Ever been a kid’s birthday party? Ever notice what happens when it’s time to open the presents?
Everyone wants to help. They swarm around the gift opener like a starving wrestling team around a hot pizza.
It’s no different when you’re the birthday boy with a nearly nine year old brother. I had a discussion at bedtime with him the night before, but it brought no relief for him. I knew his little brother was going to be receiving copious amounts of attention for his birthday. I also know that jealousy can be ugly beast when you want what someone else has. I know when DW is opening her birthday gifts or Mother’s Day gifts, I wish it was me opening them.
But I know it’s their turn in the spotlight. An eight year old with impulse issues struggles with giving up the spotlight, especially to his little brother. Then his little brother gets to open gifts and all you can do is sit there and watch and pretend to be happy for him when in actuality you’re wishing those gifts were yours. Especially if it’s a remote controlled El Toro Loco monster truck.
“Will you share it with bub?” is completely innocent question. Except the toy in question hadn’t even been removed from the box yet and already he was asking his little brother to share it. I know what that feels like dude. I was like that the day his mom got a new tablet. The first thought that went through my head was certainly not, “Oh, you’ll love that tablet. It has a 10″ screen and a detachable keyboard.” It was more along the lines of, “Man, that’s not fair. I want a big tablet with a keyboard, too! Wanna trade tablets?” I knew better than to voice that thought because it’s not nice. It’s greedy. It’s selfish. It’s rude. And I have a birthday coming up.
He has a birthday coming, too. It is literally 17 days after his little brother’s. He lives in the here and now, though, not in the 17 days following. The difference is that the filter between his brain and his mouth is more like a fishing net than a filter. It doesn’t stop him from saying nearly as much as it should.
So, yes, birthdays can be tough. Especially when they’re not yours and the birthday boy is getting gifts you’d like to have for yourself. However, he still gets to reap a couple of the birthday boy’s rewards. Cake and ice cream!