|The Melonhead Boys: Pete, Tubby and Cob|
Pete (a.k.a. The-Boy-with-No-Nickname) is now 7 and the youngest of The Melonheads. He intends to be right up to speed with both of his next-older brothers. He's our only leftie and is clearly bound for greatness. Just ask him.
Tubby is the birthday boy today and he's 10 this year. He's all about relationships. He'll drop everything to speak, share or work alongside someone else.
Cob (a.k.a. CrabbyPants) is 8 going on 9 this spring. He's our second of three blue eyed boys. He's cautious, confident and expects to excel.
There are a lot of child birthdays to celebrate here in a year. As a child in our family, you get to have major influence over the evening meal on your birthday. Dad usually wakes you up with a birthday greeting or a phone call. And Grandma will usually call you from South Dakota.
Somewhere around the actual birthdate we have a little party. The guest list is always the same. My grandparents and my parents have been our only party guests for all these years. Though our kids may have a very different idea about what makes a "birthday party", we've really come to enjoy it in many ways.
When our family was smaller, we had several birthday parties every year. It eventually got to be kinda much. Like impossible. It was hard to find dates for gathering that fit for everyone and I got sick of all that leftover birthday cake. bleh. so we went to quarterly birthday parties. It's actually only three seasons - Winter, Spring and Fall. (Our Fall Birthday party includes birthday kids from 4 months but it works so well for us and the kids enjoy it this way.) If a party is a frequent event, it's not so special anymore, ya know?
Gift giving became easier for my grandparents when we offered to do the shopping for them. At first they felt a little awkward with our offer but when they saw what we could do with a planned budget, they really got to love it! When we knew that we had some smaller gifts to provide, we kept a watchful eye out for great deals and built sets over time. Now, 15+ years of parties into this experiment, we have a FABULOUS set of Lincoln Logs. At first the great-grandparents of the birthday boy would say "that sure isn't very much when a guy only gets a box of wood sticks". But in a couple of years of Birthday Lincoln Log Sets, they saw the greatness we had planned. And were glad to say that they gave the family "a play set that will fill the playroom floor!"
And it does sometimes. And under the chairs. Behind the books. In with Mr. Potato Head.
At least they are easier on the feet than Legos, right?