Stuff and Things

I felt a lot of angst about Grady's birthday party last year. I didn't want people to feel obligated to bring him a birthday gift but I felt awkward and obnoxious mentioning gifts on the invitation. So I did nothing and people showed up with gifts and Grady was spoiled rotten and it was fine.

Grady has a lot of stuff. He has so many generous people who love him in his life so he's always receiving little gifts and treats. It makes me really happy that so many people love him. But it also makes me worried that Grady will grow up constantly expecting gifts and treats.  

At least three times a year we do a big purge and donate toys and clothes to other little babies we know or to charity. I'm trying very hard to make sure Grady doesn't grow up to be a hoarder (says the lady with borderline hoarder tendencies.) I'm not worried that Grady will grow up needing to be surrounded by a lot of stuff. I'm worried that he'll grow up expecting everything to belong to him.

Grady is so two right now. He wants what he wants and he wants it now. When we tell him no, or he is put in a position where he has to share, there are tears and there is shouting and there is this horrible look of betrayal in his eyes.

Birthdays are fun and presents are fun and Grady deserves a day to be celebrated. I'm just worried that as he becomes more aware of stuff (specifically his stuff,) a pile of birthday presents just reinforces his belief that everything belongs to him. How do I teach my kid that everything isn't just handed to him on a silver platter (when really, the first two years of his life were spent getting every wish and need fulfilled instantly.) (For the record, I don't regret how responsive I've been to Grady as a baby. I just feel like we're all ready for more boundaries and some damn manners.)