Well we have seemed to run into an issue regarding birthdays. It appears that my children do not have a clear grasp on what they are, how long they last, or who they’re for.
This whole thing is a miscommunication I’m sure. Most likely because it’s between a two year old, a four year old, a timeless tradition and a busy mom. It started on July first when I decided to take three kids, in one cart, all hyped up on birthday talk, out shopping. For birthday supplies, cake mix and frosting. Well that was dumb.
“It is Joey’s birthday” I tried to clarify to Guy over and over. Guy wanted to know where his birthday was. He looked behind the plastic cups in the party aisle. “No.” I said. A Birthday is a celebration. Because you were born.
“It is my birthday” Said Joey.
“I’m born!” yelled Guy. (He frantically grabbed plates and threw them in the cart and looked for his birthday underneath the cart). I told him his birthday was in a few weeks. I actually yelled it because my previous ‘cart trained’ children were running frantically through the aisle grabbing candles and streamers and simultaneously yelling about their birthday.
I left the store with Guy sobbing in the cart about his birthday being left at the store. Joey yelling in my ear, “I’M NOT crying mom because it’s MY birthday. Guy if you keep crying you can’t come to MY BIRTHDAY.” Ellie was eating frosting I think.
Then came a boat and firework celebration on the fourth, (I tell Joey the fireworks are for him- yes. We’re prepared to pay for a therapist later) a friends party on the fifth, Joey’s birthday dinner on his real birthday the sixth (he ran around yelling, “it’s my ACTUAL birthday”) and then opening packages from far away relatives on the seventh.
On the eighth of July, Guy woke up and apparently had enough. “It is MY birthday” he told me.
“No.” I said. “It is not. Your birthday is in a few weeks.”
“No.” he said. “It is MY birthday.”
I had sat down a few days ago and with Guy and looked at a calendar. I pointed out the days until his birthday. Mid September. Apparently that made no difference. Yesterday Guy sang several rounds of “Happy Birthday to Guy” to himself in the car. It was especially pathetic because the rest of us were quietly listening and Guy sits by himself in the way back quietly singing his birthday song. Oh we probably should have joined in. Oops.
My sister wrote me in an email that there is something so special about birthdays because it reminds us to celebrate how much life is packed into those little bodies. Quite a bit of life. And quite a bit of sugar I remember as I pull a screaming child off his brother during an after birthday collapse.
We don’t go ‘super all out’ for birthdays. (I mean seriously- why be stressed when they’re thrilled with m&ms and anything wrapped in any sort of paper?) But we do celebrate their special day. Or days.
You’re only four once!
Today we go to the zoo and I tell Guy this is a trip for him. But not for his birthday. We’re done with birthdays. Until September. Then we celebrate again. You’re only three once!