1.07.2009

Quit yer coddling, woman

I'm not a coddler. Not really. Well yeah, I gave in and let Thalia have cereal for dinner tonight. And we let her pick the midget Christmas tree. And yeah, sometimes I say okay, you can watch six consecutive Max and Rubys and go out in a blizzard without your hat. But overall, I try not to indulge her every whim.

Some of them. But not all of them.

This week I got an email from her school suggesting that I bring in treats to celebrate Thalia's half birthday.

Half birthday.

I balked.

Indeed, yesterday was Thalia's half-birthday. And I think that's pretty cute. Kids love saying they're ____ and-a-half, right? I don't mind acknowledging it. But is it really necessary to celebrate all the summer birthdays early so that our fragile little darlings won't feel left out of the chance to blow out a candle on a mini cupcake in front of the classmates whose names she doesn't even entirely remember yet?

I'm going to say no.

(Don't hurt me, coddlers!)

So, Thalia's birthday is July 6. So, she'll never have enough friends around that weekend to fill a jumpy castle. Sage, whose birthday is in May, probably will. But you know? Thalia will always have fireworks. And warm weather. And open beaches, parks and amusement parks for smaller celebrations. She can wear a sundress and walk around barefoot. She can eat ice cream with her cake in season. (Take that, Capricorns.)

I am in love with our school and Thalia's teachers. I don't think it's about them, it just seems to be a trend that you bend over backwards to treat every kid equally, even if that means celebrating a totally uneccesary half-birthday. Or playing little league games that don't keep score. Or giving every kid an award who runs in a race, even the one teeny little kid with the spazzy run who flails her arms and comes in like ten minutes after all the other kids.

(I can say that by the way because that pretty much describes Thalia.)

I think I get it from my own mom when I say that treating kids fairly doesn't mean treating them all exactly the same. That's my take.

Nate's take?

He's in the kitchen right now baking an inordinate number of cupcakes from a gourmet Barefoot Contessa mix, making cream cheese frosting that somehow incorporates a lavender simple syrup, and experimenting with food coloring shades for the perfect shade of pink. Also, loving every minute of it.


76 Comments:

Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

I can't believe something about Nate made me well up in spontaneous tears. That old softie.

I hear you---I remember being disgusted by a bunch of moms at a party whose kids were playing musical chairs. Whenever a kid got 'out', they'd yell, "You won!", shush him to the side and then keep playing. WTF?!?

I'm just surprised your preschool lets them do cupcakes. Belly's old one was so allergy-heavy, the kids could either bring in lemon sorbet or plain popcorn. Woo! Party!

And, as someone with a July 23rd birthday, I'd say swimming outside beats an indoor party any day. In fact, I feel so badly for my January 8th baby, I'm thinking of celebrating her half birthday just so she can have a party outside, in shorts.

1/7/09, 9:04 PM  
Blogger cecily_techuan said...

Awww...your Nate is so cute. V's birthday is July 11th (nice b-day: 07/11/07), and I'd love a summer birthday, now, as a grown-up. But the birthday parties at school are a big deal for a kid, so I think 1/2-birthdays are okay so that everyone gets a turn.

Now, what do they do about someone who's born in October? Do they get the real birthday AND the half-birthday?

PS...thank you for making your captcha something legible, and also, a real word. I hate when they are so hard to read that I have to try 5 times.

1/7/09, 9:26 PM  
Blogger Jamie said...

I am with you on this one. Seriously, half birthdays??? That being said - making the cupcakes is super sweet. Props to Nate!

1/7/09, 9:48 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Two of my kids were born in July. Last year, my daughter's kindergarten teacher sent a note home saying we should pick a day during the school year to celebrate her birthday. Yeah, right.

I knock myself silly making a big birthday SUMMER bash for my kids. Sending in a few cupcakes on a random day isn't going to be as special.

Besides, my daughter's half-birthday is her dad's actual birthday so she gets cake that day anyway.

1/7/09, 9:58 PM  
Blogger mothergoosemouse said...

Because Nate's having fun with it, I say go with it.

But as for the larger issue, I'm right there with you. Life just ain't fair, and missing out on celebrating your birthday with your whole class is a great place to start learning that fact.

Yeah, I'm no coddler. I think "hard ass" is the appropriate term

1/7/09, 10:23 PM  
Blogger Miss Grace said...

There are five kids in my family. The oldest three are summer birthdays (including me). I made it through life without in-school cupcakes just fine.

My little brothers get "real" parties, but that was never a big deal either.

1/7/09, 10:24 PM  
Blogger Goddess in Progress said...

Heehee.

I agree, I think in general we've gone too far in the direction of everyone-is-a-winner.

But I'm dying from the cuteness of the cupcakes. :-)

1/7/09, 10:25 PM  
Blogger Christy said...

I'm inclined to say that I would decline also.

But that's just me. I was always jealous of "the summer kids" that got to have pool parties while I was relegated to celebrate with a dinky leftover Valentine's cupcake at school during the frigid winter. (Feb 15 b-day here...always eclipsed by Valentine's day.)

I would have killed to have a July Birthday. My Grandpa's birthday was July 6th too..we loved having a grand party for him every summer. I sure miss it!

1/7/09, 11:40 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

My birthday's also in the beginning of July, and I remember celebrating my friends' birthdays during the school year, and having my party outside and playing fun games in the summer. I never remember being jealous or upset, because even though I didn't celebrate at school, we still celebrated it.

And if anyone's giving our worst-mommy-of-the-year awards, I could win it this year. My DD turned 5 a week after she started school (partway into the year), because we recently moved and it took me that long to find a preschool for her. She had no friends yet, and I didn't want to invite her classmates just because. So she didn't even get a party this year. Somehow, she survived.

Just to give you something to consider, if you decide not to make her half-birthday a big deal...

1/7/09, 11:52 PM  
Blogger Lady M said...

Gorgeous cupcakes!

At Q-ster's first preschool, before we moved, the birthday child got to wear a crown and decorate a wooden cake. You know, because real cake isn't healthy . . .

The kids were happy because they weren't old enough to know anything else!

1/7/09, 11:54 PM  
Blogger J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Crap those cupcakes look awesome. Nate rocks.

I'm with you, though. My birthday is December 31, so we never celebrated it at school, and to top it off, we were poor, so sometimes, there were no gifts, being so close after Christmas and all. And I not only survived, I think it's OK. Except I wish we hadn't been so poor.

Having a winter birthday, I always wanted to have a half-birthday party in June or July, so I could have a pool party. So give Thalia a pool party sometime. Who cares how many kids are there. Some of Maya's favorite parties had one other child. :)

1/8/09, 12:23 AM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

I'm with you. Every dog has his day, and also every child. I kind of like right now how neither our school nor our daycare will let you bring in birthay cupcakes.

1/8/09, 1:36 AM  
Blogger margalit said...

There are 4 kids in my birth family and we all have birthdays within 3 weeks of each other. June 26, 29 July 11 and 19. All summer birthdays. All birthdays outside of school when friends were on vacation. I swore I would NEVER do that to my kids. Except August 24 is their birthday and the same thing happens every year.

So we celebrate half birthdays in our family. Mine is on the 11th and there will be cake and ice cream and something nice for dinner that the kid's cooked.

I think you kinda have to do it, because she's gonna notice that every other kid gets to have a party and she doesn't. So good for Nate for making such pretty cupcakes!

1/8/09, 1:41 AM  
Blogger heartatpreschool said...

I agree with you. I mean, they've got to experience some challenges in life right? What will they talk to their future therapists about anyway?

But, those cupcakes are ADORABLE!

1/8/09, 3:17 AM  
Blogger Kat said...

Just call Nate "Martha" as in Stewart.

1/8/09, 4:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm no coddler, but I celebrated 1/2 birthdays for my son for his 2nd, 3rd and 4th birthdays. He was born Dec. 26 - so this gave relatives a chance to give him some age appropriate toys (so he didn't get 30 baby toys at Christams and nothing more challenging for the rest of the year).

Last year, when he turned 5, I didn't do it - in fact, he got no birthday party at all - because everyone was 'too busy' around Christmas. And that bummed me out!!

Today, he is celebrating his birthday at school - it's not a 1/2 birthday, but since his birthday was over break, the teacher wanted to recognize it.

As for a party with all his friends - I think I might do a late June party again! 6 1/2!! Whoo-hoo!!

1/8/09, 6:33 AM  
Blogger kristine said...

It's not coddling, and it's been going on since the '80s when I was in elementary school.

As one of those kids who got left out of the school birthday parties my whole life (my bday is July 9), I was SO grateful when the teacher suggested letting us summer kids have half-birthday parties. No one was ever around for my birthday party in July, and getting to wear the birthday crown/bring in cupcakes was a HUGE big deal for me as a kid. It always felt a little fake, having to celebrate in January, but it was better than getting zip!

1/8/09, 8:48 AM  
Blogger Christy said...

I'm bringing in cupcakes for my son's half birthday tomorrow (even though his half birthday was actually last month). I don't think it's coddling. After all, we aren't giving him gifts. It's just a chance for him to bring in a treat and brighten up a boring Friday afternoon.

Besides, even though he does get the awesome summer party at the park, he also has to deal with the fact that many of his friends can't attend his party. Kids are vacationing, visiting grandma, away at camp.

1/8/09, 9:16 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Hmm, I predict a fight in my future when this happens with my summer baby. Her father is hopelessly and completely under her spell. Unfortunately, he cannot bake and should never attempt it unsupervised. Of course, I don't think I could produce pink cupcakes that cute.

1/8/09, 10:02 AM  
Blogger Feeder of the Hungry Beans said...

I think half-birthdays and everybody-must-be-equal attitudes are silly, but I'd never say no to cupcakes! In fact, I turn 34 11/12 soon. I think I'll have a cupcake.

1/8/09, 10:14 AM  
Blogger Ali said...

i'm so thankful that isabella was a summer baby...FINALLY! one that i don't have to make a huge party and invite the entire class to!

1/8/09, 10:17 AM  
Blogger Wicked Step Mom said...

That half birthday thing seems a little nutty. Especially since she will expect the same thing next year and every year after that...

Kudos to Nate for putting in the effort to make it special for her! But I think he is setting himself up for doing this again and again. Of course, this is coming from a person that even as a kid tried to avoid her birthday at all costs.

1/8/09, 10:23 AM  
Blogger A said...

And don't forget pool parties!

My bro was a March birthday, and I was a June...sure, I didn't get cupcakes or a birthday badge, but hey....I got pool parties!

SOOO makes up for lack of a lame badge.

1/8/09, 10:30 AM  
Blogger A pretty nice little Saturday said...

It never occurred to me that having a birthday in the summer would be a bad thing! You get to have a party and invite the friends you actually play with in the summer and not those other kids from your class that you don't even like! With less kids you can afford to do more complicated or expensive things. I think that may be something to be thankful for in a summer birthday. I learned a lot from my Dec. 24th birthday. Most birthdays have some sort of pros and cons, as does everything else in life. Seek out and celebrate the pros, get over the cons.

Maybe I won't be a coddler either. Although, I don't have any kids yet, so I don't know for sure.

1/8/09, 11:59 AM  
Blogger ewe are here said...

We celebrate 'unbirthdays', but at home privately in little ways...

1/8/09, 12:04 PM  
Blogger Mahlers On Safari said...

How very northern hemispherecentric of you! Here in the southern hemisphere we have to run around naked for our Capricorn birthdays 'cause it's so friggin hot!

And in the norther hemisphere, having a Jan birthday means you have a 15% chance of having the flu on your big day!

But seriously... I agree that things have just gone to far with the coddling. Would Thalia have known the difference at this point? I say wait till they notice they are different and then see how she deals with it before creating a deficit where there was none.

I can see millions of July and August babies in therapy someday... (OK, just kidding there, too.)

1/8/09, 12:16 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

Honestly? I don't think it's coddling. At this age in-school parties are a HUGE deal to the kids, at least here in Israel, and I could see a child feeling legitimately cheated to be left out. The in-school party doesn't take the place of the family/friends party, it's a school event. Why shouldn't the kids with the summer birthdays get a chance too?

For what it's worth, my own birthday is July 7th. I DID notice that all the other kids had a chance to bring in cupcakes each year, and I DID feel left out. It had nothing to do with whether or not I had a friends party during the summer (sometimes yes, sometimes no).

I've gotta vote with Nate on this one. She's entitled to her day to be the star of the class.

1/8/09, 12:37 PM  
Blogger Marketing Mommy said...

Those cupcakes look divine, but I gotta say I'm THRILLED my daughter's preschool banned treats this year. It seemed like every other day she was coming home with a baked goody. Now they celebrate each child's birthday by sharing a photo timeline of his or her (brief) life. Mom and Dad are responsible for handing over one picture and caption per year and the kids to the rest in class.

1/8/09, 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Mojo said...

I don't remember a big deal being made at school for kids' birthdays, but mine is 12/21, so perhaps I blocked it out because no big deal was made for mine? ;-) My mom tried to get me to celebrate my 1/2 birthday so we could have a pool party and have school friends, as it would've been just as school was getting out. But I wanted to celebrate on my birtday (or at least near it), not some lame 1/2 birthday. So I had small parties and it was just my close friends who were still in town for the holidays, and I was fine w/it. It was worse when I was in college and we were all doing exams or going home and I had to celebrate w/high school friends when I would've rather celebrated w/college friends. So, long rambling aside, I don't see the need for 1/2 birthdays, and I certainly don't see it for preschool, when a big deal can be made about just anything and they have fun. This silly thing about making everyone feel happy and included all the time only sets them up for greater disappointment when they're older and the reality of "life ain't fair" really hits them.

But those cupcakes look fantastic!

1/8/09, 1:22 PM  
Blogger Mama Bree said...

hear hear!! I may even go a step further in the 'uncoddling' department, since Logan just turned one and what did I do? Pretty much nothing. ;-)

We had a simple dinner out (pizza!) with my parents/brothers since they are local, and then went home, had Logan try some chocolate cake, and put him to bed. No huge "I'm ONE" birthday bash. Just some family time at home.

And, since his birthday is close to Christmas (12/10th), he'll probably get "screwed" on the presents from here on out. But I refuse to celebrate his birthday at another time of the year just because of that. Get real! If we teach our kids that they can have anything and everything under the sun with a snap of a finger, how are they going to survive post-college without mom and dad to coddle their every whim? (some ok, but not EVERYTHING) ;-)

I say you're right on.

Now, if only I could get Jon to learn how to bake gorgeous cupcakes like that.....

1/8/09, 2:16 PM  
Blogger MamaChristy said...

My son is getting cupcakes at pre-school for his half-birthday in a couple of weeks. He's not getting gifts, but I am arranging to leave the baby with my parents for an hour so I can go and make a big deal out of him for 25 minutes. He's gonna love it and anyone who knows me will say that I don't coddle my kids at all.

That said, I'm so jealous that you can take home-made cupcakes in! State law here prohibits anything but store-bought goodies in preschool. *sob*

1/8/09, 2:16 PM  
Blogger mamatulip said...

When I got to the half-birthday part I said "What?!" out loud and had to go back and re-read the paragraph just to make sure I'd read it right.

When I got to the part about Nate making the cupcakes and scrolled down to the picture, I got teary.

1/8/09, 2:18 PM  
Blogger dreamingmama said...

Coddlers and helicopter parents are one in the same to me. I agree with your points. I wish more parents would reflect like you do. And Nate in the kitchen....yay for you!!!

1/8/09, 2:23 PM  
Anonymous MaggieO said...

Yay, Nate! I used to teach preschool, and let me tell you, the birthday thing is a BIG deal...some of them look forward to it for months, especially if you get special recognition that day (birthday crown!) I say good for your preschool for including all the kids. Sometimes these kind of things can mean more to the little people than we realize.

1/8/09, 2:47 PM  
Blogger Issas Crazy World said...

I'd have to put my foot down on that one. But I can also see why Nate is making cupcakes. I don't know, it's easy for me to say, since my birthday is in April, so I always had a party full of screechy little girls. My brothers might disagree, since theirs is July 5th. I think most kids though, just want a birthday. Cake and presents and a day to celebrate them.

In my mind, preschools go a bit overboard on this type of thing. Then again, I also think my kids soccer teams not keeping score and everyone getting an award at the end is just plain dumb. I don't want my kids to just think things are going to be handed to them forever.

1/8/09, 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Diana said...

I have a July 8th birthday myself, and it never bothered me not being able to celebrate at school. Ever. Every year I have the best birthday party, b/c it feels like it starts on the 4th every year and I love it. I even planned my prenancy so my daughter would have a summer birthday. She was born in June of 07, and we threw a pool party for her first birthday. I'm honestly a little scared to get pregnant and have a fall/winter/spring baby, just because I know how much fun a summer birthday is.

I think half-birthdays are silly. Although I must say Nate is being incredibly sweet about it. :)

1/8/09, 3:06 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Mama Christie, Um WHAT? What kind of law is that? In what kind of state? So no bake sales or anything?

I swear I'm starting to hate laws more and more lately.

1/8/09, 3:42 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

My birthday is in August, and when I went away to college I somehow ended up with a bunch of friends who had birthdays in December, January, February. For some reason, that bothered me more than never being able to celebrate with school friends in elementary school! So I got together with another friend who had an August birthday and we decided to celebrate our half-birthday in February.

With half a chocolate cake.

And a whole bottle of rum. (he had a fake ID.)

Those were some of the best birthday celebrations in my life!

1/8/09, 5:43 PM  
Blogger Lucinda said...

Neither of my kids are summer b-day's. If they were, I don't think half birthdays would even be an issue by the time they are past kindergarten because it's not a super big deal at school. At least not here.

But in preschool, I might have considered it. However, our preschool did other things so there was no need.

I don't think something like that at such a young age is coddling if it's the only place they will celebrate with their friends. However, I don't think they will be scarred for life if you don't do the half birthday, and when they are a bit older, the whole concept is just silly.

1/8/09, 6:19 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Seriously... Why would anyone pass up a chance for cupcakes?! After looking at that picture, I think I am going to celebrate my own 3/4 birthday, say, tomorrow, and make me a batch-o-sugar!

1/8/09, 8:18 PM  
Blogger Renee said...

Well, I'm a little jaded - for 2 reasons. #1 - I have a January birthday and live in Ohio. You can just imagine how many of my birthday parties were canceled by snowstorms. I'd have killed to have a pool party in July! #2 - I teach high school and see the results of coddling and helicopter parenting daily. It's not pretty.
That being said, I don't think the cupcake thing is a big deal. Those who want to do it should and those who don't shouldn't be made to feel like crap. Parents aren't allowed to bring food items at my son's daycare because there are too many kids with food allergies, so I'm a little glad that it's never going to be an issue for me. I'm lucky if I can manage to feed my son breakfast before school, let alone worry about cupcakes for 12! My husband isn't as talented in the kitchen as Nate. What a sweetheart!

1/8/09, 9:30 PM  
Blogger Hillary Dickman said...

I'm totally with you! The celebration of half birthdays seems, to me, like another way to tease our kids with the idea that everything in life is Fair when we, as adults, know that's not really true. So why encourage it?! I say embrace the July 6th birthday!

Unless, of course, you're dying for a reason to make gourmet cupcakes...

1/8/09, 10:50 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

While I admire Nate's sentimentality, I'm with you. I'd decline, because I think it's a little silly. What about the kid with the October birthday? Does he get a party, plus a half-birthday party, too? And then is it no longer equal again?

As someone born in mid-June, I can tell them to suck-it-up. I never had a school birthday party. Instead I could invite people to my house and do whatever I wanted. And if no one was around? Well, more cake for me then, right?

Thalia's summer birthday is awesome. Like you said, the amusement parks are open and the weather is nice - she's got a lot going for her.

1/8/09, 11:33 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

Oh that is sweet.

And I'm still laughing over the celebration of half birthdays. That's a riot!

1/9/09, 12:40 AM  
Blogger Elaine A. said...

Oh, so HE's the coddler? ; )

I agree with both you and your mother. But my kids were born in April & May so I'm good.

1/9/09, 9:30 AM  
Blogger Binky said...

Hmmm. You're giving me an idea, here. My daughter, too, has a July birthday. They don't do cupcakes at her school, but they do this very moving thing where each child creates a poster of his/her life to date and then does a Birthday Walk around it while explaining to all the kids the significance of each photo or story on the sheet. The child's parents are welcome to come in to watch. It makes me weepy just thinking about it. When I asked what they do for kids with summer birthdays, the teachers and director acted like I was the first person to ever ask the question. I may just have to suggest the half birthday thing myself. Wow, this is a long-winded and inane comment, isn't it? I can't believe I'm going to verify my word and publish it. There you go again, eliciting everyone's life story with your relevant and witty posts!

1/9/09, 2:54 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Wow, that's cool Binky. Now that would be something I'd think every kid should get to do. But cupcakes? Eh...

1/9/09, 3:02 PM  
Blogger LifeNStuffUSA said...

I get the point of not everyone always being a winner and completely agree, and I'm definitely not a coddler, but being a Capricorn, I remember I couldn't wait until I was able to bring in a treat that I so proudly helped out on myself, so I don't mind the half birthday deal. I don't think we had half birthdays either when I was a kid, but summer kids got to bring their treats in all crammed together around the last month of school - lotsa sugar at once. lol. My daughter is New Year baby and always on Christmas break during her birthday - she gets to bring in a special treat either the day before or the day after the break. She passes them out with as much pride as the other kids do on their actual birthdays, even if its a weekend birthday. Have you ever watched their demeanor puff up in pride when it's their turn to share such a special treat with their classmates? I can see it on their faces. My sis had a summer birthday and she always got a crapload of goodies or new summer clothes as presents - since my birthday fell the payday after Christmas, I usually got nothing but a promise to have it made up to me that never came to be. Fair? Nope. Did I ever complain? Nope. But I secretly wondered why my parents couldn't start a birthday fund for me during the off season to plan for my day that came at the same time every year. LMAO. We can't help the time of year we're born any more than which day our birthday falls each year, so why not is my attitude with this one.

1/9/09, 3:16 PM  
Anonymous Hayley said...

My birthday is in July as well - and I hated it. I hated that my friends weren't around, that I never had a party, that I never got treats at school.

Good for Nate!!

1/9/09, 4:17 PM  
Anonymous bridget in oregon said...

Stand strong, Mom 101. It was refreshing to read your post. Sometimes I feel like the only one who feels things like awards for everyone, half-birthdays and the like are a BIG LOAD OF CRAP.

That and it creates MORE work for me.

1/9/09, 4:32 PM  
Anonymous Carol @SheLives said...

You are going to take the V out of my name and say, "She Lies", but I swear this is true. (The V stays!)

I named my sister Thalia. She's 10 years younger than I am and I had a say in her name when she was born. Davy Jones had just named his daughter Talia and that's what I chose (Reading teen magazines back then? Who Me?) My great grandmother's name was Thalie, so I allowed my parents to make the spelling compromise. (ahem!)

My sister's birthday is July 6th. She doesn't blog, but I'm sending her the link to this post. She'll love it!

1/9/09, 6:30 PM  
Blogger Tami said...

My name is Thalia and my birthday is July 6 also. How weird is that? Of course I was born LOOOOOOOONG before your Thalia. Still... odd coincidence.

1/9/09, 8:04 PM  
Anonymous Alexis said...

I have two August birthdays and one that falls very near Thanksgiving, so I sympathize. I will confess that we actually celebrate half-birthdays at home, but I wouldn't do it at school.

1/10/09, 10:19 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

I think you're right and yes half is crazy..however your a good mother and in the end we do what we have too..

hugs to you..

Dorothy from grammology
http://grammology.com

1/10/09, 3:31 PM  
Blogger tracey clark said...

1/2 birthday? wtf? but the whole nate part of the equation makes it all totally worth all that sugar intake. god, how cute.

1/10/09, 5:06 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Both of my kids have summer birthdays and I think it is hard on kids not to celebrate with their friends. Not working-in-the-mines hard, but hard nevertheless. Our school does all the summer birthdays together in June. Sort of communal, if you ask me, but I like it!

1/10/09, 9:25 PM  
Blogger April said...

i'm with you, but it's sweet that nate's making the cupcakes :-)

1/10/09, 10:04 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

It is exactly this act of Nate's that makes up the part of the parenting thing we never imagine; the perfectly imperfect and unpredictable partnership, filling in of holes, and puffing up of memories that will sustain our kids when we are gone.

1/11/09, 11:01 AM  
Blogger Optimist said...

I can so relate to this!! I found myself in the middle of breakfast drama this morning: In a nutshell:

Daughter: I don't want oatmeal
Me: that's what's for breakfast
Dad: what would you like then?
Daughter: I don't know!
Me: Oatmeal it is then!
Dad: Oh honey, would you like some cinnamon toast?
Me: Fingers in ears...Lalalalalalala!

I know, I know, I sound a bit cranky...

1/11/09, 1:42 PM  
Anonymous jerseygirl89 said...

I'm torn. My birthday is July 2, which I generally liked. Even though I never had cupcakes at school. My own kids are all winter kids and you know what? Summer is better. In fact, I've considered celebrating their half-birthdays so that they could have outdoor parties. It's never too early to learn that the grass is always greener. . .

1/11/09, 4:18 PM  
Blogger Tracey said...

I am so with Nate. Birthdays aren't competitive sports where everyone has to be a winner/loser, etc. Birthdays are special, and I do think it's unfair to those that have summer birthdays to not be able to celebrate with their peers.

I am also very surprised that her school allows homemade treats. Our school has laid down the law: NO EDIBLE treats. At all. We're supposed to pass out stickers, erasers or pencils. Because nothing says CELEBRATE! quite like an eraser...

1/11/09, 6:26 PM  
Blogger Magic27 said...

At my daughters' school here in France, the teacher uses the last Thursday of the month to celebrate all the birthdays that took place that month. My elder daughter was delighted as her birthday in on 27 December (so always during the holidays, and also not in the summer) and even if 18 December is 9 days early, at least she got to take a cake into school (there were 3 birthdays in December). On the actual day, we invited a few friends but only 2 came. My daughter was a little disappointed at first, but had fun all the same. And we had a "real" party (with school friends) yesterday. So her birthday was spread over almost a month!
We also try to have a picnic (just me, my husband and the two girls) or go to the beach or something around her half birthday (27 June), just so we can.
For the younger one, it's both easier and more complicated: her birthday is 27 April, so she can usually do the "cake at school" thing, but a party is tough: here in France, the whole of May is full of public holidays (1 May, 8 May, Pentecost, Ascension...), so most weekends there's no one around. And my husband won't do birthdays before the actual date.
But in the end, none of it matters. The girls enjoy their birthdays whatever we do, wherever we are...

1/11/09, 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Having been raised by abusive parents--all I can say is thank God for parents like you!

1/12/09, 4:03 AM  
Anonymous mrs. q. said...

Wow. Now I feel bad for completely missing BOTH my kids half birthdays last month. Um... not really. My kids get enough frosting at school as it is!

Jamie's Bday was this weekend and the kids were sick and frothing with snot, NOTHING to do outside and kinda lame. When I asked what his birthdays were like as a kid, he said they kinda sucked. They were post Christmas and he always got a new winter coat because they were on sale. I'll take my June bday and my kids' May days!

1/12/09, 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Jesse said...

Those cupcakes sure are cute, but I'm with you - all us summer kids had one day in Kindergarten where we all got to wear a crown and celebrate "in case we don't see you over the summer" - but we all wore them on the same day and had a big "summertime birthdays" celebration. After that year, nothing. And I'm with the person who said they'd rather swim for a birthday than be stuck inside - I ALWAYS had a pool party, which generally involved more kids than those friends who had their parties at home. Of course, our daughter is a Feb. - though even if she weren't, her father is a summer baby, too - so there's no "half-birthdays" for us.

1/12/09, 10:24 AM  
Blogger Cynthia Samuels said...

I'm impressed, and I agree with you. Also, as someone who had to create birthday parties for two boys in a Manhattan apartment in the winter, I extra-agree with the benefits of summer birthdays.
I do know one kid who was very sad that she did not have a birthday during the school year, though. Her grandmother "gave" her her own autumn birthday. Kind of sweet idea if the kid needs it, but all the equal equal stuff is a real injustice - your mom is right (of course.)

1/12/09, 11:48 AM  
Anonymous PB Rippey/sleepless mama said...

Seeing certain peers celebrated and never getting the same chance yourself--AT SCHOOL, a most important and primary place--I suppose could make an impact, make a little mind always wonder "what is it like", and despite the away-from-school party, maybe carry on into adulthood in forms of eerie self-compensation, like manic cupcake baking episodes at 3am, or gathering your friends together and strangely wanting them all to applaud you for no apparent reason...Oh, life's catch-22's!

1/12/09, 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Emma said...

Since 67 other people have made stupendous comments already, I just have one word (and an acronym)to offer: HALF-BIRTHDAY? WTH?

1/12/09, 2:19 PM  
Blogger Amy Jo said...

Oh how I wish my husband was a chef or cooking type!

1/12/09, 7:29 PM  
Blogger Antonette (1crazymomma) said...

Half birthday? Nah.

I'm not into the big-party-wit-the friends-and-the-goodie-bag-and- spending-megabucks either.

Mine turned four last Friday.

I didn't send in a snack. (we can't do cupcakes or sweet treats either). I donated some books to the classroom in his name.

I also don't send in stuff for Valentine's Day (just cards) or Halloween either.

We celebrate birthdays with immediate family only.

Great job on the cupcakes, Nate!

1/13/09, 8:40 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I'm soooo not a coddler... and good Lord, thank you for mentioning the little leagues and races. Don't even get me started on awards and ceremonies for every little attendance... preschool, an 8-week gymnastics session... please! But for some reason, I can almost understand the birthday thing. I have a friend with a just-post-Christmas birthday and she resents with a pretty good passion.
At my son's preschool, on their birthday they make a crown, pick out a special napkin, a special candle holder, and they eat the same old 2 saltine crackers they get for snack every other day of the week. And the kids think it's just great...

1/13/09, 11:04 PM  
Blogger Magpie said...

Capricorn here, and I eat ice cream in winter!

Celebrating half birthdays in school is madness - unless they only do that for the summer babies?

1/14/09, 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anita Ovolina said...

That's so cute. Three of my five are born NOV/DEC and they have asked me to celebrate their birthdays in March or April just so they don;t have to do a communal party :)
I'll have to tell them they can do the half birthday!
Cupcakes look great:)
Anita

1/16/09, 1:53 PM  
Blogger Gray Matter said...

You are so right, celebrating a "half-birthday" is ridiculous and indulgent. Do you think you could get them to change Valentine's Day to "Thalia Day?"
Nate already has the perfect cup cakes.

1/17/09, 2:01 PM  
Anonymous pita said...

in that instance i think i would decline as well. most of the schools in our area won't let you bring in cupcakes for any reason, real birthday or not, so you getting a message telling you to bring in cupcakes for a half birthday is just so odd to me. my dd's school is just happy that parents are doing something for their kids so they aren't as strict as the schools in more affluent areas of the city.
that said, my sister and i did celebrate our half birthdays for a couple of years when she was in middle school and i was finishing elementary school. we both have december birthdays within a week of each other with christmas a week and half after mine. to help spread the costs of everything out, we had half birthday parties. on our actual birthday we got a small gift (under $10) and we got to pick what was for dinner. but celebrating half birthdays in school is just silly to me.

1/17/09, 6:16 PM  
Blogger the botticelli babe said...

Oh I'm with you. Husband would be with Nate.

1/19/09, 6:14 PM  

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