Today is reason to celebrate. My own mother, in this house called Savta (Hebrew for grandma because Bubbe just didn’t set well with her), is celebrating a birthday today. And since she lives in
and I’m here in San Diego , I had to sing her Happy Birthday over the phone. Los Angeles
But only once my son was at school.
You see, he hates, HATES, the song happy birthday. Gets violent. Screams. Attacks the singer kind of hate. In a manner that made his teacher ask, “did something happen on his birthday?”
No. In fact, his birthday is a bacchanalia of sorts for presents and general Benji spoiling. Since he was born just a few days prior to Christmas, instead of getting the shaft where presents are concerned, he gets the lion’s share. Lemme ‘splain.
First of all, as I stated here, we celebrate Hannukah, Christmas AND his birthday—usually in the span of a week or more, depending on when Hannukah falls. And his Savta usually works on Christmas, so she usually comes up to visit the weekend before his birthday (unless it luckily falls on a weekend) so there’s usually more than one celebration day. With cake.
And then there’s the fact that I feel bad he doesn’t have a “party” (because everyone leaves town @xmas) so I throw him an unbirthday party in June, complete with bouncer, party games, and of course, cake.
At none of these events do we sing that song. We sang it once for his first birthday, which he tolerated (on video as proof) and actually watches almost everyday. (one of his favorite DVD’s is one the Old Man made of his first year videos, and he watches it ad nauseam.) The Old Man has a song that his family sings which Benji can tolerate (totally different tune), but other than that, no singing! Es ist Verboten! We’ll call him the birthday Nazi.
You vill eat your cake, und open your presents und das ist alles!
Now of course this extends to other people’s birthdays as well. I usually have to corral him out of the room during the happy birthday singing portion (but as this usually involves opening presents, I have to anyway because he is 4 and doesn’t understand why the booty and treasure isn’t being bestowed upon HIM instead of the birthday recipient.)
We don’t do a lot of birthday parties.
Now, this isn’t to say there is no singing in the house. I sing all the time, the Old Man is always making up silly songs, and Benji lately have developed a habit of singing to himself and to me, as if I’m sort of Paula Abdul. Although I suppose that makes sense—what with the loving of every song he sings, and my questionable sobriety.
Just not the birthday song.
So no, my little angel will not be singing into the phone for his Savta today. In fact, I won’t even be mentioning that it’s her birthday to him, lest he start looking around for “presents?” Instead, next time she comes up, he will give her a hug and a kiss, and maybe snuggle for a bit in the early morning, as they are both friggin early birds.
And he’ll eat cake. THAT part of birthday he understands: