Expert advice on how to do birthdays

Sent Son a birthday parcel, addressed in my traditional way, with 'Birthday Boy' in between his first and second name on the envelope. But he was out when they delivered the parcel, and the postman left one of those little notes on which he's written, 'There is a parcel waiting for Birthday Boy Hill. Please will Birthday Boy come and collect it from the post office.'

Now Son, who's 23, has to go and claim it.

Says he's going to turn the collar up on his coat and wear a big hat.

I hope he likes the present, once he's got over the embarrassment of collecting it. He also has to get over the fact that it's enclosed in bubble wrap and brown paper, not bright and sparkly birthday wrap. I asked Husband if he'd wrap it up ready to send, and Husband forgot that, usually, there's a surprise element and a celebratory element about birthday presents which most people would feel called for an attractive covering and a gift tag.

Still, it will pay Birthday Boy back for all the years he's given us scraps of A4 paper out of his school/college notebooks saying 'IOU a present' because he's forgotten all our important dates until reminded by the fact that the house is festooned with balloons and cards and someone is cutting a cake.

Actually, I tell a lie. I'm doing him an injustice. One year he gave me one of his toffees. It was treacle toffee, I think. The flavour he doesn't like.


  1. Oh that's funny! My son would not claim the present if he had to admit to being Birthday Boy. I used to write "Jimbo" on his lunch bag when he was small (his name is Jim) and by the time he was 7 he made me throw out the bag and get a new, unmarked one before he would head off for school.

  2. I used to have to write 'If you find this boy wandering around looking lost, please ring this number ....' on my son's bag. I stopped doing that eventually. I think he was ... er ... 22 at the time.

  3. I swear I spend half my time in line at the post office mailing various things out to my two daughters who no longer live at home. For Valentines Day I sent each of them a care pkg. with homemade cookies and fudge. One year I "forgot" to send out Easter items and I heard about it. I guess they never get too old to enjoy a little thoughtful gift from Mom at home.

  4. Gaf, you sound like a much nicer mother than I am. I will send you the addresses of all my children.


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