Whenever I review the photo collage of my little girl, from photos snapped every month since birth, I am amazed how much she has grown.
From a chubby and cheerful baby, she is now a lanky girl and a chatterbox. She counts to 10, has quite a wide vocabulary and is able to string words into short sentences in three different languages – English, Bahasa Malaysia and a smattering of Mandarin. She loves reading, dancing, singing, pretend cooking and playing with her baby dolls and soft toys.
Having delivered my newborn on June 1, my hands are full. On the one hand, I am overjoyed with the new arrival but on the other hand I feel somewhat sad to have little one-to-one time with Baby Cat. I used to spend all my time with her over the past two years but our “just us” time has reduced tremendously.
Having nursed Baby Cat since birth, I yearn to develop the same closeness with my second baby. But I shudder at having to tend to two very young children simultaneously.
My mother was wise to allow big gaps between the me and my siblings. I could run and jump before my sister was born and do much more when our brother emerged. The gap between my brother and I is so wide that many thought I was his mother when he was an infant! (That, however, pales in comparison to my age gap experienced by a former schoolmate. I visited her at home after she gave birth to a son. Her mother, whom I had not previously met, was carrying a tiny baby. I congratulated my friend and gushed, “Your baby is so chubby and cute!” “He is my brother. My baby is two weeks older,” she explained and laughed.)
Since Baby Cat will lose her special position as the only child, I decided to throw a memorable birthday party for her.
All I needed was an appropriate venue, a reliable caterer and a creative baker.
Play gym fun
Jungle Gym, a play gym safe for young children was the ideal venue. Our guests released their little ones to explore and have fun with the various toys and equipment and make a mess while they relaxed, chatted and enjoyed the food. The good thing is I didn’t have to clean up later.
We have always engaged Just Heavenly to bake novelty cakes for all our special occasions. Last year, we ordered a Star Wars-themed cake with BB-8 for Baby Cat’s first birthday.
Pictures taken of the birthday girl with her extra-terrestrial cake are out of this world.
Just Heavenly craftsmanship
Just Heavenly’s craftsmanship was so marvellous that we presented Baby Cat’s cousin, Alandra, who is two months younger, with a cake designed like a Hawaiian hula girl for her birthday last year.
Naturally I engaged them again this time around.
We asked Baby Cat for her favourite characters and she said Elmo of Sesame Street and dinosaur. “Elmo riding a dinosaur!”, quipped her creative dad. So that was the theme.
A few other characters, namely Abby, Cookie Monster and Murray, made it to the two-tiered chocolate and butter cake. Born on May 4 (Star Wars day) her dad had declared her a Star Wars Baby at birth and so their favourite astromech droid BB-8 earned its appearance on this year’s cake as well.
Creative Sandra, who is in-charge of novelty cakes, drew a sketch of our cake so much to our liking that we also ordered cupcakes, cake pops, cookies and macaroons with our selected Sesame Street characters for the party packs.
I am confident of Just Heavenly’s restaurant as I frequent it. Having them cater lunch and food for the kids with drinks and their team volunteering to prepare the party packs made my job easier.
Tiffany, who heads their catering service, helped me with food selection and the ground team members Cha, Saddam and a few waiters set up the party venue that day.
I have organised numerous functions but this was my first attempt at children’s birthday party. Thankfully, it was a success. Everyone had fun – the children running, jumping and sliding in the play gym while the adults mingled and indulged in the delicious spread of food. All these memorable moments were captured by professional photographer Andrew Khoo.
The party came to a close after the birthday girl blew out the candles and cut the cake for all to share.
On her actual birthday, Baby Cat took a cute cake with a small Elmo figurine to school to celebrate with her classmates.
She was so thrilled with blowing out the candles that she was given the honour to do it on her dad’s birthday two weeks later.
Come next May, the father and our two little girls can celebrate their birthdays together. I am inclined to order a huge three-tiered cake for them with different flavours and designs for each layer according to their personal liking.
I suppose the best day to hold the party in the month of May would be on Mothers Day!
> The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.