Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Hilary!

Today is Hilary's fifth birthday. And on the kids' birthdays, I always try to fulfill their wildest desires, whether it's shelling out almost a hundred bucks for two American girl horses for Erika, or taking the entire extended family swimming in January for Jonah.

But this birthday of Hilary's has really tested me. Because I don't want to give her what she really wants.

Barney. Dora. An entire collection of Teletubby dolls. These are all things Hilary has asked for. But I've been resisting, because, frankly, I think five is too old for Barney and Teletubbies. Dora is . . . marginal.

Hilary has always been socially and emotionally immature for her age. And I worry about her. I just don't want her to be, you know, THAT kid. The one who picks her nose, wears pants that are too short, and has no friends.

Well, she may be guilty of two of those things, but she seems to be making friends just fine. In fact, I ended up inviting our friends the Hirsches over for birthday cake tonight after Lauren IM'ed me to tell me that her daughter, Maddy, who's been great friends with Hilary since they were babies, was distraught because Hilary's other BFF, Katherine, has been mean to her (Maddy), and Maddy was sure that Katherine was with Hilary on Hilary's birthday and Maddy wasn't.

Hilary wasn't with Katherine at that moment, she was at drama with Declan. But it did make me feel better about things to hear that Hilary was at the center of this little preschool triangle.

Which makes me wonder whether I should just step back and let Hilary make her own choices. If she wants to play with Teletubbies and her friends either don't care or also secretly love Teletubbies, then what's wrong with that? I mean, it's one thing to go to bat for your kids, but it's another to club them over the heads with it.

By the way, it's four o'clock on Hilary's birthday and I still haven't bought anything to give her tonight - that's how conflicted I've been. I suspect I'm going to go to Target and find some adorable toys that are not Dora-, Teletubby- or Barney- themed. But I did tell my mother-in-law when she asked that it was okay if she bought Hilary a couple of Barney videos she wanted. So, hopefully, everyone will be happy.

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