Once upon a time the celebrations of my daughter’s birthday were so simple! Ordering a cake cooking few dishes, decorating home and entertaining the tiny guests! That was the time until this bug of surprise birth day party bit our family!
Few years back I axed my own feet by deciding to surprise my daughter on her birthday. Yes, we had a blast at midnight. I brought the cake in the evening, and was able to hide it behind loads of utensils and vegetables in the already overloaded fridge. At 12:00 AM sharp, we entered her room playing the happy birth day song! She was surprised! We brought her to the drawing room where the cake was waiting along with a pretty dress as a birthday gift! In short, the surprise birthday party was a great success and our daughter was very happy and thankful to us as evident from her face.
But wait! The story does not end here; rather what followed this party is what I want to tell you!
After this surprise party, my daughter (along with her father and brother) dutifully started returning the favour by spoiling my sleep on my birthdays in the name of party (isn’t it difficult to pretend to sleep while fully knowing that you family is cooking a khichadi of surprise?)
Also, she started expecting the surprise party every year. Well, we are not the old fashioned parents (like our own parents, who in all probability would slap the child on being awakened at midnight for a meagre reason like birthday which comes every year) but the problem is how you can keep the party surprise, when you know that the person to be surprised is already expecting it?
Over the years, I have realized that these surprise parties have become such a routine thing that we don’t even have to work hard to keep them secret! Like, this year when I told my daughter on a day before her birthday that I had to go to market to buy my slippers and she should study at home, she happily agreed with a smile! When my 8 year old son started overacting in an effort to supress his excitement; rather than trying to draw a hint from it, the birthday girl changed the topic in order to help the poor parents protect the surprise.
When her brother expressed his wish to sleep with parents, she agreed. On top of it all, she went to sleep like a good girl (which is very unlikely in normal circumstances) giving us enough time for preparations!
When it was ten minutes to 12, my husband pointed out that we had forgotten to bring the candle. After a thorough search operation, I found out a small half burnt candle, the condition of which showed how faithfully it had been performing its duty in these surprise parties for many years!
And then, when we were waiting for the cuckoo clock to coo 12 times, I realized that I did not have the birthday song in my new phone! I searched for the old phone and as per murphy’s law, found it totally discharged! When put on charging, I found that the song was somehow deleted from it(again murphy’s law)! I searched my laptop for the loud and lively Disney birthday song which had helped me awaken my daughter from her tight sleep previously. After transferring it to phone, when all three of us proceeded to her room singing Happy birthday in a perfectly discordant tune, just as we opened the door, suddenly my touch phone started playing,” Jab bhi ye dil udaas hota hai….” We ran back, set the right song on the phone and re-entered her room.
Upon entering the room, we spotted her hiding her hairbrush before starting to act to sleep. The mobile on her pillow stated that she might be reading the happy birthday messages from her over enthusiastic friends.
But she managed to bring a surprise expression on her face and came out to drawing room with a “WOW”!
When after cake cutting ceremony and photo session, she expressed her gratitude for the surprise party, I could not stop myself from saying,” beta, please stop acting now! I know how eagerly you were waiting for this party! That’s why you are wearing this T shirt instead of your faded night suit! I even know that you were brushing your hair when we entered the room!”
“Yes I was! I was pretending to sleep while watching your actions silently! You could not keep it a surprise! Papa even asked me for the thread, it was a simple guess that he was searching for the thread for the balloon! And now that it’s official that I knew it, let me tell you that you people were late by 10 minutes in wishing me. “
My husband said,” What? A thread? Oh, it was not for balloons; rather I was killing time by repairing the bolt of bathroom door! It seems that you were so engrossed in your surprise party thoughts that you linked it with the party!”
As we all recounted the whole series of errors amid laughter while enjoying the cake, my daughter told me,” never mind Mamma Papa! So what if I smelled it this time? Try to keep this party a surprise Next time!”
I laughed again as I told her,” beta, this party has become such a routine thing now that you are expecting it every year. I think the only way we can surprise you is by not making any midnight celebrations!”
“No way! You cannot stop this now! I love this surprise birthday party, despite the surprise element missing in it!”