Last year Ashvin wanted his birthday party at Chuck E Cheese’s (Seattle). Personally I do not like that place but kids seem to love it. For me it is a little too crowded with below average pizzas and too many flashy lights but kids seem to love that too. Ashvin really wanted his party there. When he first mentioned it I tried my best to talk him into other options. I talked about the zoo and the bouncy place; I tried to sell every idea besides Chuck e Cheese’s. Ashvin however is a pretty adamant little guy who is very clear about what he wants. He stuck to Chuck e Cheese’s. Seeing how tortured I was Peeyush gave me some pretty good advice – “It is his birthday. It is not about you. It is about him”
It is hard but crucial, as a parent, to remember this. It is not about you. It is not about you when they throw a tantrum and embarrass the life out of you in a store. It is not about you when they want to wear their Spiderman pajamas to school every day for a week. It is not about you when they want their hair spiked in the front, or insist on learning Mandarin and not French (that you wanted them to learn). They are individuals and not mini you. They are going to have their own wants and make their own mistakes. You should be there to guide and provide a safety net so they can takes risks as they explore and grown into confident happy beings.
So, we had the birthday party at Chuck e Cheese’s. Ashvin was thrilled. He wore the blow up crown and played every game there. He was elated when the chuck e cheese’s mascot – the big rat – came over and danced with him. I can’t say I liked the rat or the pizza but the happiness on the little one’s face was priceless. It was definitely not about me but it was his best birthday ever and a parent what else could I want. (Anyways, I had had the first two birthdays, the ones before he got a mind of his own, and those with their pretty flowers and fruity cakes were definitely all about me J)