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Challenge: Happy Birthday!

It's Not Your Happy Birthday

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When you have more than one child you know sibling rivalry and jealousy play a big part in growing up. Being an only child, this whole dynamic is a learning process for me, but I’m quickly getting the hang of it. Child “A” gets doll, child “B” sees doll and wants doll. Child “A” does not want to give up doll so child “B” rips it out of her hands and across the floor. End Act 1, Scene 1. As you know, the rest of the show plays out the same way.

Well, now that my children are getting old enough to express wants and so-called “needs”, I’m noticing jealousy roots its green, ugly head in a big way around birthdays. Things peaked a couple of years ago when my oldest daughter turned five. God bless her little heart she talked about her birthday since around Christmas. Her birthday is in July.With that said, my then two-year-old hopped on the Happy Birthday train. The only problem was that she was not the conductor for that ride.

As we shopped for decorations and talked about her sister’s party, little sis chimed in with “and my Happy Birthday”. She proceeded to tell me she was going to have a Sofia…no Dora…no “Go”(that’s what she called “Frozen” because of the song)…when it was her birthday…three months later. When my older daughter talked about presents, you could hear an “and me” echo in the background.

Don’t get me wrong, I felt bad for my younger daughter. I tried to tell her when it was her special day she would get special things, until then take a chill pill. It’s not like we’re going to ignore her on her sister's big day. But she wasn't going to get her own cake, presents, etc. It may sound insensitive, but I didn’t want her to get into the habit of thinking it was her birthday every time it was her sister’s. That’s called Christmas.

My older daughter agreed to let her little sister help her blow out her candles and open some presents because that’s just the type of person she is. In the end, tiny tyke did understand that she had the supporting role in that Happy Birthday film, not the lead.

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