Rahul celebrated his fourth birthday a day early with a wee banana cake for him to cut at school and cupcakes and cheese straws from Cal Club and orange Tang (courtesy Dadu) for his classmates in lieu of goodie bags. Baking the wee cake was rather traumatic what with a series of oven disasters (that YFMY, I tell you!) but his teachers were kind enough to say it tasted good. Here it is, before and after a coat of supremely garish yellow icing. He had four little racecars for candleholders alongside but I don't have any photographs of all that because it happened at school.
He celebrated once more with an insect-themed party on that Saturday morning. I had a great time looking up ideas on the 'net and even managed to implement a few. Vicky, on some coaxing, designed invitation cards (soft as well as hard versions) that were duly sent out to friends and classmates. The work is all his, including the funny, apt lines.
He also designed placemats as a return gift for each child, an idea of Aunty Kiran's that gelled rather well with the spoons that Giga had bought for this express purpose last December!
Before gift wrapping and packing in homemade newspaper bags, I taped a spoon and some 3D insect stickers on to each mat. What I really liked was how Vicky managed to fit in the story as well as most of the pertinent pictures from The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a book that has been a huge favourite of Rahul's ever since Aunty Cee sent it to him two years (?) ago.
Not all the invitees turned up but the ones who did managed to fill our small flat to bursting. From grandparents
to the mama (my brother)
to people like Dipali, Evie and M4 with her duo. (No pics for privacy reasons, I'm afraid.) Ratul brought his mum and charmed the company, as he did the last year. I have no idea how any child of Dr D's can be quite so beautiful. All credit can and does go to Mrs Dr D.
To Rahul's intense excitement, Chinkydidi came along. Unfortunately, his excitement precluded him from wanting to be photographed. After all, all these kids were playing with his toys. Not the time for posing with mothers!
I'd settled for a 2 hour party from 11 am to 1 pm. Around noon almost everybody had come -- Taishan and his folks came late and I can't find any photographs of them or of "Sheejan", Rahul's very best friend from school who turned up with his grandfather despite not being very well and whose appearance was greeted with even more excitement than before, ending with Rahul lying flat on the ground from sheer euphoria -- and by then everybody had had some tea/coffee. So I started herding them towards the cake.
Kim the Caterpillar was made for me by my mother and aunts for my 6 or 7th birthday. Ma managed to actually dig her cookbook out in time for me to figure out how to replicate their efforts. It's not a patch on the original but I thought she looked rather nice, all the same. You can see the step-by-step creation here. Two ring cakes (sponge bundts) sliced in half and aranged in a wave, then iced with buttercream in sections and decorated with biscuits and Gems.
To the right are the candy snakes I saw by chance at the mall. Guess who loved them the most? Dipali and Evie! Rahul spent much of the first hour trying to sneak off with one. I told him he had to wait until his guests arrived so the appearance of almost every guest needed a fresh explanation as to why he couldn't have them just yet!
There were also egg and lettuce sandwiches made by my mum, mac'n'cheese, 'worm cakes' with honey (buttermilk pancakes piped into worm shapes, with raisin eyes), popcorn, tutti frutti ice cream (Rahul fell in love with 'orange' ice cream in Shillong), chicken patties and mushroom-corn cups from Cal Club and apple juice, orange Tang and lemonade. The idea was to arrange the sandwiches as butterflies and macaroni is known as pasta poka (pasta insects) in the house but I ran out of enthu.
I loved how all the kids got together and blew the candles out. As a kid I remember all of us being rather proprietal towards this part of our respective parties.
I was a bit worried as to whether M4's EO and Chinky would not find the party a bit childish what with me not providing any games or anything, but they seemed to have a merry old time with the toys. EO charmed the old Thomas the Tank Engine set out of me and even got me to give him permission to paint my fridge!
He extended his painting skills, this time with actual paint and not just water, to the box -- but I drew the line when he asked if he could paint his younger brother! It was a great party and Rahul got lovely gifts, all of them. Thank you guys for making it so much fun and thank you Evie and Dipali for the photographs. :) Oh, and Vicky, thanks for all the unwilling Photoshopping.