Parenting: The birthday blur

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

April is one big cupcake at our house.

First there's Easter. Neither of my twins can eat candy so I made vanilla cupcakes with spring-colored sprinkles on top plus small presents from the Easter Bunny for all three children.

Two days later on April 10, my older son Jake turned 12. His favorite dessert these days is a gourmet cupcake place in Center City called Pamcakes. So I made a special dinner, complete with different flavors of Pamcakes for dessert.

Two days after that on April 12, my twins turned 2-years-old. Their big brother made two different colors of cupcakes with each of their names in icing on top. The green cupcakes with beige letters and blue with blue sprinkled cupcakes were a big, albeit messy hit!

That's all three children's birthdays in a 48-hour time span. I hope I don't see another cupcake until next April!

Besides the dessert treats, I have to plan ahead to have time to buy presents, wrap presents, blow up balloons, string crepe paper, plan a birthday sleepover for seven 12-year-olds, make birthday breakfasts on the day of (pancakes shaped in the form of the first letter of each child's name: J, H, Z), make birthday treats to take to school and hand out, and make birthday dinners.

It takes a lot of pre-organizing so that I have all the decorations, wrapping paper, bows, gifts, food items and email responses from parents to pull it off without too much stress.

Somehow, if I start planning in late March, I get it all done and I actually have fun right along with them. Generally it takes me the rest of the year to recover from all that birthday magic stuffed into one week.

My goal is to make each child's big day feel special every year. It would have been nice to be able to spread out the creativity, energy and love required to do it all. That's not how it worked out for me, but I'm not complaining.

Oh, and did I mention that my birthday is at the end of April? At that point, I'm all sugared out and just hoping to grab a pizza or salad and call it another year!

Enjoy your children on their birthdays, even if they all come within 48 hours of each other!


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