I sincerely miss those days when children's birthdays were just that — Birthdays. There was absolutely no pressure considering that what was involved was just a slight change of diet and a few snacks.
Growing up, the only thing that made me look forward to my birthday was the abundance of chapatis and just a simple cake to crown the occasion.
The farthest we could go about such celebrations was getting a packet of sweets to carry to class where I would sit and smile as everyone sung the 'happy birthday' song to me.
Everything has changed these days. Just like the education policies that I see flying left right and centre, I am sure we will soon be seeing insurance agents walking around selling birthday policies.
I have seen parents spending sleepless nights as they plan for their little ones' birthdays — even though they are six months away.
The other day, my friend nearly divorced her husband because he did not like her outrageous birthday budget. Their only child was turning one and she had even drawn a budget for a band that sings 'zilizopendwa.'
Yes, I said zilizopendwa, not "Preschool Songs." Those songs that go like 'Taxi driver nikombolee gari, niende Nakuru, nikamuone Anna'.
This takes me back to the question I asked her when she called me throwing tantrums. Who exactly was celebrating this birthday?
My daughter Sori will be turning one in a month's time and I must admit I am under pressure. Friends keep calling to inquire about the venue of her birthday party and that leaves my eyes popping out.
Venue? I am not planning a political rally, it's just a birthday. A birthday celebration for a one-year old. Please stop scaring the hell out of me! Those calling to ask me what Sori loves so that they can buy her are even giving me more stress.
Get it from me today, at her age, the only thing I know that she loves to the moon and back is breastfeeding. If you can buy her mammary glands to facilitate this, maybe you will be her favourite aunty or uncle. Who knows?
Then there is this other group that asks me the color theme of my daughter's birthday. My God, it is not a wedding. If you are invited, come as you are — even in military regalia as long as you leave your AK47 a thousand miles away from my home. It is not a barracks for crying out loud!
Yes, I must admit that as a first time mother, I am excited about my daughter's first birthday and if I could, I would hire the angels in heaven to come dressed as cartoons and sing her all the beautiful songs; I would ask all the stars to form her name in the Milky Way.
I feel like ordering a cake similar to her father's wallet then feast on the innermost part of the wallet. But that is just that, thoughts!
I am not going to judge whoever throws a feast for their children because after all, they are the only ones who know the joys of the child they are celebrating.
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The only thing I can ask the society: Please reduce or better still, do away with the pressure you are mounting on parents regarding their children's birthdays. That pressure can push one to make crazy decisions.
As for me and my house, October is the month! To add pressure to more pressure, my birthday and my daughter's birthday are eight days apart. That is exactly where the saying "pick a struggle" comes in.
You guessed right, I will pick my daughter's.
Consider this an invitation and a ticket for accessing the 'venue'. Welcome.