I survived my daughter’s birthday party!

My daughter Divya just turned 4 and we celebrated her birthday on Sunday with a party at home for a dozen of herDivyacake
friends. A few of their parents were over too, so we had quite a full house. The kids had a good time, and everything went fairly well, so I really shouldn’t have any complaints. But I do …

Why does so much food have to be wasted? The kids ate the pizza well, though a few left the crust on their plates, which isn’t surprising. But when it came to the cake, forget about it. Several of the kids ate the icing and nothing else, making me wonder if I should have just put four candles on a big tub of icing. Maybe I could have given each of them a bowl of icing.

Why do kids have to get so many gifts? I really would have preferred it if my daughter didn’t receive a dozen gifts all at once. Two or three gifts are sufficient. Anything more and she loses interest really quickly. A few of the gifts will inevitably end up at the bottom of the large heap in the toy room, not to be seen until 2010, when my kids conduct their next major excavation. Did I mention that kids today are just too spoiled?

Why do toys have so much packaging? I have two complaints on this front. First, I needed a circular saw and a sledgehammer to break into some of these packages. Not only were the dolls encased in plastic, their arms and legs were tied to a board. Someone in the factory was apparently concerned that the dolls might escape. My second complaint has to do with all the work involved in getting rid of the packaging. I tried to recycle as much as I could, without getting obsessive, but still managed to produce more trash than The Jerry Springer Show. Well, almost.

Our house was sparkling clean right before the party, now it’s ready to be declared a federal disaster area. Oh well, at least we won’t be having another birthday party for two months, enough time to get the place cleaned up again.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. RamadasMannattil says:

    That was a nice one mate.. Regarding the Barbie getting encased in plastic and tied to the board.. I asked in Woolworths here and they told me that it is to discourage shop lifters..by the time the shop lifter tries to unpack the doll he would be spotted on camera and grabbed.

  2. You are so right, why should kids get presents? Why do kids have to have birthday parties, even? Why do they have to be born? KIDS. 😑

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