Here in Ghana your children are referred to by where they come in birth order – so the last born is the last child when you expect no more. Aubrey would like to call Caspar our fourth born but I’m happy with last born!
Our last born turned three ten days before Christmas. It was a very low key affair, probably the last time we’ll get away with it! In fact his siblings packed all the toys they liked, including some lego with (their own) hand drawn instructions on how to build it, into a box, covered it with some paper and gave him that. He was delighted!
Caspar and I made a ‘fake’ cake in the summer for Isabel’s birthday and this is now put out on the birthday morning and the child in question given the right to request any toy or privilege for the day. For example, given a choice, they are the ones to choose, go first, sit where they want, get their favourite meal etc.
As we went to Ama’s wedding on his birthday we decided to make more of a day of it the next day and ordered a cake as well as pizza from Stumble Inn where we headed down for the afternoon.
In true Ghanaian style more than a dozen other random children got wind of the fact we were having cake and turned up at Stumble to join in. We knew none of them and the managers only knew a couple. In fact, forgive me for being a bah humbug person but I was a little miffed as someone had invited some other children (who we knew) but we hadn’t invited as we weren’t planning anything big, and this is how word had spread. The children we knew didn’t even turn up!! Oh well, our kids didn’t mind in the slightest although they looked a little bemused! We didn’t think we’d have a party but it kind of turned out that way! We did a good job of cutting the cake and everyone managed to get a tiny piece.
There is a new cook/chef down at Stumble who is a refugee from Cote d’Ivoire: there is a refugee camp not far from Elmina. It turns out his profession back at home is a baker. He is now making the most amazing pizza’s, cakes and even croissants for Stumble. He decorated four plates for our children in honour of the birthday boy.
We finished our evening with some pizza before heading home with four very happy children. So for everyone out there, all you need for a perfect birthday is; some toys you already own – repacked, a beach, coconut trees, a cool breeze, random kids you don’t know, a mouthful of cake, some pizza and a decorated plate!