Toe's school has a "no treats/no parties" birthday policy, and before you start thinking, "Oh, the Jehovah's Witness Academy," um, no. Lots of public schools have gone to that in an attempt to nip childhood obesity in the bud (and also, I am convinced, save their overworked teachers and understaffed schools the trouble of slicing, serving and cleaning up after 45 sheet cake services every other day). And then of course, he is not even allowed to sit in his chair and pray that he could go to another school (Toe doesn't do anything silently, not even prayer).
Anyway, the one "treat" of pencils are allowed. Yawn. Pencils, a bleak affair. So we sent those for the class, with smileys on them, in neon colors, with adorable bendy rubber posable kitties clinging cutely to the erasers. Those were the most festive damn pencils I have ever seen in my life, but let's face it, they're not Lightning McQueen cupcakes with sprinkles. His classmates did all make him cards, which was sweet. I wish the teacher had allowed the kids to maybe use more than one single color of construction paper, though. 12 navy blue cards can start to bring your mood down a little--a splash or red or pink or orange here and there would have really popped.
In the end we decided to let Toe take a half day off from the public school gulag and make our own extended birthday merry. Ihink it must have turned out pretty well for Toe, since he turned to me and said, "I really really like being six!" And he didn't ask for Jennifer once.