In pre-school, birthdays are a HUGE deal. Not only does the person whose birthday it is get to be older, but people give that person extra attention. Around here, that person is called 'Birthday Boy' or 'Birthday Girl' all day (and G will often carry it on until someone new takes up the title).
"Happy Birthday" is sung in our house nearly everyday, at least once. (Once through involves a minimum of two verses - English and Arabic, but can be up to four when you add in 'How Old Are You Now?' and French.)
The singing could be celebrating a doll's birthday, an imaginary friend's, a friend or relative somewhere else in the world (today, Uncle Scott), a pretend birthday for one of us, or recreating a birthday from class.
Knowing how momentous birthdays are, I worked to make yesterday, G's half birthday, extraordinary. I had a birthday hat - complete with a "1/2" inserted between "Happy" and "Birthday", ready for her when she got up.
I started to sing "Happy Birthday", but she stopped me, saying she wanted her friends to sing to her at school and I could sing later, when we had ice cream.
"We're having ice cream tonight," I thought.
"Pink ice cream!" she inserts.
"With a candle," I added.
I also had been saving a khaki tutu for her. (School uniform bottoms must be black, navy, or khaki.) To my amazement, she turned up her nose at it.
"Fine, you don't have to wear it."
Once she was completely dressed she changed her mind, so she wore it over her black leggings.
The beaming continued as she hurried downstairs to tell Daddy.
"I'm three and a half!" donned in hat and tutu.
This proclamation continued with each new person we saw for the next 45 minutes (probably longer, but that is when she went into the ECE playground and I headed to my classroom).
Everyone on the van.
Everyone coming into school.
Teachers, kids, parents were heralded with…
"Today I'm 3 and a 1/2!"
Her beaming announcement was met with a mixture of reactions as people tried to put meaning to the exuberance, looking at me questioningly. "A birthday hat when I know it isn't her birthday" the look said, over and over. But, once the weightiness of the moment was ascertained, once the realization of a half birthday in our midst as realized, everyone beamed back granting half birthday wishes.
In the end, she did have friends sing to her at school. She did have ice cream, though she changed her mind to chocolate (without any prompting! - That's my girl.) And she was still beaming as she was measured to see how much she had grown in the past month.