Monthly Archives: March 2011

Ryx turns 3

Note: This is wifey’s account of Ryx’s birthday

After staging a very simple yet successful (and very exhausting) children’s party-cum-feeding program during Ryx’s 3rd birthday, we assumed that the kids in our neighborhood would be anticipating a similar event by next year. (Proving this assumption true earlier than expected will be the subject of another entry.)

 

Never mind that we only served them one “platito-ful” each of pancit , thin slices of marble cake, juice in tetra packs. Never mind that they sat on makeshift benches on the front lawn which Ritche made by propping up slabs of wood on empty milk cans which served as bench “legs.” What made the event a hit was the “unlimited” ice cream courtesy of the sorbetero whom we commissioned a week back to come on that day with his three flavors of ice cream served in small cones. He was the traditional Mamang Sorbetero, except for the fact that instead of pushing a cart, he peddled his frozen delights on a tricycle. The kids really had fun licking the ice cream, with many of them (Ryx was on top of the list) sporting smeared “batang-yagit” faces as the afternoon drew on. With almost 40 kids and only 3 adults about, we didn’t have enough time to wipe him clean every now and then.

 

What also added to the festivities were the parlor games and of course the prizes that were given afterwards, which Ritche masterfully coordinated, with some help from me and Dida. Well, even the most elaborately organized parties have to contend with some children crying, while getting pushed by some other kids. We had our share of that too, Ryx among those who cried “foul!!” He still hasn’t mastered the art of competing in parlor games. But as kids go, these little spats were soon forgotten once they heard the welcome announcement of: “okay, another round of icecream!!”

 

The “party” wound up at past 5pm in the afternoon, with the kids having a last round of ice cream before leaving. By then,  thankfully, our laundry woman, her hubby and daughter were there to give us a hand in tidying up. And some neighborhood dogs did their share too, to the consternation of our dog banty who was tied up as usual and couldn’t give a hand, or a “mouth,” should I say? How did the dogs enter the picture? Well, they ate the pancit which ended up on the front lawn since some of the kids were too little to hold on properly to their paper “platitos.”  So while being jostled by other kids trying to get comfy in the benches, their pancit ended up on the grass. (Yeah, I know, I should have bought bigger paper plates instead. Lesson learned.) I’m not even sure if these kids got second servings of pancit (all I know is that the kaldero was empty afterwards..yes, empty, no leftovers for us to eat for dinner), but they did scramble for second servings of cake and juice. Some were even able to bring home some cake and of course the goodies they got during the parlor games.

 

We actually didn’t know half the names of the kids who were there that day. We know most by face only since they are part of our immediate neighborhood. Nor did we know their parents. Some of them, we just invited as they passed by on the way home from school, when the party was ongoing already. Though it wasn’t the traditional party which involves inviting our grown-up friends/officemates and their kids, and sprucing up our place to make it presentable (that was something which we agreed we didn’t have the budget for, nor the energy to organize), it was certainly a party which made Ryx really really happy. After all, that’s what it should be about, right? – Making the celebrant happy on his birthday!!

P.S.

  • After lying down for a while (I had to rest coz of my pregnancy), I had to get up again to cook spaghetti for dinner, otherwise we would have nothing to eat. Dida was also tasked to take charge of the fried chicken. Surprisingly, everyone said the spaghetti tasted great. Much much better than my usual (not that bad) cooking.  I cooked spaghetti again a couple of weeks later, but was told it wasn’t as good as the batch I cooked during Ryx’s birthday dinner. Maybe exhaustion should be a prerequisite to my culinary ventures. Dida’s friend chicken turned out fine too.
  • We were too occupied with our little guests that we weren’t able to take enough pictures/videos.  I got too worried that some of the smaller kids will get trampled upon during the “pabitin” that the video I was taking got cut in mid-action. But at least I caught on camera when one of them did slip on the somewhat muddy ground after being able to grab some goodies from the pabitin. Hehehe.

 

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Three

Late November last year, my wife received a call from the National Office informing her that there will be a seminar on December of that same year. The tentative schedule was very convenient for a side trip. Aside from that, airfares were selling at a discounted price. Hmmm… So, all factors considered we decided that Ryx and I will go with her. We grabbed the chance of Ryx seeing our relatives in Manila for the first time at a lesser cost. Hehe! It was also agreed that we will not spend anything for the coming 3rd birthday of Ryx since the trip was already our treat to him.

Flash forward to first week of February. We felt a bit guilty about our plan of not celebrating Ryx’s birthday. Wifey thought that Ryx deserved something like a simple celebration. After all, we’ve been so frugal when it comes to him (clothing, toys. etc.) since his day one.

Our plan was to throw a simple party. Since it was our son’s day, the party must be something that he (and us! Budget constraints…. Hehehe!) will enjoy the most! And the best way was to surround him with kids. Now where can we look for kids? Our immediate family (only two kids) were so far far away. Then we spotted some kids passing by. Ting! Question answered. After that we started telling the neighbourhood kids about our mini party. And the buzz spread like wildfire.

Our mind was already fixed. We will be having a feeding-program-sort-of with the neighbourhood kids for his birthday . Our menu? Pancit + a slice of marble cake + juice + unlimited dirty ice cream in cones. Simple, right? But two days before the party, something got me thinking. If we will just invite the kids then feed them, the party would be boring. We need something to liven up the mood. Ting! Games! (There goes our budget… )

A day before the celebration, the search for props was on. I ordered some 10 balloons and bought some which were not inflated yet. Bought ten party hats with Ben 10 (his latest favourite) design, too. Then the palayok and the frame for pabitin. Wifey took charged of the goodies and the prizes for the winners.

We scheduled our mini party at 3pm… just in time when kids are passing by from school on their way home. But as early as 9am when I was about to go and fetch the props and balloons from the store, we already had some visitors knocking at our door. Hehe! I think the kids got too excited that they even forgot that the event was still in the afternoon. Wifey and Dida, her assistant started their chores while I was away As soon as I got back, we attached the prizes in the pabitin and the palayok. Decorating the place followed. Hahaha! It’s a pity that we don’t have enough chairs at home. So we made a makeshift bench for the kids.

Exactly 3pm, kids started showing up. They were still about 300 meters but we can already hear the excitement in their voices. We let them seat for a while before Ryx joined them. Ryx was so happy after seeing his visitors. His expression was priceless. After a while, I gave them a cue for a round of ice cream. In an instant, all the children flocked to Mr. Sorbetero. Ryx included! He didn’t even realize that he was a privilege child. He joined the kids in frenzy.

Ryx also joined in the games. Being among the youngest in the group, Ryx had a hard time in following the mechanics of the game. At one point in the pass the ball game, one rushing kid bumped against Ryx and he got so upset and cried. Fortunately, I was able to calm him down. The statue dance also was funny. Early part of the game, he got surprised when the other kids stopped when the music stopped. But later he got the idea and joined them.

The “feeding” was the hardest part for us – the host. Only three abled body (one actually is pregnant) against almost 40 kids! Just imagine that! While some are behave, there were some who are unruly. Some still needed added attention like they don’t know how to eat alone or they can’t insert the straw of the juice. Whew!

We were so tired after the party. We didn’t realize that preparing a party even as simple as that was so strenuous. I could just imagine if we went our usual way like we did in the past. With our celebration, we didn’t have to dress up properly or tidy up our place or prepare “delicious” food… or spend that much. On top of that, I don’t think Ryx would have a grand time if we didn’t do that. That’s the most important, right?