{January 16, 2013}   Happy un-birthday

My little girl recently turned 4 years old. In our family,  we alternative between having a big birthday party with friends one year, and a family party the following year.  At family parties,  we go to special places such as amusement parks, waterslide parks or anywhere else that we wouldn’t normally go to on a regular day…whatever the birthday child wants to do. I asked my daughter what she wanted to do to celebrate her birthday this year with her family.  She said she wanted homemade chicken nuggets for lunch and frozen pizza for dinner.  Not even delivery!  Hmm…okay! I asked her what special activity she wanted to do. She said colouring. Wow! She is easy to please!  I did bake her a kick ass Barbie cake,  gave her a mani/pedi and spoiled her with toys. I do feel a little bad about how little her birthday celebrations cost compared to her brothers did but…oh well! Hugs and kisses are free!


In my limited parenting experience so far, I think that I have to admit that our kids often seem to know more than we do about what makes for good parenting. Their cute little actions and words prove it, as do your daughter’s.

As you know all too well, they don’t value toys for very long and their novelty usually wears off before the empty boxes are collected by the recycling truck. Rooms full of toys, books, gadgets, gizmos, whatever . . . they want our love and attention more than anything. Often, it’s the one thing we don’t/can’t give them: undivided attention. I think a lot of people buy their kids so much stuff because they’re trying to make up for not giving their kids what their kids want most.

With the way our lives are today – more two parent incomes, longer work days comprised of much more work than we’d like, and corporations and governments that operate under the basic assumption that these structures are completely solid foundations to (re)build a society on – it’s hard for us to remember what our kids really want, and it’s even harder for us to act accordingly.

She’ll smile as much at your place, eating her Barbie cake and colouring away with you, as she would anywhere else.

And, as you say, if you DO still feel badly about how much her birthday festivities cost compared to her brothers’ celebrations, then put the difference in her RESP. Then she’ll have reason to smile down the road too.

Karen says:

What a nice reply. Your friend is very right.

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