"Mama, I have that day after birthday thing," Tiny Pants told me today.
"The day after birthday blues?" I asked.
"Yeah, that one. Not the mad kind, the sad kind."
My kids get three birthdays a year, all in the same week. They have the "friend birthday" extravaganza, which is too big, too much money, and results in too many presents appearing in my living room. This is thrown on the weekend closest to the birthday.
Next they have their "family birthday" on their actual birthday where they get their presents from mama, mama's relatives, and another cake.
Last, they get get their "Daddy birthday" at Daddy's house where they get another cake, presents from Daddy, and presents from Daddy's family. (This year, Daddy's sister gave Tiny an ipad mini.)
Confession #1: Do you like how at my house, it is "family birthday" and at Daddy's it is only "Daddy birthday?" Thats' my childish way of reinforcing that Mama's house is where they live, and Mama's family is their main family. This is immature and bad parenting, yet irresistible.
Oh, and did I mention they get cupcakes at school on the birthday as well?
Not only do they score enough gifts to start their own daycare center, but they ride the birthday high for days on end. After the last gift is open, they crash like a freight train driven straight into the side of a mountain.
I don't go crazy with buying gifts. I keep to a very reasonable budget (much less than the cost of the friend birthday party) and just buy a few gifts I think they will love eight times more than anything their father gets them.
Confession #2: Yes, I do strive to outdo Daddy at every gift giving occasion, not financially, because Daddy makes approximately 5x my salary, but in selection perfection. I try very hard to buy them the one thing they want more than anything else in the whole world. If I can't do that, I subtlety suggest in the weeks preceding their birthday that whatever toy I got them is quite possibly the coolest gift ever and I really hope they get one. It's present propaganda.
Confession #3: Oh My GOD, I am sitting here typing this in a school reception area while Tiny Pants is in speech, and a 7 year old boy just walked by with a pierced ear. I kid you not. I inappropriately did a double take and confirmed it was really pierced and not just a clip on. Wow, turns out I'm a little judgmental.
OK, so my point is that kids birthdays are both my finest and worst moments. I love to do the party, the presents, the wrapping, the cake. I also love to win which is a sign of parental immaturity. And I am apparently screwing up my kids with the week-long adrenaline rush of multiple birthdays. Bleh. Oh, almost forgot, also am judgmental of piercing 7 year old boys, though if it had been a girl I wouldn't have been shocked at all. That makes me judgmental and sexist.
I'm going back to bed as soon as this appointment is over. Maybe I'll wake up a better person with a less fussy kid.