We now have a big four year old in the house! Properly pre-school since this year marks the year Kazuo will start school. He is so proud of being four and being so big. We have had a delightful four years so far with our wee guy and we are so glad to celebrate his arrival in our midst.
Sunday was Space Birthday Party day. Kazuo had been looking forward to it since Christmas – it does serve to mitigate against the post-Christmas blues, having a birthday so soon after. But I am wondering now if it just prolongs the gifts-and-celebrations high and makes the crashing back to earth ever so much more difficult – for parents and child. I will admit that my expectations were high…and my sense of disappointment when I realised that perhaps the social situation I have created for my little one has stretched him a bit beyond his limits (despite my best laid plans) is very keen. So I agonised a little about whether my desire to make things fun and sociable for him were actually making it hard for him to be his best person. I should have read this good advice first and chilled out a little:
- Be forgiving if she forgets her party manners at times, but do remind her to thank the guests as they leave and hand each child a party favor.
- Set expectations early and increase those expectations each year. Each year your child will be able to handle a little bit more responsibility during the party, building good social skills along the way.
- For many children, the day of their birthday party is one of the happiest days of the year. They have been anticipating the party for weeks, and as excitement builds, the chance of a meltdown increases. If this happens to your child during the party, be kind! Children can be overwhelmed at birthday parties, and your job is to help your child calm down and get back to the fun.
- Don’t show anger or say anything to ruin their happy day.
Anyway, to keep things ticking along and not allow for too much wild running about the house time (oh, for a summer birthday when we could run around the garden with impunity!), I packed in the crafty activity:
Then it was nibble time at the space food station (apologies for the low-light snaps on the iPhone, couldn’t find the camera on the day):
A quick game of pass-the-parcel and then it was moon-landing-cake time:
We had four guests from preschool and two ‘home’ friends – it was a lovely mix and Kaz had a wonderful afternoon. Thanks to everyone for coming and celebrating our boy with us, he is lucky to have such good friends, and so are we!
Last night was ACTUAL birthday dinner – which followed a rather happy birthday at preschool. Family gifts were unveiled which were very gratefully received, and our very tiredy boy went off to sleep like a light. The thing about birthdays that I rather like more than the intense anticipation of Christmas (which the doctor pointed out last night) is that it is about the achievement of a little more maturity and development – a milestone for all of us – and for the wee guy, the realisation that a lot of his new peers are only just turning three now, and need his help to become ‘big’, a new level of self-awareness for him that I hope will foster a sense of empathy as he makes his way through life.
Happiness for four!