes, party packs and amazing food were present. The poor kid again cried a lot and had zero interest. His elder sister had so much fun with his gifts!
So, in most cases we can agree that the celebrant doesn't remember the day at all, they don't eat the food or the cake, they don't use the party packs, and the party is probably really not for them. Also large parties are probably expensive. Non-advocates suggest putting the money away for the child.
On the other hand, memories are everything. We celebrate milestones and this is definitely a huge one. It's also not just about the child but also about the parents and friends. So why shouldn't you celebrate in a huge way?
I find that although many parents go all out for the first child, the celebrations get smaller with the subsequent kiddos.
I think I'm tilting towards small cute parties - themed, small crowd and a professional photographer! Can't have any child doubting my truthfulness.
Whether or not there'd be a party, I'll definitely have a photo shoot, and/or do something cute to remember the day!
What do you think - Did your parents celebrate your first birthday party? Did you already / are you planning to celebrate that of your kids - In a big, small or moderate way? Share your ideas... I promise I won't steal them.
Happy Children's Day to all the amazing kiddies out there! And to the rest of us, it's okay to release your inner child sometimes!