Next week G turns the big 5, a milestone that saddens me a bit. I remember so much from N's first 5 years. As my one and only for most of that time, I was able to focus all of my attention on her growth and development, to notice every single change.
With G becoming the middle child 11 days after he turned 2, I have to queue up the home videos to remember much of his toddler time. N started elementary school around the same time so distractions abounded.
We are doing it up big this year---a My Gym party with playgroup and preschool friends. I've purchased the Avenger plates and napkins. His presents are awaiting wrapping. And I am thinking about the treats for the occasion that I have brewing in my imagination.
I am making Avenger-inspired cake pops for his My Gym party, but I want to have a little something on his actual birthday which falls a few days earlier. So I think I'm going to make a small Hulk cake topped with cake pops that may or may not end up looking like Iron Man, Thor and Captain America. I'm sure it will be ugly......but made with love.
Once again I'm swallowing that uncomfortable feeling I get when people RSVP and ask what G would like as a gift. A part of me wants to say, "Oh don't get him anything," but I know people won't do that, and I know that as a 5-year-old, G wants toys. I'm always amazed by the kids who forego presents to make a donation to a charity. I think it is great and kinda freakish (but then I'm a selfish prig so what do I know).
So I just say something vague like, "Anything your boys would like," or "He likes typical boy things." A non-answer answer to their kind question.
I am a big book giver, a gift-giving habit I find many people do not share with me. My kids rarely, if ever, get books as gifts....unless I specifically tell one of the grandmas that the kids want certain books. Santa, the Easter Bunny and Mommy/Daddy always give books. A child can have too many toys and clothes, but never, ever too many books.
G pulled a typical "mind-changing trick" on me. He asked for a large Captain America
doll action figure, but then earlier this week when we saw it at Target he decided he wanted Iron Man or the Hulk. I'm hoping his elation over his big party will ease the pain of getting Captain America. (M is getting the Hulk....because I just cannot buy 2 identical gifts for the boys....it pains me to even think about having 2 identical toys in my house. I can't explain this phobia.)
So next week will be chock full of homemade cake and buttercream icing making, as well as wrangling with fondant and sugar sheets, substances I have never used before.
My hopes are high, as they always are. Reality never, ever matches my dreams, but that is the beauty of children's birthdays.
In the end, if it has sugar and icing, they so don't care.