If you’d ask anyone that truly knows me, they will tell you that I love planning things. Even before having a baby I would plan my ‘out out’ outfit weeks in advance. There was nothing better than putting on brand new clothes for me. I instantly felt more confident, now I’m lucky to enjoy fresh bedding that hasn’t been defecated on.
So there was no question when considering what to do for Ernest’s first birthday that I wouldn’t organise something. I was already thinking about it 6 months into his existence, telling my friends I would throw a big party for him and pinning the shit out of confetti balloons and cake toppers.
My ideas of grandeur slowly but surely started to fall by the wayside. I started to have doubts. Was i being ridiculous for wanting a big bash for a one year old? Would he really know what was going on? Was it all a total waste of money?
Timmy would be away (as always) for his birthday and I knew if anything we would plan it for when he got back. The weeks drifted by, Christmas came and went, New Year came and went and before I knew it we were weeks away from his birthday.
I started to realise that I hadn’t thought about his birthday at all. I was trying to get my head around the fact my little boy would no longer be a little boy. I was so caught up in the throws of him growing up that everything else didn’t matter.
I must admit i had been struggling of late to muster up any motivation. I was feeling the weight of timmy being away for weeks and the prospect of more of this whilst he embarked on a course to possibly change his whole career path. The thought of doing anything outside of work and mothering instantly made me tired.
I found myself at the week before his birthday with nothing arranged. I had hoped to take him out for the day to the woods or beach but cornish weather being as unpredictable as it usually is, decided it would be raining. I had the weekend before his birthday to get my shit together so I dashed around the shops looking for things to dress the house with. I could have gone crazy and bought loads of stuff but I decided i’d go a little more low key.
Its so hard as I know he’ll never turn one again. That’s it. He’s now officially a toddler. So I could have just thought fuck it ill have all the balloons, all the presents and all the party food but actually when it came to it I just didn’t have the time or energy to do it all on my own. I knew in the back of my mind that I didn’t need to go crazy as he would never know the difference. I almost felt guilty for not making more of an effort and I honestly surprised myself with my laidback attitude.
I gave him the best I could with the budget that I had. I ended up getting him a nice birthday outfit, new coat and a push along toy as I knew he would have been spoilt anyway. I do think we see what others have done and judge it upon that. I didn’t get him any big fancy toys and actually felt a little embarrassed that I hadn’t done more. I had seen so many lovely extravagant birthday ideas and couldn’t wait to get stuck in to planning the birthday of the century but the reality was I was so tired I barely manage to look after myself let alone plan anything.
I was quite impressed with my panic mode skills however.I just threw a load of random stuff together and hoped for the best. He was over the moon with a packet of Poundland balloons blown up to play with. I don’t think my cheeks have fully recovered yet. The pain we go through to put a smile on our children’s face huh? I managed to blow up four of the long sausage kind before I gave up! I mean seriously!? How hard? I of course purchased the obligatory giant numerical balloon too. This was purely for my own selfish reasons as it makes for the perfect picture. What says first birthday better than with a giant foil balloon!?
Ernest decided that this day of all days was the one he would be at his most grumpiest. I think the combination of having lots more people than normal in the house teamed with sore pegs, meant that he barely ate and wasn’t his usual smiley self. I invited a few family members over for a birthday tea and attempted to bake my first ever bundt cake. What with baking a cake, making party food, a grumpy Ernest and a very annoying cat it definitely made for an interesting and crazy day.
It was so odd waking up the next day. I looked at Ernest so differently as he suddenly had this grown up face and mannerisms. How is that possible? Timmy really saw the change too. It was like he returned to this completely different child. I think the fact he’s now mobile means he’s doing what he wants. He probably felt so restricted before, that now every crawl is done with great gusto and matching carpet burns to boot.
Ernest has now officially been one for a whole week. Every day I see the changes in him, even in such a short space of time. His first birthday may not have been as planned as i’d hoped but it was everything I could have wished for. My cake was pretty good too.