It’s Not Your Happy Birthday

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. This week my oldest daughter turns five. God bless her little heart she’s been talking about her birthday since around Christmas. It’s safe to say she is very, very excited. With that said, my two-year-old is hopping on the Happy Birthday train. The only problem is she’s not the conductor for this ride, and she’s quickly realizing that.

As we shop for decorations and talk about her sister’s party, little sis chimes in with “and my Happy Birthday”. She proceeds to tell me she’s going to have a Sofia…no Dora…no “Go”(that’s what she calls “Frozen” because of the song)…when it is her birthday… in three months. When my older daughter talks about presents, you can hear an “and me” echo in the background. Lord help me!

Don’t get me wrong, I feel bad for my younger daughter. But, girlfriend, it’s not your Happy Birthday! I’m trying to tell her when its her special day she will get special things, until then take a chill pill. It’s not like we’re going to ignore her on that day. But she’s not going to get her own cake, presents, etc. It may sound insensitive, but I don’t want her to get into the habit of thinking it is her birthday every time it is her sister’s. That’s called Christmas.

My older daughter has 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. Hopefully tiny tyke will understand that she has the supporting role in this Happy Birthday film, not the lead.

I’m hoping this birthday thing is just another phase, but something is telling me it’s not. Perhaps having twins wouldn’t have been so bad. At least then it really is both of their birthdays!

Do any of you deal with this issue? How do you deal with it?