I’ve come to realize that birthdays are all about managing expectations (this includes adults and kids!). Surprises are always seem fun, but even with surprises you can fall short. Like the time we were so excited to give Hallie a trip to Disneyland (we were hopping in the car and driving straight there). We recorded her opening the tickets and she was kind and happy about it but she lacked the excitement we were hoping for. With further prodding, we learned that she didn’t know what Disneyland was and therefor didn’t know she should be excited. She was seven!
Kids are funny. Since then we’ve learned how to manage each kid’s expectations a little better and it can be a little bit of a dance. Bennett’s birthday was this weekend and we “danced”. The day before we walked through the whole day and the plan was laid out – he works best this way. Doughnuts for breakfast. Taco Bell for lunch taken to the school. Cookies for his classroom. Open presents after school and then a mother/son night at the school and dinner. Best laid plans.
We nailed the doughnuts. We nailed Taco Bell. (we couldn’t talk him into Chick fil a!) But his class was on the wall for lunch recess which meant he couldn’t play and he couldn’t buy a popsicle. We sat next to him on the wall with the rest of his classmates. Double bummer. His class treat was great but they failed to let us know they combined two whole classes for the day since they were short teachers – which we managed. We then found out the mother/son activity was being cancelled and he was devastated with just how poorly things were working out in his 8 year-old mind. How could all this happen on his birthday none the less?!?
The presents were perfectly curated for him and that was the redeeming aspect of the day, he got his very first brand new bike (not a hand me down from his brother) and life was good again. We made it to dinner at Red Robin, although he wasn’t pleased it was the whole family – he was hoping for it to be by himself. But we reminded him he gets to enjoy all the birthdays of his siblings – he wasn’t convinced that was worth it but he did give in.
The night ended with Hunter, Bennett and I riding our bikes, with Bennett on his new bike, to our local Dutch Brothers to get the birthday boy his drink of choice, an italian soda. As we rode back, Bennett marveled at the day, “This is the best day ever!”
In that moment, he was the happiest kid alive and he felt so loved. Mission accomplished. It was a dicey there for a little bit as he has high expectations and has a hard time dealing with changes in plans – which seemed to be around every corner – but we made it. His birthday ended with a bang.
Happy Birthday Mr. B!
He has been talking about his 8th birthday since the day he turned 7. 🙂
Here’s a couple things we love about Bennett:
He is by far the most expressive person in the family. Whatever the situation is – he will have a face to show his feelings towards it.
He loves to read. He caught the bug last year and he’s flown through the books in the closet. Whenever he knows there’s a possibility of him getting a gift – he’s requesting a book.
He is always looking forward to something and he needs to be looking forward to something. He wants to talk about it, he wants to full understand what he can expect and heaven help us all if the plan has to change for one reason or another. We’re teaching what flexibility means!
He’s funny and enjoys being the jokester. On April fools he took 6 brand new boxes of cereal and poured popcorn seasoning into them. The family was not too happy with him and he left for school a little deflated. Steve turned the tables on him and showed up at his school lunch with a happy meal…filled with vegetables. He’s a good sport.
He has more energy than any of us know what to do with and my mom keeps telling me the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. This year has been to good for him to start playing sports to get some of that energy out.
He loves and adores his older brother and wants nothing more than to be just like him. Hunter is working on being more kind in those situations.
He loves food. (probably because he burns so much energy!) and he is the one that can hear the crinkling of a wrapper all the way from his bedroom. Can hide anything from this guy.
He’s looking forward to his baptism and a birthday party with friends. And tomorrow he’ll start counting down to his 9th birthday. Life is good when you’re 8!
This afternoon Briggs was having a hard time going down for a nap. Before long, he was at the top of the stairs looking a little sheepish.
I walked up the stairs to put him back in his crib and he proudly said, “I got out all by myself!” Yes, he’s still in a crib because he has never climbed out and yesterday he turned three years old. It took him turning three to realize he was capable of climbing out on his own. I have a feeling a big boy bed is in his very near future!
Our little caboose turned three years old and all of the sudden he looks so grown up. Instead of mourning the loss of the terrible twos – we will happily move on and catalog all of the crying pictures!
Here’s a little look back at his first three years…
Here’s a snapshot of our new three-year-old:
He’s got a big personality and he knows how to use his voice – we’re working on that voice not being a scream. 🙂
His older siblings cater to him and at the same time the tease him relentlessly – hence the screaming.
At three years old he wants nothing more than to be with his best friends – he’s going to be social kid.
He currently loves Paw Patrol and PJ Mask and is elated when he gets to watch Netflix.
He’s potty trained and I’ve never been more excited to cancel an Amazon subscription.
Every night I put him to bed he requests the song “I love to see the temple” and he insists on knowing what breakfast will be.
He’s funny with clothes and if it is a button up shirt or a polo – he prefers it buttoned all the way to the top. Unfortunately, those buttons are not usually used on kids and they are hard as can be with their little necks and it’s often unbuttoned and a fight between us.
He loves his little scooter and cruises around on our evening walks – it’s a little weird to not need the big jogging stroller anymore.
He insists on brushing his teeth by himself and yet refuses to pull up his underwear without help.
He wants a bagel for lunch nearly every day with a cheese stick and gogurt. He also loves his carrots and ranch dip and I often find half eaten carrots throughout the house.
Somewhere along the line he must have said something that we told him was a “bad word”. Now he says something random like “Crybaby bop-it” and then assures me, “that’s not a bad word mom, crybaby bop it isn’t bad is it?!” I have no clue where this kid comes up with stuff!
He’s a puzzler. Every single day there are puzzles across our floor – I’m confident he picked up that interest from our other puzzler, Cannon.
I often find him talking to Alexa – he’s mastered playing the Trolls soundtrack – it took Alexa a while to figure out what he was saying, but now trolls is constantly playing.
We call him our little “Silly Billy” and it fits him perfectly. We sure do love this guy!
Several years ago Steve decided it would be much better to celebrate my December birthday on my half birthday in June and I agreed. There’s so much going on in December, my birthday was often overlooked anyway – and who wants to receive Christmas gifts, anniversary and birthday gifts all in a week and a half.
So for years, we’ve celebrated my birthday in June. Of course, then December rolls around and people start wishing me a happy birthday and asking what I was doing for the special day and then I had to explain over and over again that we celebrate in June.
This year, a neighbor stopped by with chocolate muffins for my birthday and the kids answered the door. He asked Cannon who’s special day it was and Cannon had no idea. “Doesn’t someone in your house have a birthday today?” Cannon denied any such birthday. Our neighbor was a little confused – clearly his wife sent him on the errand and now he was second guessing leaving the birthday muffins. Cannon proudly said, “No, it’s my mom’s fake birthday today, her real birthday is in June.” Cannon was so matter-of-fact and this confused our poor neighbor even more. He left the muffins anyway. (thank heavens, they were delicious!)
Needless to say, the neighbor was in contact and relayed the funny conversation and I was able to set the record straight and then explain to Cannon that indeed it was my real birthday. Even as the words came from my mouth, Cannon was shaking his head in disbelief. He knows very well when we put the birthday bucket and banner out and when I open my presents! His mind was blown!! I reminded him all day that it was my real birthday. Just as real as his birthday!
A couple weeks ago, Hallie gave me a list of things she wanted for her birthday or Christmas. There was nothing crazy or over the top. But several items she requested required me deciding what she would like. For example she wanted clothes. I’m batting 50% with buying clothes for her these days so I didn’t want to buy something and not have her love it. She wanted new sandals – but what color or even size would she need? She wanted perfume – there’s a million options!
Instead of spending time buying stuff we would have to return, I took her shopping. She’s transitioning to a teen so the idea of going shopping is amazing, but she’s still young at heart and longs for the surprise of opening a gift. We blended the two worlds and went shopping for a few things and then had a few small things for her to open. She was more than happy and grateful.
Her cute friends came and decorated her room while she was away and when she returned Cannon and Briggs were so excited for her to see it. They didn’t tell her what it was, but they anxiously told her to hurry and go to her room.
To add to the birthday fun we joined up with family for dinner and cake to celebrate two birthday girls – four years apart in age.
One year older and taller too!