Middle girl had a little bit of a blip this week. Her class were working on charts and graphs and needed to establish the birthdays of the class members to complete their findings.
The teacher asked middle girl, ‘when were you born?’
Middle girl entered a state of panic. Her teacher immediately noticed her expression and fearful look and realised what she’d said and how that might have upset middle girl, and did her best to quickly move past the topic. (It was an easy mistake for her to make, I’ve made similar myself, but she felt really awful she later told me, being a teacher of an adopted child can be very stressful and worrisome).
It came out in our therapy session later that afternoon. Middle girl had told us that she’d been quite upset at school and explained why. She didn’t know about the day she was born and she didn’t know how to find out. Instead of it being a simple math activity, that innocent question had filled her head with thoughts of her past and birth family.
It struck me that middle girl didn’t know that her birthday was in fact the anniversary of day she was born.
I asked her when her birthday was, she knew. I explained that the day she was born, was in fact the same date as her birthday.
I asked big girl and baby girl later that day if they knew the date they were born. Big girl knew that is was the date of her birthday, baby girl did not.
I wonder how many other children do not realise this correlation between their birth date and their birthday!