By Diane Ako
Olivia's seventh birthday brought her a clutch of a dozen gifts from her dad and me, her grandparents, and some family friends. This doesn't include the birthday party that followed the weekend after the actual birth date.
She got up in the morning to a special breakfast cooked for her (we never do pancakes on a weekday), and then dove into her pile of presents. Honestly, some were bought expressly for her birthday, but some were items we've intended to give her for a few weeks and just decided to stick a bow on it and give her some joy in opening it.
Things she received:
2 jewelry boxes
Pierced ears! (favorite gift)
Hello Kitty hairbrush
Purple Japanese scrubby bath cloth (that she actually requested!)
Electric pencil sharpener
As she opened it if it was NOT from us, I would tell her who it was from. So, grandparents, Aunty Jen, Aunty Lea.
She opened all the gifts and uttered the appropriate gratitude noises... until the pencil sharpener, which was met with a flat and simple, "Oh."
I asked her which one was her favorite. Typical seven year old- she never distinguishes just one. If she likes it, she likes it and lists it. She doesn't get what "favorite" means.
"I like the stickers, the backpack, I love that you let me pierce my ears, the jewelry, the jewelry box, the wash cloth, the brush, and I love the kendama too. So pretty much everything but the pencil sharpener," answered Olivia.
The pencil sharpener. Of course. "Oh, that one's from your daddy," I smirked as I totally threw Claus under the gift bus. He stared at me then rushed over to pick up the package.
"Look! It's Titanium bonded! It has an auto-sensor shut off! An ergonomic space saving design! Any second grader needs a great pencil sharpener!" he pathetically tried to sell. Luckily his day job doesn't involve sales.
Nobody was listening. Olivia was playing kendama. I laughed at my poor husband. "Office supplies are not the most exciting gift for anyone, much less a seven year old," I reminded.
Lucky for Claus, part of the birthday day included me taking her to the mall to spend $30 on whatever thing(s) she wanted to pick out. I made sure to say the money came from Daddy. Saved!