This past weekend was Brendan’s teacher’s birthday. Brendan decided he wanted to get her a present that would make her want to keep teacher for (in his words) “years and years and years.” I told him to think about what a present like that might look like, and racked my brain as well. I figured giving her something home made would convey that message better than something like a gift certificate or other store bought item. But initially nothing came to mind.
Finally last Friday, while painting in the boys’ bedroom I was hit with an inspiration. Brendan loves to give his teacher hugs, and from what we can tell she loves getting his hugs as much as he loves to give them. So why not give her hugs for her birthday. But how?
Hershey hugs of course. The idea evolved over the remainder of the weekend until we ended up with a mug that Brendan painted himself and filled with chocolate hugs. We wrote a little poem to go with it, and attached it to the handle which explains that the hugs symbolize his real hugs and that way she’ll have them no matter if he’s physically there to give them to her or not. It turned out very cute.
And as I suspected she loved it. She, in Brendan’s words, gave him a “bajillion hugs” because he thought to bring her something for her birthday. She even wrote him a little note thanking him for the gift and for taking the time to paint the mug for her. I absolutely love the bond the two of them have forged and I can’t say enough how sad I’m going to be when he moves on to another teacher next fall.
Hers was not the only birthday to be celebrated that weekend either. Matt’s birthday was on Sunday. He decided he wanted to spend his birthday just hanging out with the kids and I so, even though Brendan is currently grounded from video games, he spent much of the day playing Skylanders with the boys, and snuggling with the princess. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but in reality we did a whole lot more for his birthday a month ago.
Matt is one of those people who is really hard to surprise. He can usually guess what you’re planning well before you’ve ever done or said anything. This year I wanted to do something really special for his birthday since the kids are starting to get to the age where they recognize and realize that mom’s and dad’s have birthday’s too. So I took each of them out to pick out a present for him, and (since Cameron wanted to know why he got a party and daddy didn’t) planned a party for him.
The kids were really excited that I let them be a part of the party planning. We went to the store and picked out tablewear and decorations for our party. They decided daddy would be happiest with a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme. We also found little disguises in with all the decorations which were quite fitting for Matt’s party as they had glasses and a mustache, just like him.
The day of the party, Matt came home from work (not suspecting a thing since his birthday was still a month away) and we were all standing inside the garage door with our disguises on (all but Cameron who refused to wear his) and shouted surprise. Matt was very surprised. We played some birthday games, ate pizza, opened presents and finished off the night with cookie cake. Everyone had a lot of fun and it was nice to pull off a surprise on my un-surprisable husband.
We had such a great time that night that I almost wish we’d waited until closer to his actual birthday. Especially since Matt’s birthday ended on such a sour note. Brendan has been really out of sorts for weeks now. We haven’t pinpointed the cause but are suspecting it may be from the statewide testing that’s been going on all month or because Brendan realizes the end of the school year is coming and doesn’t want it to end either.
Unfortunately, this out of sorts attitude meant that he was all kinds of awful around Cameron’s birthday due to all the attention Cameron was getting. We thought maybe it was a one off situation and dealt with it accordingly at the time. However, even though we didn’t do a whole lot of birthday activities like we did for Cameron, Brendan still didn’t seem to be able to accept that Sunday was all about Matt. I don’t even remember what sparked the meltdown but at one point he called both Matt and I selfish and greedy. By the time he went to bed everyone was in a foul mood.
I hate that things turned out the way they did. Brendan can be the sweetest kid in the universe, and have one of the biggest hearts I’ve ever seen. But when he gets into one of his moods that heart seems to disappear and he will do and say anything even if it hurts the people he loves.