My youngest little one turned 4 recently, and we had a very simple celebration for him.
I always ask, pre-Birthday, what kind of cake they want, what kind of gift they are hoping to receive, what they want for their Birthday dinner, and whether or not there is something special they’d like to do on their day. I’ve asked both of my boys these questions since they were old enough to verbalize their wishes, and I just think it makes for a very unique Birthday experience. Instead of the standard party that is dreampt up by us grown ups, it ends up being something creative and special. And I find that my little ones take so much ownership in their day because it was “designed” by them!
Don’t get me wrong, Birthday parties are still fun, and we have had them. I just find it really fun to ask my kids what it is that THEY want!
So this year, coming up to my youngest’s Birthday, I asked the usual questions:
What kind of cake do you want?
“A chocolate cake with pear (yes, you read right – PEAR) icing and apple sprinkles!”
This answer was given so seriously and mater-of-fact; as if it was as normal as a yellow cake with chocolate icing. I just thought it was the cutest darn thing, and I was determined to give it to him…even if it meant just making green icing and using red sprinkles.
What would you like to get for your Birthday?
“A big tower.”
He has always been super decisive when it’s come to gifts. The first Christmas that he was able to ask for something, he asked for a small green ball and a backpack. Those were the only things he asked for and he stuck to those answers for the entire lead up to Christmas. So this event was not different. No amount of hoping he’d give me something that I could actually decipher made him change his mind. I was left to figure out what the heck he meant by a “big tower”. I took him to store after store hoping he’d point it out. I searched online stores in his view praying he’d tell me when he saw it. Neither of these things happened until about a week before his Birthday…then I couldn’t find the stinking thing anywhere!!! Finally, with 5 days to go, I found and ordered it straight away. Imagine my relief when it was exactly what he had been hoping for! Phew…
What would you like for your Birthday dinner?
He is an extremely simple man…if it’s not noodles, it is a peanut butter sandwich and fruit. Because we also hope to enjoy his Birthday dinner, I translated his request into asking his Gramma to make her homemade spaghetti. It was a huge hit – for all! Thanks Gramma!!! (No wine for the little ones, of course.)
Is there anything you’d like to do on your Birthday?
“Are we going to Gramma and Grandad’s house?”
Of course we are, if that’s what you’d like to do! So, it was an intimate affair with just our family and a set of Grandparents – who live close to us. We made it special with the addition of balloons, a banner, and a shopping trip with Grandad and his older brother (they were on the hunt for new slippers).
When asked what his favorite part of his 4th Birthday was, his answer was simply – “my cake”. And it made my day!
Do you have Birthday traditions for your kids?