My littlest turns 3 on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year and in the midst of this apocalyptic craziness that happens once a year – cleaning, packing, stocking up, stashing food – I have almost forgotten all about it.
The older two both had a party thrown for them when they turned 3. I’m not an indulgent mom that throws a party for my kids every year, but I did tell myself that the kids should at least have a party at 1 (to thank well-meaning friends and relatives, and to celebrate making it through a year), at 3 (well, at least the kid is now aware of what’s happening and can really get excited about candle-blowing and the notion of having a party), at 6 (before P1!) and one at 12 (before the kid journeys into adolescence).
Or so I thought I would, but Nat turns 3 in 4 days’ time and Ben turns 6 next week, and I haven’t made any plans to throw them any parties.
These days running a business means working Mondays to Sundays, and every night from 10 pm to 1 am. The time I spend with my kids talking (and many times lecturing) is when we are in the car going to school and travelling home, and when we see each other again at dinner and tuck-in. What little energy that is left is spent reading bedtime stories and micro-managing all the small stuff in their lives – Consent forms for field trips! Parents’ newsletter from kindy! Mama, I need to start collecting toilet rolls for craft! Mama, my hair’s all tangled, can you tie for me? Mama, can we do colouring tomorrow? Mama, buy strawberry milk we don’t like chocolate milk anymore, eww! – that the last thing I want to do is to think about party venue, decor, food and guest lists.
I’m feeling a little sorry for my youngest because he is the apple of my eye and the baby love to his siblings and he’s not getting a party. Three years ago, this darling was born after I had two suppositories inserted to induce my labour at 37 weeks. His arrival meant that our family is finally complete – since Fatherkao and I had always wanted to have three kids. We’ve had much more laughter ever since he came into our lives and rocked our world, and the trio of Kao kids has clocked hundreds of happy hours playing and having a blast together every day since he started joining them in all the fun.
Nat’s born with this ability of endearing himself to anyone. Those huge eyes and that innate manja-ness are the reasons why anyone would love – and give in to – him. I find my resolve always melting into nothingness when it comes to him, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that with him all those principles I followed regarding discipline and training are thrown out of the window most of the time. Thankfully, the other half is more balanced and objective and doesn’t get swayed by those charming goldfish eyes.
This baby of mine turns three in four days.
How fast he has grown.
How much he has grown.
And even though we’re not having a party, we would definitely be spending the day having HIS idea of fun.
Which is to be together – korkor, jiejie, Mama, Dada and him – the whole day long.
Happy 3rd birthday, my Glutinous Rice Ball. You’ll always have my elbow to pinch so you can fall asleep, my tummy to blow raspberries into for a hearty laugh, and my legs to cling on to when you’re afraid.