In the mind of a four year old the second best thing to Christmas morning is his birthday. And Cameron has been eagerly anticipating the arrival of his birthday for a very long time. Soon after he turned 4 last April he began to obsess about when it would be his birthday again. He couldn’t understand why he had to wait so long, or why Matt, Kaylee, Brendan, and I would all have birthday’s before he had his again. According to him that was, “No FAIR!”
In addition to being anxious about when his birthday was, he was quite confused about how old he’d be turning. For some reason, he assumed that because on his last birthday Brendan had turned 8, that he would be turning 8 on his next birthday as well. No matter how many times we explained that Brendan was older than him, he wanted to be just like his older brother right down to the same age. It wasn’t until the last couple of months that he finally understood that he’d be turning 5, not 8.
In our house we have a rule where you don’t get to start planning your birthday party until after we’ve gotten through whoever’s birthday is before yours. Lucky for me my kids are all about 3 months apart, so it gives me plenty of time to work with them on what they want for a party. This year, as Cameron listened to the preparations being made for Brendan’s party, he began to get anxious about his own party and made at least 200 different requests for things to do at his party. No matter how many times we reminded him that his party wouldn’t be until April, he was adamant about talking about his party.
So now that we’re a couple of weeks out from Brendan’s party, I brought up the subject of Cameron’s party to him to get a better idea of what he wanted to do for his party. The first thing he asked was if he and his friends could act like the Avengers just like Brendan and his friends did. As much work as Brendan’s party was, I couldn’t deny the simplicity of doing another party at our house. Especially since we’d saved a lot of the Avenger themed decorations from Brendan’s party, and knew we could easily acquire an Avengers birthday cake. But as it turns out, that’s not what Cameron meant. He wants to have his birthday party at the local arcade/pizza joint, and just have all of his friends act like Avengers as they run around and play. Um…okay…moving on.
The next question I had was about who he wanted to invite to his party. He’s finally getting to an age where he can tell me who it is he does and does not like from his class. Last year he started naming kids at random. We’re pretty sure he had us invite only the kids he could remember the names of. Unfortunately, his list is a little more sporadic than that. He wants to invite the little girl from his old daycare (no surprise there), he wants to invite the little girl from next door (…okay…we haven’t played with her in probably 6 months, and she prefers to play with Brendan over Cameron), he wants to invite the little boy from across the street (that’s a good one, we play with him sporadically and he’s only a year older than Cameron), he wants to invite one of his cousins (yes folks, just one…apparently he’s forgotten he has any others), he wants to invite the little boy from his pre-school that was mean to him a few weeks ago (see Musings of an Angry Mom), and best of all he wants to invite…his teacher. That’s some list.
Once we determined who it is he wants to invite to this party we went back to the activites. I confrimed with him again that he wanted to have his party at the arcade/pizza joint. He then clarified that no, he didn’t want to have his party there, he wanted to have his BIRTHDAY there. He wanted to have his party at the local skating rink (not to skate mind you, they’ve also got a giant place for kids to climb and slide in). Just talking to him about this was really starting to make my head hurt. I decided finally that maybe he was a bit young yet to take an active roll in planning his party. Now that I had the basics I could probably fill in the gaps with location and guests and give him exactly what he was looking for.