When You Have An Absent Minded Parent You Might Turn 6 Twice

Let me just tell you that I am often a complete disaster. I’m terribly disorganized, can be very scatter-brained, forgetful, and impulsive. As I’ve gotten older I’ve developed strategies to combat my absentmindedness, but every now and then it creeps back in. For instance.

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This week was my youngest son’s birthday. The night before the big day, we told him that the birthday magic was coming while he slept; that when he went to sleep he would be 5, but when he wakes up he would be 6. We hung streamers outside his bedroom door. And when he woke up he was so excited. We had birthday pancakes. He announced to everyone at church that today was his birthday. We went to a special lunch with the grandparents. And then on our way in my mother-in-law said, “Okay, I’m just confused. Is today not the 24th?” I looked at her. Furrowed my brows and said, “No way.” It was the 24th. My son’s birthday is the 25th.

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Owen heard us talking and got slightly concerned. “Wait, wait, wait,” he said. “Can I still open my presents?” I mean, at that point we were committed to it being his birthday so we continued on with pizza and cake and presents. I was so dead convinced that Sunday was his birthday ALL WEEK. But, in all honesty, there were a couple of moments where I almost had to pull out his birth certificate because I couldn’t remember if his birthday is the 25th or the 26th, so when I ended up getting the day wrong anyways, I guess I really wasn’t all that surprised. It is me after all.

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But thank god that kids are so forgiving and gracious. There was none of this “Ugh, she forgot my birthday and messed it all up, poor, poor me,” thing that adults can do. We just whispered the magic in his ear again the next night and made him a special bowl of sugary birthday cereal and he declared that “today was his real birthday, actually.”

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I hope that they don’t grow up to resent or hate my often absentminded personality. We all just can only hope that we don’t screw our kids up too much. I’m a terrible keeper of anniversaries and birthdays. But I do love them and I always want them to feel loved and appreciated. This won’t be the last time or the worst time that I mix up a date or forget something important all together.  But I do hope that they always feel loved despite my many imperfections and flaws as I always ask them for forgiveness and grace. It was pretty hilarious that I got his birthday on the wrong day. We all had a good belly laugh over it. I hope he remembers it and remembers how much we love him. Our little Owen who turned 6 twice.



13 thoughts on “When You Have An Absent Minded Parent You Might Turn 6 Twice

  1. This reads rather bizarre. It seems like you may think this kind of ‘scatter-brained’ behavior is cute/forgivable because ”it is me after all”. Your kids may be forgiving now, but try pulling this behavior for 18 more years and they may think differently. If you really want your kids to feel appreciated, make the effort, not excuses.


    1. If you read her blog she puts WAY more effort than 95% of parents. The ideal that parents need to be perfect fucks with people’s heads. A little leeway and forgiveness for yourself and others could benefit everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Dear awordofsubstance,
      Interesting reply to this blog. I checked out your site and I see that you are passionate about Object Relations theory. Based on your own theoretical camp it appears that being an imperfect parent really struck a nerve with you! I see what’s happening here, you relating to this blog was hard for you. I get that, and maybe for so many unknown reasons… Here’s the thing, writing is often about vulnerability, and your shaming – different than critique- seemed pretty abrasive. Were you trying to offend the author? Power play her? Really teach her a lesson on being a better mom?

      Perhaps you could next time look deeply and compassionately at someone else’s vulnerability before you just unconsciously out your own insecurities. We’re all reading, and that wasn’t cool.

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I think this is the best thing that could’ve happened! I would’ve loved having two days to celebrate my birthday when I was a kid! I’m sure your son enjoyed all the attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ohhh, (sigh of relief) another parent does this. My son’s birthday (our first) is Nov. 14. That’s easy. I never forget. Our niece’s birthday is Oct. 6th. And My daughter’s birthday is Dec. 8th. Forever (and sometimes still) I will almost write Dec. 6th on my daughter’s school records or if someone inquires what date her bday is, I’ll tell them Dec. 6th… One year, I insisted it was Dec. 6th. My husband said, you keep combining Bella’s and Sam’s.

    Then, my husband’s is May either 23rd or 24th. I can never remember. So I have to secretly look at his license when he’s sleeping. I’m pretty sure it’s the 24th. I gave me mom the wrong date when we first married and they called a day prior to wish him a happy birthday (early) – I blamed it on my mom forgetting and getting date wrong. (when I actually told her the wrong date.) In my defense – May is the crazy birthday month for my husband’s family – his dad, step mom, mom, and a few others all celebrate.

    Yes, I’m awesome. (and I really do love my family).

    BTW: We always celebrate kids birthday’s twice. Once with immediate family on real bday (if during the week) and then again with friends on the weekend to do “party”


  4. Occasionally, when we want cake, we’ll celebrate “Happy Birthday to No One.” We keep a “zero” candle in the drawer for this. “HBTNO” has also substituted for forgetting the birthdays of others–sort of a Zen like response to the expectation to being 100% “on” all the time. (And the nasty post said a whole lot more about that person than about you.)


  5. A couple of years ago, my daughter turned 5. At the birthday party, I put 4 candles on the cake, which we didn’t notice until she blew them out. Guess I didn’t want her to turn 5 and keep getting bigger! I also often think my anniversary is on the 11th of August instead of the ninth. Why? Who knows. We can all be a little scatter-brained now and then. Happy birthday (twice) Owen!


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