It's been nearly three, unbelievably quick, years since I announced the birth of Finn and Vieve. Their birthday is rapidly approaching. It's a special one, because it's the first time they really understand the concept, and are able to express their opinions.
That said, it was all an abstract "in a while it'll be your birthday", until the Growing Up in New Zealand study sent their birthday cards three weeks early. Now, every morning, I'm faced with "Is it babies' birthday now?" as they demand to check the mail.
No matter how hard they try to convince me, Mummy getting a bank statement in the mail doesn't make it her birthday. Sigh.
September is a crazy month. My concert band is off to the national festival, as well as putting on a pre-festival concert. My eldest has a music school concert. My grandma and stepdad have their birthdays, as well as a good friend who is turning the big 4-0. There's not many weekend days left, so we're going for the party-lite option of a get-together at the playground.
So there's one big decision for Finn and Vieve to make: what cakes do they want?
Luckily, I got a birthday cake book for my birthday (it's much better than a bank statement). It is oddly satisfying to see my children poring over the same book I loved as a child. Finn and Vieve have had in-depth discussions over each cake. Vieve is determined to have "the spider cake" (aka Little Miss Muffet), and so she shall. She's quite emphatic that "all mine friends come to mine birthday".
Finn's still deciding, but he has time. I thought he was fairly indifferent until I overheard him sleep-talking! "It's mine birthday party... all mine friends... mine cake...mumble mumble..."
(I've found it interesting that at least three family members have rung to ask what they should get Finn. Everyone has plenty of ideas for Vieve, but not for him!)
Of course, three is a big birthday in another way. They qualify for 20 free hours of early childhood education (be it kindergarten, extended sessions at Playcentre, or daycare).
It gives me options. I am homeschooling my eldest until the end of the year, so I could have a day or two a week with just him. It'd be refreshing not to have to split my attention, or even have just one twin to juggle.
Once he returns to school, I could have a day each week with each of the twins, enjoying some precious one-on-one time. I could have time without children, to write, develop software, or have the house remain tidy for more than 3.64 minutes. It's so hard to get in the creative zone when you have one ear pricked for the sound of secretive silence.
And just maybe, 20 free hours ECE tips the financial scale on whether it's worth me going back into fulltime work.
I guess I have a big decision to make, too.
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