Other People’s Birthdays

The Monster loves cake.

Okay, so most five year olds love cake too.  And the Monster has, correctly, correlated “cake” with “birthday” to realize that in general, going to a birthday party means getting cake.  So the Monster likes birthdays.

He hasn’t quite… grasped the rest of the birthday concept yet.

For some strange reason, most of our family’s birthdays are in a one month period in the middle of winter, the sole exception being the Monster’s.   My wife’s birthday was within the last few weeks, and R’s birthday party is this coming weekend, so we’ve been working on him with the concept of what a birthday is.

It’s not sticking.

We had explained to him, when we were going out to dinner with his grandparents for his mother’s birthday, that we were going out for a birthday dinner.  “Happy Birthday to Mommy,” we told him, and he smiled and nodded.

“Happy Birthday to Mommy,” he said.  “And Abba, and [R], and [Monster].”

Personally, all I really want him to grasp at the moment is that it’s something for the appropriate person.  It’s a good side-topic while we’re trying to teach him important personal information like his age and address for if someone ever asks him, and certainly, parties themselves can be enough fun.  There’s just something abstract in all of this that isn’t sticking when we’re trying to explain to him that an individual birthday is for that person, not for a group…

And, I’m sure that his kindergarten program is going over this as well, probably as part of the kids in class having parties when its their turn.  It’s just frustrating to me to see how this isn’t getting traction in his head yet… if only because it’s an important part of socialization at this age.

Oh well.  At least there’s cake.

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