A birthday celebration for Maia and a note on sibling jealousy

Our Maia papaya turned two years old… and of course we had a celebration!

These days birthday parties look very different but to be honest, I’m kind of loving it and I don’t know if I will ever go back to having a guest list a mile long. For Maia’s little celebration, it was just our family of 4, my sister and my mom and dad and so it was very relaxed and low key, but that didn’t mean that we didn’t jazz up the garden to make things special for our little Boomie.

I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on decor, especially because we have so many bits and pieces around the house that can be repurposed. We didn’t have a specific theme, more just pops of colours which meant that it was a lot easier to use decor that was left over from previous parties, etc. I did head to Westpack to buy some paper plates (because who wants to do dishes), paper cups, paper straws and serviettes. And what’s a birthday party without balloons? I chose a number 2 of course, and then just loved the little cloud and rainbow one so brought that home too. We had the big pink paper tubs already but they’re also available from Westpack, as are the wands. And that was all that I needed to buy decor wise, what an absolute win!

As always, I raided our cupboards and the rooms in our home to find stuff to decorate the rest of the garden for the little party. I ended up not needing much, especially since it was such a small celebration. I popped up our My Tiny Teepee that we’ve had for yonks, spread out a massive quilt (although these mats from Moving Parade look amazing and so easy to clean!) and moved our wicker bench from the other side of the garden to next to a little table that I had set up with some tablecloths. And that was the decor done and dusted! It really wasn’t a lot but I think it looked so sweet and as a bonus, didn’t cost a bomb.

Let’s be honest, the most important part of the party is the food, more specifically the cake. We were so spoilt by The Purple Whisk who gifted us with the most delicious funfetti and buttercream cake. The cake was the perfect size for our little celebration of 7 and our Valentine’s Day picnic the next day too, there wasn’t a crumb left! I absolutely loved the sugar biscuits that were used to decorate the cake, and they tasted as good as they looked!

Aria was very excited about the snacks for the party, so I decided to take her with me to go pick up a few. I told her that she could choose 4 and so we ended up with pink and white twisted marshmallows, rainbow cookies, sea salted popcorn and some Happy Licious Care Share Dare gums. I also picked up some fruit juice. I popped the snacks into the pink tubs and and plates and set them all up around the birthday cake.

All in all, it was just a lovely day that Maia (and everyone else) enjoyed to the max.

Something that I thought I would touch on in this post as well is sibling jealousy when it comes to birthdays. This was the first year that we experienced it and I am beyond proud at how well Aria handled it.

Siblings feeling jealous of the other when it comes to birthdays is so normal, especially when they’re also still working out how to handle their emotions. I wanted to share how we handled Aria’s emotions when it came to this.

  1. Personally we don’t believe in giving both siblings a gift, or what’s known as a sharing present on birthdays, even if it is something small. We feel that our girls need to learn how to celebrate each other and that learning to process jealousy is a life skill to be learnt.
  2. We prepped Aria that Maia’s birthday was coming up and that she would be getting a lot of the attention and presents. We explained that in the beginning Maia might not want to share her presents but soon she would, and when it came to her (Aria’s) birthday, she would probably feel the same and that’s perfectly okay! We also explained that it was only for one day and really emphasised how much fun it is celebrating other people.
  3. In the past, we’ve always found that getting Aria involved in the process of whatever was unfolding helped her process it so much better and so we did the same with Maia’s birthday. We asked her if she would like to choose a gift for Maia, which she did and so I planned a little outing for just the two of us; we picked out a gift for Maia, donuts for the birthday morning and then I also decided to let her choose the snacks for the occasion. I find that it’s important to manage the expectations here and to put in boundaries, else it can all fall to pieces. So, before we went to the shops we spoke about what she would like to get for Maia (a cute, cozy, coat she said), this way I could plan exactly which shops to go to. When we were in the grocery store I set boundaries for the snacks – she could choose 4 snacks, it worked like a charm.
  4. It’s inevitable that there will be a little (or big!) meltdown on the day. It’s a lot for a little person to process, jealousy really is a monster of an emotion. When I could see that Ari was getting frustrated by Maia not wanting to share, or was just beginning to get on edge, either Dan or I would take her aside (“Ari, please can you come help me here” or “Ari, come look at this quickly”) and have a quick chat to her about how she was feeling, reassure her, give her a cuddle and come up with a plan. So for example, Aria was getting jealous that Maia wouldn’t share the new pram, we had a little chat, she had a little cry, she verbalised beautifully that she was feeling jealous and then we brainstormed. In the end (only took 10 minutes really) we decided on an activity for her to take outside, which of course Maia was then interested in, so Aria did actually get her chance with the pram.

The good news is that all of this excitement always leads to a brilliant nights rest for everyone and in the morning, things are a lot easier, if not completely back to normal.

I hope that this post has inspired you for one of your Covid celebrations or even helped you with sibling jealousy, if you have any other tips, please leave them in the comments – I know I have many more years of this to come!

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