Meet Barbie Mermaid.
Also known as Baby Ariel by Roo.
Her tail changes color in warm and cold water and her hair is long and streaked with ultra violet purple.
She is my 7 year old self’s wet dream.
Roo is in love with her.
She hasn’t left her side since she came out of her box.
I’m appreciative of such a gift being given to my girl. Something she loves with all her heart and then some.
It’s special and sweet to watch her as she plays her make believe out.
Last night, the mermaid married her Prince Eric.
Like I said. Make believe.
And all this is lovely and cute and the stuff of memories.
Only I resent that mermaid just a little bit.
Her arrival to my home was unwelcome.
I didn’t invite her.
She wasn’t expected.
She just showed up in a gift bag when my 3 year old daughter returned home from shopping for a present for each of her brothers.
On their birthday.
And that’s the crux of the issue for me.
I don’t believe my children want for anything.
Except perhaps a more patient and consistent mother.
But love, food, and more pointedly toys, they have in abundance.
Roo especially is not neglected in the way of toys and books.
The majority of toys in this house are hers.
The boys play with her toys. They receive very few of their own.
What they do receive, they must share.
It’s the nature of being a twin.
They share clothes, a room, toys, attention, food.
There are very few exceptions in what they don’t share.
And by few I mean one exception. And that’s Ted.
He is Oscar’s.
And Fraser shows no interest in playing with Ted.
In fact, the only time he touches Ted is to pick him up off the floor and give him to Oscar.
So it comes as no surprise that although my boys don’t even mind their sister was gifted her new best friend on their birthday, I really do.
I mind that on a day that was meant to be about them, they were made to share the glory with yet another child.
I mind that the mermaid came in its own Happy Birthday gift bag, to match the boys’ gift bags.
I mind that for no other reason than fairness, she was bought a doll that she otherwise would have had to wait until her birthday or Christmas for.
And chances are that would be her only gift from us.
I mind that it wasn’t really fairness at all.
I mind that Roo is the kind of kid that would have just been excited to watch her brothers open their presents and to sing Happy Birthday and eat cake.
Singing Happy Birthday and eating cake are two of her favourite things.
At a birthday party on the weekend, a birthday boy was not inclined to share his new toys.
Fair enough in my opinion. It was his birthday after all.
At one point, he dropped a toy.
Roo picked it up, looked at it momentarily, and then handed back the toy happily.
She understands birthdays.
She understands that it’s not always about her.
Roo would have been more than understanding if, when faced with a wall of dolls, she had been told:
“Not this time. It’s not your birthday today. Maybe when it is your birthday we’ll come and have a look.”
Roo was born with a patience that I was not. And I do my best to encourage her patience, kindness and generosity.
So I really do mind that all of that was disregarded.
And not in a small way.
How do you feel about being “fair” on birthdays? Do you think it’s necessary to get something for siblings so they don’t feel left out?