Thursday, 24 October 2013

Birthdays: the things my children have taught me...

Alongside Halloween, October holds one extra treat for me. Yep, it’s my birthday month – and I do like to celebrate (anything, at all, at any time). But having kids has opened my eyes to a whole new approach to that most special of days…

A minute on the lips, but a lifetime on the hips Babs...

Make your demands clear

A bit like Christmas once there’s just a heap of wrapping paper on the floor and you’ve eaten too many mince pies, birthdays can be a bit of a disappointment. Maybe all you got was a tea towel and a card with a joke about getting old. To avoid this scenario, you have to make your expectations of the big day clear to your nearest and dearest – CRYSTAL CLEAR. If you don’t, you’ve only yourself to blame. So, if you’re scared of clowns, balloons or birthday candles, tell your birthday slave/s before the big day, and if you want to eat off a Tinkerbell plate tell that special someone (maybe even right after your previous birthday finishes so they have plenty of time to organise it) in a loud, demanding voice.

Age is just a number

For a child each and every birthday means they are older, bigger, better. I’m not sure when that stops for an adult, but it’s too late for me to pretend I’m the right side of 40 (I was silly enough to have a big party, so everyone remembers – well remembers the start of the evening anyhow…). So, just like my kids I don’t make a secret of my age – and would willingly wear a princess-fairy-Peppa Pig birthday badge for all to see (if only they made them for my age!). Without that badge, how is anyone going to know I’m special??????

Stop pretending to be 'down with the kids' Barbie, you're 54 for goodness sake!


Let everyone else do the work

From watching my children I have learnt that when it’s your birthday, to prove their enduring love everyone precious in your life must work hard to ensure your day is perfect. In fact they should make sure your ACTUAL day is special – and ideally also make sure the weekend located closest to your birthday is ALSO special – maybe by throwing a party. Other things that your nearest and dearest may want to do to show you how special you are include: baking and decorating an extravagant cake to exacting specifications, showering you with gifts, inviting all your friends round to trash the house – and then tidy all the mess away, decorating the house inside and out with tokens of affection, collating a gift registry, filling the cupboards with your favourite foods. Really the list is endless. There are so many ways to show a person you love them. And you should expect to witness them all.

Come out of the ice bucket NOW!

Eat cake

Yes, birthdays are not exactly healthy days. Alongside the cake you have specified (exactly), birthdays must also include five varieties of crisps, jammy dodgers, popcorn, ice cream and sweets. You and your friends needn’t eat all the food provided, but it must be there in case you fancy just eating a bit of it – or piling it all onto your plate to look at. When you have tired of eating/not eating these birthday delicacies, have birthday slaves tidy it away into a dustbin sack (but not while you are watching, since that can be upsetting).

Clear your schedule

Birthdays are mega important. And arrangements can change, the weather can be unpredictable and illnesses such as chicken pox can devastate guest lists. If you want to achieve other things around the same time as your birthday – or if those people lucky enough to be celebrating your birthday with you have anything else to do other than care for you and your needs – it’s best to get it done before the actual birthday, so that if plans go awry there is plenty of room to maneuverer. For example, on your birthday, you might have planned to drop the kids at school, head off to the gym, take a daytime bath, cruise around a luxury supermarket and purchase your day’s delights, perhaps have a chilled glass of chilled bubbly with your lunch and generally relax. And then you might find that instead your youngest is off school and you are stuck trying to write a blog with CBeebies on in the background…

Seriously life? Seriously?
 
How do you like to spend your birthday? What have countless kiddie parties taught you about celebrating that special day? If you have a birthday story please share it below (think of it as your present to me). Or just blow me a virtual birthday kiss. Cheers!!

13 comments:

  1. Happy Birthday Vanessa! I agree, you need to tell people what you want, or you just don't get. I've found as well if I want cake, I am best to just make it. Then it can be what I want, and no one has the chance of forgetting. I am working on my birthday this year, but I have told my students who I am teaching for 6 hrs straight, and I have promised cake. So even though at work, I can still have a bit of a birthday celebration!

    Have a great day and enjoy it all! :) x

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    1. Excellent. I am getting into Waitrose later if it kills me. Then I can buy lots of delights for my tea. I had to abort lunch as Tula was flagging.

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    2. And thank you for the bday wishes!!!

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  2. Happy Birthday. May your day be filled with lots of lovely things and your year ahead be filled with much light and laughter :)

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  3. Happy birthday! We share the same birthday month! Hope your youngest gets better soon and you manage an evening celebration!

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  4. Happy birthday! I am a believer in big hints! I think a note on the internet would be big enough! I would like a lie-in, breakfast in bed and a huge bunch of flowers... Is hubby listening?

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    1. Good plan. Maybe there should be an app for that? Thanks for commenting.

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  5. I've had to spell out that I like cake, wine, flowers. Easy? Simple? Then why do I have to keep repeating it?

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    1. Definitely time to input some kind of reminder system into our collective partner's phones! I'm hoping that's the advantage of having girls - that as they get older they WILL remember what mummy likes and remind Daddy.

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  6. Sorry, coming to this late so all I'll say is I hope you had a lovely birthday.

    I took a leaf out of my daughter's book and pointed out exactly what I wanted for my birthday to her in the shop with the instructions, 'Please tell Dad to get that for my birthday.' When she asked why I told her 'Because it's what I would like and if you don't help him I'll be lucky to get anything.' I then turned around to see an unknown man killing himself silently with laughter at our conversation. I suspect it may have been guilty laughter...

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    1. Excellent story! Let's hope he learnt something that day too!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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