My son is excited that his ninth birthday is today and he woke up blurting out about some 397 Hawkeye Remote Control Helicopter he wants to add to his birthday list. “I have no idea what you just blurted out, but it doesn’t matter,” I tell him, “I’ve already got your gift.”
The expression on his face wasn’t the excitement of trying to figure out what I got him, it was concern that I didn’t get him the “right” gift. To tell the truth, I’m a bit frightened about it now. But the morning seemed relatively normal, until we got in the car to take him to school. Okay, truth be told there is no normal morning on the way to school, and I’m beginning to look forward to each adventure.
It all began with “Mayday, Mayday!” coming from my soon-to-be-nine-year-old’s mouth. (According to him he will not totally be nine until 9:15 a.m., because that was the time he made his acquaintance with the world.) Anyway, this was repeated over and over with my four-year-old screaming from her own child seat, “Stop it! Stop it! It’s not May, it’s January!”
My son kept repeating it until Nikki was quiet. The old wound needed to be reopened, so he asked what it meant. I explained it was what the military uses as a distress call. His eyes widened, as he plans on joining the ranks as soon as he can! “So when people need help they use that like ‘Mayday! Mayday!’?”
“Yes,” I told him, which got him back to the original repeat and my daughter chimed in, “We don’t need help! We don’t need help, Cameron! Stop! We don’t need help!”
I begged to differ and almost voiced that, but knew undoubtedly it would cause more upset, so I kept my opinion to myself. Instead I said, “Cameron, she’s right. We don’t need help. Could you please stop?” And he stopped, for a second.
Out of the blue, he began with “Bye-bye! Bye-bye!”
“We don’t need help, Cameron!” Nikki began her added bantering.
“I said ‘bye-bye,’ like ‘adios’,” he pointed out.
“Oh,” was the only response.
“I’m glad it’s early day today, so I don’t have to be in school the whole day for my birthday!” He continued, “Next year, my birthday will be on a Saturday, so that will be even better!”
“Today is not your birthday!” Nikki perked up another argument, “It’s my birthday! Mom, tell him it’s my birthday!”
“Honey, we went to Disneyland for your birthday, remember?” I consoled the ungrateful little troll, which was how I felt at the time. I never got a trip to an amusement park for my birthday, but then, she was only four!
“But it’s been a long time since we went there!” she whined.
“Your birthday was just about six months ago, Nikki!” Cameron corrected her, “July 24th, when the fireworks go off, remember?” In Utah, the 24th of July is a state holiday called Pioneer Day, celebrating the founding of the state and they have a parade and at night it’s fireworks. Every year, she believes the world is celebrating her birthday!
“I don’t want fireworks, I want my birthday today!”
“Okay, you have your birthday today then, and I’ll get fireworks on my birthday!”
“I want fireworks on my birthday!”
“Make up your mind! You’re such a woman!” he slouched and folded his arms, pouting, as we finally pulled up to his school.
“Okay, baby!” I sang, “Time for the birthday song!” I sang the birthday song. He sang along, making silly faces, and Nikki just gave me dirty looks.
“He always gets more birthdays than me!” Nikki scoffed, throwing the glaring daggers at him as he opened the door to get out.
“I love you honey! Get 100% on the spelling test, right?” He nodded and smiled as he prepared to close the door.
“I will!” I got a thumbs up.
As I made a U-turn to return home, my hand hovered over the radio dial as I tried to determine if turning on some tunes would awaken the beast from the silence, and decided against it. “Why does he get more birthdays than me?” she began.
“Everyone gets the same amount of birthdays. One each year.”
“No,” she argued, “He gets twice as much as I do because he’s eight and I’m only four!”
“But he was born before you,” I explained, “So he had four birthdays before you were even born.” And then I realized I had gotten under the breastplate of the fiery dragon. I had won!
“Well my password on the computer is just my name,” she started up again, “Cameron’s is ‘my sister’s a baby and I’m a big boy’.”
“Each of you has your own password, and that is not his.”
“Yes it is. He told me it was and that I can’t spell that many words, so I can’t see what he’s been doing.”
“You don’t need to see what he’s been doing. And that is NOT his password.” I took a deep breath and exhaled, counting. “If you want to change your password when we get home, I’ll help you.”
“I just want a longer password than Cameron. He can have his birthday today, if I get a longer password.”
So, let the games of sibling rivalry begin, eh?