Saturday, June 25, 2011

Christmas 6 months early

Every year, at the end of June, we are inundated with birthday cakes and parties. It's because 4 years ago, on my birthday, my doctor decided enough was enough and took me off the meds that were keeping my body from going into labour and sending the twins out into the world. And since we'd made it to my birthday and there was no danger of the twins sharing the same birth date as me, I agreed.

Who knew that even then, they had a sense of humour and popped out the next day.

So, since then, we've had our birthday celebrations together. And of course, because I am at the age where I don't particularly like being reminded that I am no longer young, most of the attention goes to them. Of course, in the odd moment, I do feel a little bit left out and sidelined.

Packrat is great because he tries to make it about me. He tries to bake me a cake (last year), orders my favourite cake (this year) and encourages me to get my friends over to celebrate the day.

But most of the time, it is about the twins and this year, we were caked out. A Strawberry Tinkerbell cake for Jordan, a Chocolate Tom and Jerry cake for Evan, an ice cream cake for all three of us and a Lana cake for me. Too. Much. Cake.

But it wasn't only about the cake. To them, it was finally also about the presents. They are at the age where they know how to play with toys and are appreciative of presents, especially Evan. Now, as a parent, I finally understand the thrill behind setting up toys after they go to bed to see their reaction when they see it first thing in the morning. Evan looked like he couldn't believe he had a Hot Wheels car set that sent cars whizzing off the track into oblivion. And Jordan woke me up wearing the Cinderella dress I promised she could wear on her birthday. And to temper all these material excesses, we explained to each twin that since they got so much for their birthday, they had to give something to those who didn't have the same privileges as them, especially on their birthday. So they each put in some of the money they were given for their birthdays into the offertory bag. And our intention is to go round the house with a bag and have them pick out toys that they are willing to give other children.

Because my birthday always fell within the vacation, I never had it celebrated in school. Plus I think it wasn't a big thing when I was a child. But the twins are conditioned by their schoolmates to expect that Mommy will bring something to school for them and their friends. This goes against my whole stand against goodie bags and how it promotes waste and materialism so my compromise was we get their cousin to bake little cupcakes for everyone and my goodie bags consisted of healthy snacks that I would feel my own children as an after school snack.

They reacted very differently to the experience and it was very much in line with their personalities. Evan was sheepish and didn't really like the fact that everyone was making a fuss, rejecting his birthday crown and opting for a less ostentatious birthday sticker. Jordan, on the other hand looked like she had been named Queen for the Day.

Sheepish Evan versus beatific Jordan with destructive Muffin who toppled over some of the cupcakes.

The only family photograph we got from the 2011 birthday season.

And this, I felt was the funniest photograph of the lot.

Now, on to the 2012 birthday season. They will be five then. Too quick. Me? I have 3 kids and my oldest two are already 4. Judging from the spots on my face and the muscles that are not as tight as they used to be, man, I am old!

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  1. Blessed birthday to all three of you!

    It's a great idea to get them to share their money and toys with the less fortunate. Which charity do you actually give them to?

    I'm looking around for some volunteering ideas for parents and kids and I think this would be a fabulous way to start with him.