Every year I try and do something special for Orion’s birthday. My memories of birthdays as a child are filled with magic and mystery and I think it’s so important that my own children get the same special feeling. Last year we did Fireman Sam and on top of his cool fire truck cake and awesomely themed presents, I was lucky enough to have a friend who is a firefighter who let us visit the fire station. Orion got to wear a fire fighter’s outfit, sit in the truck, turn on the sirens and watch the hose work. It was just incredible and he loved every moment of it.
This year, he’s turning four. I’m sure there’s been some sort of issue with the time-space continuum because in my mind he cannot possibly be that age already. When I mentioned his birthday to him some months ago, he immediately said to me: “Mummy, this year I would like a Skylander Birthday.”
Hmmm. He was lucky enough to get Skylanders at Christmas last year in all the Boxing Day sales and he has been in love ever since. He chops like the Ninja Stealth Elf and he waves his legs like Wash Buckler. He runs as fast as Magna Charge and he licks his dinner like Hot Dog… you get the idea. So I was sort of prepared for the Skylander Birthday.
Google and Pinterest and all those sort of places were my friend. I searched and pinned and took copious notes. We have a lot of allergies and intolerances to be accounted for in the family, so everything has to be home made. Or to be exact, I need to home make everything. Now let’s be honest here – I love to bake and I love to eat baked things, but I’m not a great decorator. I’m just not. I have a flair for many creative things but decorating food goodies is not one of them. At all.
Usually I’m running about the night before (like I was last year, ahem) trying desperately to put the thing together. Whilst everyone else seems impressed with my work the next day, I am always disappointed with the results. (Did I mention I’m a huge perfectionist? Huge.) This year I decided I’d give myself plenty of time to explore the decorating and baking methods required to achieve my desired outcome. Planning ahead, being organised – all the right things a grown up should do. Then Daddy says to me: “What about Piper’s birthday?”
Oh yes. I should probably mention that my family planning is so excellent that I have two children who are three years apart, but have birthdays separated by a meagre eight days. Now, originally Piper was due a full two weeks later, but I’m diabetic so the medical team decided to induce her early for both her and my own safety. Whilst I did not relish the idea of having their birthdays quite that close, safety is of paramount importance, so here we are today. Now I do have a bit of an advantage here because my brother and I have birthdays that are seven days apart, so I’ve grown up sharing and learning how to go about things (and more importantly, how to not go about things) when you have two siblings with celebrations close together.
Piper is turning one this year. I’m going commit a bit of parental blasphemy and say that, whilst it is important that she is celebrated and loved, she’s not going to remember it herself and therefore her birthday theme is going to take a back seat to her brother’s. After some discussion (in which I enlightened Daddy on a few of the do’s and dont’s of shared birthdays) we decided the best option was to have two small parties, both shared equally between them, one for family and one for our friends. This way nobody misses out. In other words, two Skylander parties, at which Piper will have a birthday cake in an enchanted forest theme and will get her fair share of snuggles and snuffing out of candles.
I know, I know. If I was supermum I’d be doing a line down the middle of the party table and having appropriately themed foods and decorations for each child. In the future, I might even do that. But for now, while Piper’s blissfully unaware of much more than delicious cake and love and laughter, I’m going to let Orion have a bit of the extra limelight, and lighten my own workload by focussing most of my energy on only one theme. I mean, after all, I am going to be making four birthday cakes (inexpertly decorated to the best of my meagre abilities) and a boatload of cookies and cake pops and who knows what else.
So I guess that’s sort of it, for now. Stay tuned for my adventures in learning to Cookie and other such mishaps.
How about you? Do you have children who share birthdays, or have their birthdays close together? Do you go the whole theme hog, or are you more casual? Do you believe in birthday magic?
Lots of Love,