I have a vague memory of turning 5 (as I approach 40 years of age rather more quickly than I’d like, my memories of this age or therabouts get more and more hazy).
I remember a birthday party with a round cake which I was very excited about, playing games in our back garden and throwing a massive tant when I didn’t win the plasticine in the pass the parcel. I don’t remember much else, although I must have recently started school and made lots of new friends just like my 5 year old.
It’s interesting to observe her now; it’s both joyful to watch her enthusiasm about presents, parties and friends but also brings about a mixture of emotions for me – reflections on my own childhood, a hint of sadness that she’s growing up seemingly so fast, coupled with the necessary smugness of the ‘hooray- look, I brought up a 5 year old and she’s still ok!’ feeling.
She turned 5 just yesterday. So what was on her mind in the days before? What does she think and feel about turning 5?
- The party is THE event of forever. Party anticipation becomes so feverish that it causes lack of sleep, grumpiness and over excitement in equal measure and constant questioning i.e. “Is it today, Mummy?”, “How many sleeps now?”, “Is it tomorrow?”, “Is it before Christmas?”
- Everything changes when I turn 5. “When I’m 5, you won’t be able to pick me up anymore cos I’ll be too heavy”, “When I’m 5, I won’t be naughty anymore” (hooray!), “When I’m 5, I’ll know everything about the whole world”, “When I’m 5, I’ll be able to become invisible!”
- If I wish hard enough, I’ll get that £100 toy I saw on the adverts. Yep – bad parents who let their nearly-5 year old watch Nick Jr instead of CBeebies only have themselves to blame. Zoomer Kitty infiltrated our child’s mind, caused utter despair and many tears when we suggested that it was perhaps a little expensive and finally made its (loud) appearance yesterday to much gleeful excitement. (In other news about Zoomer Kitty, it won’t bloody ‘zoom’ on our wooden floors and instead moves around in a confused state rather like I imagine I would after a bottle of prosecco and several cointreaus).
- Only I’m turning 5 – nobody else is allowed to. No-one else in her class was allowed to turn 5 before her. If they did, it just caused a state of denial “no they’re not 5, they’re just pretending.”
- I can eat cake for breakfast, lunch and tea. And supper. There’s been a lot of cake in our house this week and turning 5 means it’s fair game at every opportunity and many negotiations skills are needed on the part of the parent to get the 5 year old to eat anything of any nutritional value.
- It’s not allowed to end. “Are we having a party today?” I was greeted with this morning, to which I replied “no – your birthday was yesterday, wasn’t it?” Cue much grumpiness/denial/insistence that she surely must have more presents to open.
Today, partying is over until around 2 weeks’ time – when my youngest turns 3! October is officially party month in our household for the foreseeable future. Turning 3 surely is more simple…we shall see!