Life in Laos through the lens of a diplomatic wife raising twin toddlers.
On M&O’s birthday, I witnessed for the first time the Montessori preschool birthday celebration which is pretty special. They use birthdays as a learning moment about the passage of time while also learning a little bit about the solar system. The birthday boy/girl stands in the middle of a circle representing the earth while holding a globe. As the teacher explains the age of the child, they then walk around a candle for each year of their age, just as it takes a year for the earth to circle around the sun. Brilliant! A living example of how the solar system works. And after each year, a volunteer gets to walk around the circle showing a photo of the birthday boy/girl at that age while the teacher discusses what that child was able to do at that age. I loved it and so did the kids…
For their family and friends celebration we decided on a very low key, very simple, pool-side brunch. The only thing fancy about this event were their cakes which a very talented friend of ours made to order (including the 50 panda cupcakes for the school celebration). I only showed her a photo of M&O’s current favorite toys which included a Hello Kitty doll and an airplane, and she did the rest. In fact, the photo of the kitty only showed her wearing a simple red jumper with a red bow in her ear, but my friend’s rendition put her in a full kimono complete with white socks and flip flops and with multiple flowers in her ear. For the airplane, she special ordered white cotton candy for me to spread around the cake as clouds, wow! Sounds great in theory but didn’t work out in the implementation since I failed to distract O enough amidst the chaos of setting up the brunch and keeping M out of the pool before she put on her swimsuit and receiving guests all at the same time. Within the barely two minutes that I left O next to the cake, he had already eaten the decoration letters from his name and birthday message and was threatening to eat a wing!
Clouds or no clouds, the kids couldn’t believe seeing their toys in cake form, they enjoyed playing with their friends, and they had their fun swimming – all the things that counted the most and made the day special.
Well that’s all for the birthday marathon this year. Next year we might just have one giant celebration for all of us in one go. We shall see.