Thursday, September 27, 2007

The First Birthday

So this time last year I was lying in a nursing-home bed, looking at my baby with a mixture of awe, fascination, love and loathing. A year on, he continues to inspire the same ghastly mixture in me.

The Bhablet turned a year old yesterday, and this was his cake:

Yes, I chose it, and yes, he liked it. He attacked it with a spoon before I could maneuver the cake-knife into his grubby little paw, and while I was trying to prevent him from carving the head up with that teaspoon, he sneakily attacked the plaque wishing him a happy birthday with his other hand. Luckily, my aunt (Cousin T's mother, in whose house the first leg of the happy event was celebrated) thrust a paper napkin between his icing-smeared fingers and so he ended up wiping his hand willy-nilly. Hah!

I don't seem to have any photo of the birthday boy himself, so here is one of us before the funeral last week:

Yes, that is a FabIndia kurta-churidar outfit.

The birthday itself was rather hectic. What with the crazy cyclonic rains we have been having since the weekend, I had been maidless for three consecutive days. So I was faced with the task of doing all the housework, the cleaning and the cooking. Our garage was flooded and the car alarm system ruined once more the previous night so Ally was parked in front of our place. Given that this is the season of thefts (with Pujo approaching) we left our windows open so as to keep an eye on her. With the cold breeze blowing in The Bhablet picked up a nasty cold and stayed up most of the night. Kept us up as well, of course.

Then the poor kid was fed khichdi which was too hot and burnt his mouth, so what with the ensuing meltdown and trying to figure out what else could be given to him without putting him in further pain, the afternoon pretty much fled.

We cut the cake at my great-aunt's, since she wouldn't obviously come to a party so soon after her bereavement. It was a quiet affair, with close family. My mother had made payesh (of which The Bhablet deigned to have a few spoonfuls) and we brought radhaballabi and alur dum for snacks. Diya (Cousin T's other grandmother) brought some little cakes. The Bhablet received a lot of gifts, including some money.

The next phase was at the in-laws' place. V's mother is still rather delicate, what with last week's surgery, so we took the remaining half of the cake and spent a couple of hours there. Dinner was Chinese, from the Anwar Shah Hong Kong (if you know what I mean). The Bhablet played with his grandparents and great-aunt (V's favourite mashi) and dined off a Gerber's chicken noodle dinner as a special treat. That and some more cake, of course.

The last phase was at Cousin J's place. This aunt of mine (my favourite, although we fight a lot, she and I) also happens to be The Bhablet's best beloved relative. They meet the most often and she is my baby-sitter when required. She couldn't come over for the cake-cutting because she wasn't keeping too well, so we dropped in at their place for half an hour. With the head of that blessed snake, which is all that remained of the cake by now.

Home sometime before 11, all exhausted. The Bhablet was given some paracetamol and Timinic and packed off to bed.

In the end, I think he had a happy birthday. He got to meet all his favourite people and played lots. He got, among other things, a rocking-horse, a new sweater set with lovely knitted shoes (not booties), clothes and toys. The gift that went down the best deserves a post to itself, so I won't mention it here now. When I had just finished uploading the second photo the power went off at our place so we are now at Uncle Tom's and I'm trying to finish this post. I have to send in my column tomorrow morning and have no idea how that is going to happen. Sigh.

The things I do for you all.


Rimi said...

Tewkewt cake it is :-) Much hugs and cuddles to the Bhaeblet!

In other enquiry, what is Gerber's chicken noodle?

Moppet's Mom said...

Happy Budday to The Bhablet, looking all grown up in that kurta!

Smashing cake, too! :-)

RJ said...

Happy Birthday to The Bhablet.

Btw, very nice kurta and looking forward to your other post.

Mona said...

ohhh, i love the cake. that is the cutest caterpillar i've seen. it can't be a snake. i hate snakes and snake cake? really? nope, it's a caterpillar.
and his kurta is smashing! does fab india have cute stuff for baby girls too?

~nm said...

Wonderful! The cake looks awesome!!

I don't know of any place in Delhi who makes such fancy cakes!

The kurta looks real good! I've also been buying lot of Kurta's from fab India for our son and I really love the collection that you get there!

Squiggles Mom said...

Happy Birthday Bhablet! You've grown up to be such a heart breaker :). You look absolutely smashing in your cute little kurta. Hope you're feeling better now.

Hey Sue - Give the aching limbs a break :).

Poppins said...

Oh I missed it !! Happy Birthday Cuteheart.. And that was a really smashing birthday celebration !

Gauri said...

Belated Happy Birthday to the Bhablet :-)

He looks smashing in his kurta outfit.

Just Like That said...

Happy B'day to The Bhablet who makes you such a jumble of emotions! :-D.

Nice kurta and unique cake. I loathe worms, so you know now how much I like your posts.;-D

LOL at the way the last line popped out. And yeah, we sure appreciate all the things you do for us.

D said...

The cake is very cute!
And I'm pleasantly surprised at these first birthday celebrations. In my part of the world (read country), first birthdays are celebrated at a scale that would match a grand wedding. And people turn up in all their finery, like at the big fat Indian wedding. The child, to me, seems the least important of all people on that day because I don't believe 1-yr-olds can enjoy the company of so many strangers who will pull their cheeks and go "Cho chweet!"
So, I loved the idea such a personal celebration!

the mad momma said...

anyone who shares me birthday has to be cute and will definitely grow up to be very great :p

i love the fabindia kurta. now i hope you stopped robbing his lego bricks. cruel parents.

SUR NOTES said...

happy birthday to the one year old baby and the one year old mommy!

good you all ate the body first or then you'd be walking around with a headless caterpillar through the rain soaked streets of cal. loveliest cake i have ever seen!

First Rain said...

Happy budday Bhaebs! :D Have many more such nice n smashing budday's!

And way to go for the cake! Hugs!

DotMom said...

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Bhablet,
Happy Birthday to you!!!

Lots of hugs and kisses to you.

and to Bhablet's mom: What a year it must have been... now the real fun will start:)

dipali said...

Eagerly awaiting my next meeting with the birthday boy and his mom.
He's looking so very cute in his Fabindia outfit

Anitha said...

Happy Birthday to The Bhablet. Cute outfit and a unique cake. I agree with Mona. It looks more like a caterpillar than a snake. And what was that BEST present? Can't wait for your next post.

Rohini said...

That sounded like an eventful birthday. Happy Birthday, Bhaeblet.

*rushes off to search the shelves of FabIndia*

Mystic Margarita said...

Happy Birthday to the Bhablet - he looks like the heartbreaker he is in that kurta set. Loads of hugs and cuddles for him. :)

Planethalder said...

Your sari is lovely.

Sue said...

All -- Thanks for the wishes and the compliments. :) This one's a snake, not a caterpillar. Caterpillars don't have forked tongues!

Rimi -- Baby food. Incredibly expensive imported stuff my father insists on buying him.

Mona -- Fab India has lovely stuff for girls. Coming to India any time soon? Want me to shop for Hana? :)

NM -- I prefer the fancy cakes at Flurys or The Tea Table, to tell you the truth. My own childhood cakes were from Flurys and they were more fun, in the way of surprise sweets and marzipan. Next year!

Squiggle's Mom -- I'm trying to. Breaks just don't seem to come naturally. I meant to get an early night tonight, since V's away. instead, I found myself re-organising his workspace...

JLT -- :)

D -- There's a story behind this. We were expected to put up a grand show. Will tell later.

MM -- Yes, I notice you also have modesty in common.

Dotmom -- Thank you so much (I don't think)!

Dipali -- Yes, I think the craziness is finally slowing down. Now the only thing I have to do are are rehearsals. Want to meet next week?

Rohini -- You mean you haven't been there already??

Planethalder -- Thanks, it's a Dhonekhali.

karmickids said...

He looks absolutely adorable, Am going to get the brat a similar kurta pyjama now....Happy Birthday dear bhablet, and how scrumptious you look all grown up....

Sunita said...

A very happy birthday to Bhablet. I see I am late to the party.
Wishing the lil one loads of happiness and good health

Kodi's Mom said...

so late to this - but HAPPY BIRTHDAY darling! September babies rock, I tell ya! :) Kurta looks fab on him!

Sue said...

Kiran -- Oh yes. I went to FabIndia prepared to be bored but they have lovely shirts and kurtas.

Sunita -- Thanks!

Kodi's Mom -- Really? Who else is a September baby?

Kodi's Mom said...

the one that my blog revolves around!

Dhruva said...

My salute and greetings to the Bhablet, our lord and master.

Mona said...

we have fabindia in dubai and i'm trying to remeber if they have a kids section here, but i don't think so.
i'll go check it out. and mostlikely my next trip to india will be a year or two from now.

choxbox said...

a very belated happy birthday to the lil one and congratulations to you for surviving one whole year!