Thursday, February 20, 2014

Happy 5th Birthday!

Today is my son's 5th birthday, and although it sounds cliche, I can't believe it. He's growing into such an interesting, curious, and kind boy that I can only imagine what the next year will bring. This past year has been difficult health-wise, but he seems to be moving forward, gaining weight and actually starting to fit into clothes for his age range!

We're having his birthday party on Sunday at a local bowling alley, but it wouldn't have been fun without having a mini celebration at home here today. We hung some balloons and made him some gluten free waffles for breakfast, and then let him open his gifts from us. We focused on art things this year, buying him a Planes 3D colouring kit, some Colour Wonder markers and colouring sheets, and a few other supplies. He's in a major superhero phase right now, so we incorporated the theme in some of the colouring sheets, but didn't buy him any other themed items. His cake will be a superhero one, so I think we're good!

My son's school doesn't allow for food to be brought in for parties, which is fine by me and seems to be fine with all the other parents as well. No pressure to get cupcakes or cake together, no worrying about kids being left out (because he knows how that feels), and no competition over who brings in the best treats. Students are allowed to bring in a books or some non-food treats to share with the class, but there's no pressure. His class does something called "Ami du jour," where every day a different student brings in something to present to the class, and they are sort of the star for the day. His teacher makes sure to schedule students as the "friend of the day" on their birthday, essentially making the day special for them.

There was a nasty article published today lamenting the fact that allergies are taking away children's rights to enjoy cupcakes at school on their birthdays. Rather than write a rebuttal (because other bloggers have already done so, saying pretty much everything I would say so there's no need for me to say it), I would just like to say that I sometimes wonder if it's the kids or the parents who are outraged. I can't speak for everyone, but in the case of my son's school, the expectation isn't there for food parties, so kids don't expect them and instead make the most of their birthday by celebrating in other ways. My son came home chattering about being the friend of the day, talking about how they celebrated his birthday in class, and with a small gift from his teacher. After dinner, he had a special cupcake with a candle to blow out, and he'll celebrate with cake and his friends on the weekend. I think that parents set the tone for their children's expectations, and if a parent feels that a cupcake at school is the only acceptable way to celebrate their child's birthday, then the child will likely adopt the same view.

Moving on...

I'm blessed to have my little guy in my life. He's full of energy, has a great imagination, and loves to play the guitar (and drums, and piano...). He's a great big brother, and a wonderful son.

Happy birthday little man!

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