Birthday parties are one of the most well-remembered events of childhood, and I didn't want my son to miss out on his just because we decided to move here, so I recently organised a party for him. His birthday is actually in August but I thought I would wait until he'd made friends at his new school (I suspect this is an excuse for procrastination but never mind). We invited the whole class and some friends from his previous school too.
Luckily there are venues here for this kind of thing. We chose this one in the end, though others were recommended. We were going for all the least painful options, so catering was provided by KFC and cakes by a local firm. My days of slaving over a mixing bowl, lovingly making birthday cakes are log over, I'm afraid!
Anyway, the bought-in creations were far better than anything I could have managed.
|This character needs no introduction.|
The event gave my son's teacher another opportunity to demonstrate her angel-sent-from-heaven status. All of the children in my son's class wanted to come but most of them couldn't because their parents were working, so their teacher volunteered to come to school on a Saturday and escort them there with us.
These events are always a little stressful. The bus' failure to appear really didn't help matters. We bundled into three taxis and got there a little late. One little girl was sick in the taxi and the taxi driver wanted $300 to clear up the mess. Fair enough. I paid him. This was not the time to quibble.
The kids immediately launched into play. The venue was set up with all kinds of activities that mimicked real life, such as little shops with pretend goods, a small doctor's surgery, a police station and officer's uniform (I was issued with several fines - I'm not sure what for, I suspect police corruption) and a large house frame with empty walls to fill in with blocks.
The children were amazingly well-behaved. They just played, very nicely. There was no squabbling over toys, no fights, no throwing things around. I was worried about crowd control with about 20 children in a confined space, but there was no need for concern at all. I think the teacher's presence may have helped somewhat too.
Us parents could lounge on sofas and chat, so we did just that. We were served several pretend teas, which were of course delicious. In the meantime we agreed about how nice birthday parties were when someone else provided the venue, did the catering, and tidied up after for you.
I think for my son the only downside was having to wait until Happy Birthday was sung to him three times in Chinese and three times in English before he could blow out his candles. Other than that he, and all the other children too, it seemed, had a great time.