Birthday Requirements

Wednesday my youngest child turned 6 and as usual it was a day of demands and let downs.  When I was a child we got one small gift, a cake baked by mom and sometimes a special meal.  We were happy and I think (and hope) I showed my appreciation.  Today’s motto however seems to be, “What else am I getting?” or “How much will you screw up my special day?”


Yesterday I woke my daughter up before her father left so she could open her “big” gift and play with it while he was at work.  She was all smiles when I shook her gently and told her it was her birthday, she hugged me and her dad and looked at the wrapped gift with excitement.  Once opened she screamed, “Oh my gosh you got me just what I wanted and you EVEN got the right color!”  Thank goodness we didn’t eff that up, as for the rest of the day, well you’ll see.


About 10 minutes into playing with her new DSi XL (don’t forget the XL when you say it dammit) she becomes irritated with something she can’t figure out and Lord help us if she thinks I am figuring out how these technical gadgets work.  She now tells me it is the worse gift ever and that I should return it and get her something she really wants and that isn’t a bad gift.  I am thinking I should return it, pocket the cash and give her a cardboard box since she is always asking for them.  She then proceeds to melt down and list off how every birthday is terrible and how I don’t love her and how she should live in Michigan and a bunch of other stuff.  It takes me no less than 45 minutes to calm her down and convince her that her toy is a good one but she has to learn how it works.


After all of that, we head out to the places she wants to go.  She wants to start with Toys R US, then Go Bananas, over to get a kids mani/pedi and a meal at Ruby Tuesday.  None of these places are near each other which means we will be driving around as much as we are shopping.  We get to Toys R Us because she has to get the Moshi Monster toys that have been advertised on TV (thanks Nickelodeon) and after wandering around the store we ask an associate that shows us a tiny end cap of what they have left.  I brace myself for the explosion, but she looks at them and picks what she wants and we seem to be ok


As we are out driving around at her direction she asks me if I got her a card yet.  I told her no but I was going to make her a card.  She was so appalled at the fact that I hadn’t bothered to buy her card prior to her actual birthday she started telling me how awful I am and finally said, “Well I certainly hope that you can get the card with the penguin and the squirrel on it”.  I am at a loss and ask her what card.  Oh she has no idea if it exists, but it should because her favorite animals are penguins and squirrels.  God Damn Hallmark and their inability to read my child’s mind!!!


As we left Go Bananas and head for the nail salon it starts to get overcasty and gloomy, she informs me that she has also planned on swimming this afternoon for her day and that now because it has taken so long going to places it will probably storm and it is all my fault.  Her sister pipes up with a, “It’s not really mom’s fault, you should be mad at the clouds”, which causes an argument between them and ends with them smacking each other several times across the seats.


The nail salon is a success and she loves her nails, so much so, that she decides that going to the pool would not be a great idea because she wants them to look good for when her cousin comes on Friday.  She doesn’t forget to add that, “You’re lucky about that mom or I would have been upset with you.”  Gee thanks, glad your change of mood got me off the hook.  She decides that she isn’t hungry for now and would prefer to go to Ruby Tuesday for dinner as a family.  We head home where she pesters me for the next 2.5 hours on when her dad will be home so she can open the rest of her gifts.


When my husband finally gets home from work we set up her few little trinkets to open and get the camera.  It started well enough, but soon she discovers the Aqua Pet her sister picked out for her (and that she has been begging for) doesn’t do anything except dance and I quote, “It is a rip off”.  This ends with her father taking all of her gifts back and telling her that ungrateful brats don’t get anything.  This causes another 45 minute crying session and rants about how bad life is for her.  My husband then decides how funny it will be to get a couple of pictures of her at her best which caused her to downward spiral.  I finally get her calm enough to go out for dinner and ice cream and the rest of the evening seemed pleasant.


Last night she reminded me that she gets to sleep with us because it is her birthday and as she and her sister climbed into bed with us she reminded her sister that is was only one of their birthdays and it wasn’t hers.  I finally convinced her that it should be a family thing and she reluctantly agreed.  As she curled up against me she curled a piece of my hair around her finger and said, “You are the best mommy in the whole world and I love you more than infinity.”  And so, all the crisis of the day is lifted as I rub her head and kiss her still babyish little cheeks.  She does love us, she just needs to make us work for it.



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