'Something poofy or something fun?' My daughter and I sat at the dining table with piles of paper and markers scattered out in front of us. The doodles and pointers in the various sheets held testament to the fact that there were some very important decisions that had to be made, starting with the dress. After all it was that time of the year again. The time both she and I had been eagerly waiting for all year; her birthday.
December was still two months away but the wait was getting a bit too exhausting and there was always a lot to be done. Unlike many other moms, who found their kid's birthday rather stressful and a bit too heavy on their pockets, for me it was somewhat the contrary. Well firstly, it was the one time in the year when I got to do all the things I loved the most at one go (conceptualize, plan, organize, shop, write and cook) and secondly unlike those showy extravagant parties with a DJ, pony rides and what not, mine was simple, minimalistic and totally budget-friendly. Agreed, I love my daughter and wouldn't hesitate to go all out when it came to her special day, but how could I forget the poor guy paying for it all, my darling husband.
So like all parties, the first big step was to decide the theme. For me it was a no brainer; a magical Disney princess party. I must be honest here and admit that though I clearly knew that my daughter would be equally happy with some jungle gym theme or a pajama party and was also well informed that according to the parenting bible, it was almost a crime to use your child as an excuse to relive your unfulfilled dreams, I didn't care.
And why should I? I was certain that she would have a blast as it would be a dream come true for any five year old to have her very own special fairy tale party. But especially because I knew this was going to be my one last chance. My little Kindergartener was growing up fast and had even started substituting her play dough and little kitchen sets with virtual tennis and lego friends. I had very little time left and knew it wasn't long before she completely left me and her papa out of the planning committee.
Yes, I admit it. I was guilty as charged. I had always wanted a princess party with magic wands, glittery tiaras and sparkly gowns. I had always thought of it, dreamed of it and craved for it, since the time I saw my very first Disney movie.
It was eons ago. And I still remember that day as if it was only yesterday. I had sat huddled with a friend in her floral printed couch in her fancy English home in London. My little blonde friend had squealed when her mom announced that we could watch 'The Little Mermaid.' I hadn't understood what could have probably evoked such intensity of excitement and thrill. I remember even feeling a bit embarrassed when her mom repeated the title again with a little more gusto lest I hadn't heard it clearly the first time. Little did she knew I had no clue what she was talking about.
But all that was going to change in a matter of minutes. Not only was I going to be some kind of a genius in merpeople and other enchanted mythical creatures under the sea all in the hope of becoming one in the near future to getting entangled in a fairy tale so deep that it would take me twelve years, several heart breaks and a couple of surgeries to realize that my life was going to be far from a magic carpet ride.
But at that moment, I was floored. I remember praying by my bedside the same night, desperately wishing that my boring black locks would one day magically transform into Ariel's flaming red hair; hoping every time I walked past an aquarium peeping into it, in the hope of finding a little friend, who too would remain as loyal to me as little flounder. I remember combing my hair with a fork, proudly calling it a dingle hopper as my mother watched in utmost horror. I remember the times I had flitted around in the 'oh-so-not' pretty pool in my neighborhood pretending to be a little mer princess, flipping whatever little hair I had back then. I also remember the flutter of excitement I felt every time I laid eyes on Prince Eric and how I had made big plans to marry an English boy as I firmly believed that was my only chance at a real first kiss. I remember imagining myself in a puffy sleeved wedding dress but most importantly I remember in believing in the magic of true love.
Years later, as a married woman, I had walked the streets of Kuala Lumpur. I was on my honeymoon and I remember seeing the pirated DVD of 'The Little Mermaid,' displayed on the shops' wooden stands in China town. I remember the same flutter of excitement I had felt. I didn't have my English Prince or a white puffy sleeved wedding dress. But I did have my kiss and I did have my true love.
So here I was, almost twenty three years later since I saw my very first Disney movie; the outcome of my fairy tale ending, sitting right beside me, doodling on her pink birthday invites. And though I was certain that one day she too would have her own dream fairy tale ending to write about, right now, it was time for her to get a sneak peak...
Party fit for a princess!
Though evites are always the easy way out, nothing says royalty more than a hand delivered scroll with a magic wand
Every princess needs a little make up station
A few pink balloons and streamers are all you need to transform any room into a page straight out of a fairy tale...
A cardboard castle, passing the poisoned apple, and placing the tiara on Rapunzel; just a few things to keep the little princesses busy
A princess cake, cupcakes topped with edible tiaras and pizza: They maybe royalty but when it comes to food, keep it simple!