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!!
- 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.