My eldest’s first Christmas and first birthday were only a day apart, and both were – of course – very special days. They were days when we could beam with pride; one year later and he was still alive and healthy (well, relatively – poor lamb had chicken pox). Overcome with joy and happiness, I wanted to spend both days just showering him in presents. I skipped around Toys ‘R’ Us, trying to decide what not to buy.
Fast forward four years to my second child’s magic milestones. I bought nothing.
Actually, not true – I got him a car seat.
Of course, on his birthday, we had a party with cake, candle, tears caused by the scary candle. And the birthday boy watched us all eat his yummy strawberry cream cake while he had a Petit Filous. That’s enough, isn’t it?
What does he care if he gets nothing? I learnt from my eldest that no matter how much stuff you get them, at that age they don’t give a fig. This is a conversation I can see myself having in the future:
Me: “Do you remember on your first Christmas Day when we got you nothing?”
Child: “No, what? Why?”
Me: (smiling) “Never mind, son. Never mind.”
After my first son’s birthday, part of me got annoyed that we had added more stuff to the already big pile of stuff we already have, the other part of me was annoyed that he didn’t even have the decency to smile when he watched me open his mountain of presents!
So, things are changing around here! I’ve decided that they get just one thing every birthday and just one thing at Christmas. Tough titty – life isn’t fair. If only I can stop the present tsunami heading our way from the grandparents.
For those who are heading for their child’s first birthday/Christmas, get your kid a bottle of wine. Have a little party, take a photo of their terrified face bathed in the light of the candle, have some cake, put the little angel to bed and then crack that bottle open and put your feet up. You deserve it. And your child will appreciate the calmer mood you’ll greet him with the next morning!