Three years ago, Sophie was born. This year is the first time she is truly conscious of celebrating. She has been planning for a month, now: who should she invite to her party? Should the pinata feature Tinkerbell or Ganesh? Should the cake have pink sparkly hearts or pink sparkly swirls or both? Can she convince me that a bouncy castle will fit in our back yard? How else can she stack the pile of birthday-gift boxes accumulating at our front door? These are all fun questions.
But then there’s the mean side of all this party-anticipation. At daycare, L knocked over a big pile of blocks and told Sophie, “No one wants to come to your birthday party.” And I just found out that the meanness goes both ways. M’s mom called me to rsvp and mentioned that M was almost in tears the other day, after Sophie told her, “You can’t come to my party anymore.”
Of course we talked to her about this, telling her that parties are for being nice, not for being mean. And of course we’re afraid we will have no effect on our daughter’s growing socialization into kidness.