C has been looking forward to turning 3 for a long time. Ever since his brother’s last birthday, he has been telling us that he’ll be 3 at his next birthday. He even learned how to hold up 3 fingers for added emphasis.
Unfortunately, his time-sense really isn’t that good. Things that happen in the past are "yesterday" and things in the future are "tomorrow". He spent a good amount of time thinking and saying "I turn 3 on my next birthday. Tomorrow. I turn 3 tomorrow."
To try to prevent the sort of perpetual disappointment that would cause, I told him that his birthday was in August. It was only June, and he’d have to wait until August.
That seemed to do the trick. He went around telling people "On my next birthday, I’ll be 3. Yes. In August."
Big improvement, right?
Well, Sunday was C’s 3rd birthday. We took him down to Disney’s Magic Kingdom and had a great time. His party was postponed until September due to scheduling conflicts, but Disney was a great substitute. He was so tired by the time we left (around 4), that he napped until 7. At which point we woke him up for birthday pizza, cake and presents.
He enjoyed his birthday dinner and presents. Then, when J wasn’t around, he looked at me very sadly.
"I’m not 3."
I was shocked, to say the least. "What? Yes. Today’s your birthday! You turned 3."
He shook his head. "No, I turn 3 in August."
I nodded. "Yes. This is August."
He shook his head again. "No. This is home. Not August. We’re home."
Err..uh…I tried to explain what a "month" was – no luck. Then I tried starting with what a "day" was – but still nothing. I like to think I would have done a better job if I wasn’t so surprised.
Finally I just gave up and reassured him that today, in fact, was his birthday – and I could prove it. Tigger had, after all, sung happy birthday to him and given him a card. He wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t his birthday.
I mean, his mom and I could have been wrong, but certainly not Tigger.
That reassured him. When his mom returned he looked at her, held up 3 fingers, and exclaimed triumphantly "I’m 3!"
She nodded. "That’s right. You’re 3!"
One thing I really don’t understand is why he waited until she left the room to tell me he wasn’t 3. Was he trying to protect her from the awful truth of August? Bizarre.