31 days of training my kids: expectations and birthdays

imageMy sweet little Mckayla is turning two tomorrow. (today for those of you reading)

And boy did she ever finish off her year with a bang. = / But we won’t go into that.

So tonight I’m thinking about birthdays. What I want them to be, and what they end up being.

I love looking at pinterest and birthday celebrations just look so fun to me. But… I know that I can’t really do them. As much as I wish I was that creative, organized mom who could pull off an amazing event for her child and be happy and cheerful and actually spend time with said child on that special day, I’m just not. Lest you think I’m despairing, at some point I will hopefully get better. Thankfully for me, my kids are at the age right now where they do not care at all and whatever we do, they love.

I have one major problem when it comes to birthdays: preparation.

There are always tons of plans in my head, but somehow, it’s always the night before and I’m thinking, “Why? Again?!”

So, I have developed a few criteria for birthdays in our house that are well within the realm of something I can do.

1. Do something fun that they will really enjoy that day. I used to try to think of something that would be really cool, like the coolest thing of the whole year; but sadly, toddlers have no clue what a year is. Happily, this makes picking something fun for them to do a whole lot easier.

2. Make a special cake or dessert that they will enjoy. Again, my definition of special is probably a lot lower than most. However, it’s about pleasing my kids, not my unrealistic expectations. And they get very excited for cake!

3. Decorate in a way that the girlies will feel like something is special. We usually don’t do parties, but I still want the day itself to feel festive.

4. Take pictures to remember the day. This is a recent one. It is out of my comfort zone; so see, there’s improvement. = ) See Gracie’s pictures here.

Now with all that said, here are my desires/plans for Mickey J’s special day tomorrow.

1. Go play at the park. Take buckets and shovels and play in the sand. (we don’t normally do this) Be okay with getting all dirty and sandy.

2. Eat a Monkey Cake! (lovingly made by her sisters and Nana) There is no better choice than a monkey for Mckayla this year. = )

3. Decorations have been foregone, but homeschooling has been postponed. No school on birthdays! It’s a new rule. = )

4. Take pictures. I already have her outfit picked out. It’s her red fuzzy hoodie with a pink Minnie Mouse.  I want to remember when I look back at the pictures how much she loved that “Ginnie Mouse!”

And yes, that’s about it. More than anything, I want to look at her, and listen to her, and tickle her, and enjoy seeing how much she is loved by every person in this family.

Do I hope I do better next year? Absolutely. I’m already thinking about sweet Hopey’s birthday. Considering my preparation problem, I should probably start gift shopping for her day after tomorrow. = )

But this is Mckayla’s day and I don’t want to waste it wishing for things that aren’t.

So tell me (and this isn’t just one of those questions your supposed to ask at the end) how do you get ready for birthdays? It escapes me!

5 thoughts on “31 days of training my kids: expectations and birthdays

  1. To be open, I think you’re doing a fine job celebrating birthdays. 🙂 You take them out to play, you make a nice cake, you even think about decorations (!), and you take pictures with thoughtfully chosen clothes. You celebrate that child on their birthday. For us, we make a cake they choose out of a book I have, I make whatever favorite meal they choose, and we usually take off of homeschooling that day. We let them choose a game to play that day or movie or whatever. If we can we try to go somewhere special that month (since all of the kids are born in April!)

  2. It’s funny; I do the cake and a couple of decorations, and I think it’s perfect! You do it and you think it’s not quite awesome enough. Perspective.
    My cakes don’t even look that wonderful, because I let my little girls take a big hand in the decorating.

  3. All that to say, I think your girls will enjoy their birthdays, which is the point of pinterest’s pinatas and princesses and stripey straws, too. We just arrive there another way; a way that works better for our families.

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