birthday boys

birthday boys

If someone has any words of wisdom on how to handle birthdays that are only a day apart, I would love to hear them. Oliver’s birthday always overshadows Micah’s just a bit because, well, the boy has expectations. Micah is a good sport about it of course, but I just want to celebrate him a little bit more than we are able to manage. It feels like a box to check before we move on to Oliver’s birthday—and that doesn’t sit right with me. So . . . I’m all ears.

Having said that, I think this year was my most successful attempt so far. We woke Micah up on his birthday with a flaming pumpkin pie and sang him the birthday song. This was because we had a date planned for that night but I wanted the kids to be able to celebrate with him as well.

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But aside from breakfast pie and a date night, Micah’s birthday is mostly prepping for Oliver’s birthday. I actually spent Wednesday night working on a bat-shaped birthday cake for him and a good bit of Thursday making bat-shaped cookies for him to take to school, finishing up the cake, and getting the last of the gifts ready.

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The only reason there were lots of presents to prepare was because of the running joke we’ve had going that all he was going to get for his birthday was something that rhymes with “smunderwear.” So the first several gifts he opened were underwear wrapped in different ways. I think it was among the best moments of the week to see him totally get into the joke and laugh and laugh and laugh with each new pair he opened. He was equally gracious with the rest of the gifts as well—and was especially excited about the plush Bob-omb from our friend James. (Bob-omb, from the Mario video games, has quickly become another member of the family.)

I definitely feel that birthday week was a success. We had a great time and we loved celebrating Micah and Oliver. They are totally top 5 favorite people in this house. But if I could just spread the love and energy out a little more evenly . . . you know, that would be great.

2 thoughts on “birthday boys

  1. You guys are the best parents. And I have no ideas on how to spread the love, other than to celebrate a half birthday… but then you’re running into Simon’s birthday. Also, I have the same thing with my birthday and anniversary. But I chose that. Sigh.
    I don’t know why, but seeing James celebrating with you guys made me all sorts of sentimental. Yeah. I really don’t know why.

  2. I love the layered look of this cake! How did you get the chocolate wafers in bat shape?! Not that I could ever re-create it, but well done that you did!

    Also, it’s interesting, and very valid, that you shared your thoughts on having close birthdays. I hope that’s not the case with me, but either way, I learned some applicable tips for anyone when I asked Sister Groberg this very question at the neighborhood party this summer. Six of their nine girls all have birthdays in October, three of which are within a 36-hour period.

    For one thing, it was such a whirlwind of a time that they’ve mostly forgotten how any of that ever worked. Like life, it miraculously somehow happens, or it doesn’t and you move on. And now they celebrate “October birthdays” and anyone that happens to be in the state can join for one combined party.

    Second, they shared some advice that I think you’re doing great at already: flexibility. They said if they ever established a tradition or policy for holidays, it never lasted long anyway because their needs as individuals and as a whole family were always changing. They didn’t recommend saying, “This is what our family always does for your birthday [or insert other event]” so that expectations weren’t set that couldn’t be fulfilled in coming weeks or years. They did try to give everyone their own celebration or party, but never something that they didn’t have time or energy or money for. For the 3 in 36 hours, that might look like each getting one decorated layer of a simple round cake.

    Sometimes they and the children decided on a friend party, sometimes a family party, sometimes they just had cake and the birthday song. When I asked how they held three birthday parties in two days if that were the case, she said to keep parties simple, just friends coming over to hang out for a treat and one activity. They never hosted parties for children who weren’t of school age, which saved on time and costs and stress for little people that didn’t need a big fuss (and didn’t need presents). In other words, they avoided setting the standard so high that every year their child wanted more and they had to outdo themselves. Sometimes they even just had to tell a child “no” to birthday requests if it wasn’t realistic for them at the time.

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