Birthdays aren’t something I particularly care about these days since I’m fast approaching the point at which I don’t even want to admit my age.
I discovered, however, that my kids care quite a bit which was really touching. After a few seconds of a sappy, “awwww – they do care!” Mom moment, I started to plot how to use it to my advantage.
Mornings are hectic. I’m on my own in the morning with three sleepy, frequently cranky children who are in no way motivated to get to school or daycare quickly.
I usually dread mornings a little bit because I know at least one of them is going to give me trouble – whether with getting dressed or brushing teeth or getting buckled up in the van – one of them will give me trouble.
“Happy birthday, Mommy!” 10-year-old Ryan said first thing. He gave me a big hug, immediately followed by 4-year-old Keira. Six-year-old Ethan was still sleeping.
Ah ha! I love those moments.
“Do you know the perfect way to start Mommy’s birthday?” I asked all three once I’d roused Ethan.
“No fighting this morning,” I said in my cheeriest voice. (I’m grumpier than Ethan in the morning so this was actually pretty hard for me to do.) “No whining, no arguing on Mommy’s birthday. Eat, brush your teeth, get dressed and get your shoes on without my having to even ask!! That would the BEST PRESENT EVER!”
I ramped up the enthusiasm. I was practically giddy.
Imagine my pleasure when Keira interrupted my shower just to show me what a big girl she was for getting dressed all by herself for my birthday. It was completely worth the blast of cold air to think I had one dressed already.
Imagine my surprise when Ryan not only got dressed, but made his own bowl of cereal and then poured cereal for Ethan and Keira, too.
Imagine my utter shock when Ethan got dressed and brushed his teeth without a whiny fight. Seriously – complete shocker on that one.
All three of them gave me exactly what I wanted for my birthday and I only had to ask once.
It wasn’t that they got themselves ready for school. It was that they all did it after only being asked once. Once.
The icing on my cake? Not a single argument or whine was heard in my house that entire morning in honor of my birthday.