Thursday, May 29, 2008

The celebrations begin

For the next 10 days we will be celebrating Squiggles' birthday. Starting with her Star birthday (according to the Hindu calendar) this morning, to her birthday party next Saturday and her actual birthday on Sunday (8th June)!

We had a havan (prayer) for her this morning at home. It meant waking up at an unearthly hour of 5 in the morning but it's nothing compared to the many nocturnal feedings I've given her so I guess in comparison we're doing really well if I only have to wake up at 5 in the morning! The previous day we had got all the things that were required from Little India. I'm always amazed to find the most obscure ingredients that the shopkeepers manage to source for their Indian customers. Anything that is required for a havan in India was available here.

DD's parents are visiting us for 2 weeks and her star birthday was the defining moment of their trip. They were really excited about the event and were busy planning it since they landed. So, they were at their element in the Tam store, haggling and negotiating quantities of ingredients required for the havan.

DD showered first and then went to get the priest. Once he had vacated the bathroom, I showered and then went to wake up Squiggles. She's usually very eager to get up but this morning it was an hour before her usual time so I indulged myself in cuddling her without having her squirm away. I wished her happy birthday as her eyes were tightly shut and gently cajoled her out of her sleep. One second she was asleep and the next she was up and scampering around. Once she's awake she doesn't stay still for a second!

I fed her and then took her for a bath at the very early hour of 6.15am. She was a trooper and went about enjoying the unexpectedly early downpour :). I then quickly dressed her up in a brand new Pavadai (South Indian lehenga/ethnic dress) which DD's parents had custom made for her in Delhi. It's a beautiful deep orange. Even if I say so myself, she looked lovely :).
I then quickly donned my saree. I chose a dark green Kanjeevaram. I'd last worn it on my wedding day and hadn't found an occasion since to do it justice. Well, it found it's way out of my cupboard this morning! It's a partciular favourite and I loved wearing it after so many years.
We had to start the puja before 7 due to some inauspicious hour etc. Since the priest was a bit late in arriving, everyone was scampering around to get everything ready so that we could start in time.

Squiggles sat in my lap as we began the puja. And she stayed there for the next half an hour without complaint. We kept her occupied by handing her a biscuit, some flowers and other miscellaneous items which only she could find interesting. I was impressed that she wasn't crying. In fact she was very cheerful. Good girl. As the fire was lit, the smoke started bothering her and she started whimpering. She was then whisked away to be entertained by two sets of grandparents and two maids while we braved on!

An hour and half later the puja and havan was over. DD went to drop the priest off and the two moms started getting breakfast ready. My grand aunt and uncle were going to join us for breakfast since they couldn't make it for the puja itself. And what a feast it was! Dal Pakwan and Sweet Sevai and Masala Aloo from the Sindhi side of the family. Idli, Dosa and Vadai from the South Indian side :). No contribution from me!

Everyone dug in and enjoyed the food. I continued eating in spurts throughout the day. Squiggles had her regular apple porridge for breakfast though she managed to wrangle some Idli and a bite of everything else out of all of us as well. We wound up around 10.30 and then spent some time clearing up.
After a break of a couple of hours, we then took her to a goldsmith to get her ears pierced. DD was all set to examine the equipment and check for sterilisation policies. I had to convince him he had to be discreet else we would be blacklisted in all the shops in Little India. We entered the first shop but they sounded a bit vague about what was required to be done.
On DD's insistence, we went to another shop next doors and they seemed more knowledgeable. We quickly selected tiny gold tops for her. The shopkeepers marked her ears with a tiny dot where they would pierce her ear. I held her in my lap and held her chin while DD held her arms tightly. Counting together, the two shopkeepers simultaneously pierced her ears. Squiggles' had already started crying when we held her tight but with the the gun pierce she let out a whelp and started crying in full measure. I tried to calm her down and distract her with all the gold displayed in the shop. After a few minutes she was better but still refused to go to anybody else (which I was secretly pleased about... I know I'm sad, OK?). The two moms did some vegetable shopping and 15 minutes later we head back home with a calm little angel.

She's been ok with the piercing so far. I've made sure no one points out her newly pierced ears to her because I know that the moment she spots those shiny gold dots in her ears, she's going to try her level best to get them off and that's when it will get really painful. So far, she's handling it pretty well.

Overall she was a star child. She was cranky in bits during the day because she wanted to sleep but the bouts would last a short while and she would revert to her normal cheerful self shortly after. I would go so far as to say, I think she really enjoyed her day despite having to wake up early, have a bath at 6 in the morning, bear with smoke in the house and have pain inflicted on her!

It was a day that went off really well. You know sometimes you plan things and still something will happen to alter the mood of the day. Either you will be rushed, or things will not turn out as you planned, or something will happen. I can say as I sign off, that today was an exception :). And this obviously means something will go wrong on her party or her birthday next week! So, here's Dottie's anti-jinx!


utbtkids said...

Happy birthday little one.
Just 10 days?! May your life be one long celebration, filled with happiness :)

Squiggles Mom said...

utbtkids - Thank you :). And I agree with that.. why only 10 days :)

DotThoughts said...

A very happy birthday to Squiggles. She looks absolutely adorable in the parkar-pola (marathi term for what she is wearing). Are the pictures taken in the morning? I could not see her new earrings!

~nm said...

She is looking so darn cute!! And look how brave she has been with the ear piercings. I think getting both the ears done at the same time was a wonderful idea!

ddmom said...

A very happy birthday Squiggles. Such a cute update, Squiggles mom.
She is so cute in that paavadai.. bangles n all..
I am dreading the day I have to get both my daughter's ear's pierced.

Cantaloupes.Amma (CA) said...

Happy Birthday Squiggles !!
Its so nice to share these wonderful moments with grandparents! I hope the next couple of days are smooth sailing... I know how eventful it can get when there are many people around :)

Mystic Margarita said...

OMG! She is going to be one already? She looks adorable in the red ensemble - lots of love and God bless to the li'l darling :)

Random Vignettes said...

SW she looks absolutely adorable in the paavadai..Hope you guys have a blast the next 10 days as well.Happy birthday doll baby :)

Damn now I need me some Dal Pakwaan!

Avanti Sané said...

Happy Birthday Squiggles! She looks like a complete doll :)

Poppins said...

OMG that one is gorgeous! And Poppin had four celebrations too for her first birthday. I think it's a very important milestone. Enjoy!