My little girl’s birthday is coming up. We are having some disputes about it. First, we cannot agree on how old she is. According to most authorities she will be five. However, a vocal minority opinion insists that she will be turning six and possibly seven. This is because last year (when she turned four years old) she had a birthday at home and a birthday at school. Obviously one was for turning four and the second one was for celebrating her turning five. Obviously.
There is a lot at stake here. Her best friend 3C’s birthday is a bit earlier in the year. My daughter can’t quite get her head around this. I understand that at an abstract level time is pretty confusing stuff, but children have a lot of trouble with the basics, like the orderly progression of days, months, and years. (They are also completely flummoxed by shirts partially turned inside out – my son will just randomly turn the shirt over and stare as though the sleeves were operating in some sort of extra-dimensional space.)
My daughter keeps hoping these extra birthdays will put her ahead of 3C. We try to explain that this is not the case, but that it does not really matter. We are wrong. It matters a great deal. Apparently in pre-school, like the U.S. Senate, seniority defines your place in the pecking order and my little girl will not be a backbencher.
Meanwhile, we have to determine what kind of party we are going to throw. Goof Girl wants to have all of her friends over to paint their fingernails. They will wear tiaras and pummel a piñata. I expect the video of a gaggle of little girls, running around high on nail polish fumes and birthday cake to go viral.
However, at my daughter’s school etiquette calls for inviting everyone. Most of the boys would not find this particular event appealing. Fortunately, Goof Boy has stepped into the vacuum and offered to organize a parallel activity for the boys. They will chase me around the backyard and wrestle me. My son is pretty devoted to this plan. He’s been drawing out different attacks on a sketchpad. (I believe he has some video plans as well.) I fear he will be disappointed, as will my daughter when she learns that she is only five.
Still, it’s her party, she can cry if she wants to.