Julie Lyles Carr: Mommy Guilt; Episode 1,267

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Mommy Guilt; Episode 1,267


For several days last week, the Octa-Family was all things Nationals Dance Competition.

Which naturally meant that the literal and figurative spotlight was brightly focused on 2 of 8.


Except that 6 of 8's birthday fell squarely in the middle of all that dance delirium.

6 of 8 was less than pleased.

The tears had started days before when she realized that her dreams of a Sea World/Disney Land/Tea Party/Princess Coronation were going to be, ah, delayed. We had been prepping her for months that her birthday would fall, once again, in the middle of Nationals and that we would make things as special as we could on that day and then we would party, party, party all the next week.

She was less than dazzled.

It's just not in the parenting books, this dynamic of eight kids with all the activities and dreams and pursuits and how to squeeze in spectacular birthday parties. You can't fulfill one thing for one kid without feeling like you've shortchanged another.

6 of 8 had her birthday last year at Nationals as well, but the way the schedule worked out, we were able to go on a shopping extravaganza at Sam Moon. 4 of 8 also had her birthday on the road last year as we headed to Holland, Michigan, to see 2 of 8 perform at a Cecchetti ballet intensive.

That was Mommy Guilt Episode 1,185, in case you're keeping score.

I would tell the girls that it's not the day, it's that we get to celebrate.

But, you know, it really is about The Day.  The Day they each came into our lives.  The first pangs of contractions.  The phone calls to the doctor and the midwife.  The labor, the delivery, the joy, the fatigue, the first cries.

It is about The Day.

So I'm not going to say it's not.


2 of 8 realizes the sacrifices her sibling are making for her.  She gives her special trophies to 6 of 8.  She celebrates with her and all the dance buddies hug and kiss and sing to 6 of 8, making her the birthday princess.


It helps.

And 6 of 8 is definitely learning how to milk the situation for ALL it's worth.  Multiple trips to Starbucks.  Dinner out with a buddy.  Toys.  Games.

All purchased with Guilt.  Mommy Guilt.

One of the most potent currencies of all.

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