Sunday, 19 August 2012

Week 50- date cake, cheap birthdays and Emily from Coronation Street

Nancy will be one in three weeks time. I will have a one year old daughter. This, somehow, feels far more grown up than having a baby, even though we're talking about the same person.

Maybe it's because she feels like a proper little girl now, with her own take on life.

She chats to me. A high pitched 'ning ning ning' for when she's a bit pissed off, or I'm not doing something right, like feeding her yoghurt too slowly.

And 'yama yama yama' for when all's good with the world.

I realise that the excuses I used for buggering things up when she was a little baby, don't really apply any more. I should be able to get out the house with her in twenty minutes because, let's be honest, if we can't get it together now, we're never going to.

I think now it's not about finding ways to cope with lack of sleep and no social life anymore. Although I would like to go out for the odd pint now and then without it being such a long time in between that the cost of a beer has gone up by about a quid.

It's about learning how to function as a family. For the rest of our life.

And thinking about all of us. Instead of just me.

It's my birthday three days after Nancy's. And usually I make an absolutely massive deal about it. Telling people about it about eight weeks in advance. Gentle reminders to start with. And then just going on about it loads in the three weeks beforehand.

So this is kind of the beginning of my aggressive birthday marketing campaign, which ends with about four different events, going out for tea, to the pub, maybe the beach, and a picnic during the day.

But I haven't even thought about what to do this year. This isn't because I've become more selfless. It just seems that Nancy's birthday is a bigger reason to celebrate, as we've got through a whole year unscathed and still, on the whole, smiling.

Thing is, I'm not too sure what you're meant to do for a one year olds birthday. And what you buy for a little person, who really, isn't going to remember.

I'm not very good at cooking, we have a flat the size of a generous doctors waiting room, and we're on a crippling budget.

Hen dos. No problem. I've organised two brill ones and another in the pipeline. Surprise birthdays as well, I'm rocking at that.

But is inviting a load of your mates with kids to the park, which you'd probably normally do anyway, considered an OK birthday do, or is it just a bit tight and unimaginative?

There's so much more to organise as well. Sending out proper invites instead of just inviting people via Facebook. Making a cake that doesn't taste gross but is made up mainly of dates and dried apricots, and other disappointing stuff for a birthday cake. And bagsying a good spot in the park before all the other univited parents and kids turn up for a play.

I know she won't remember it. But I will.

Normally, birthdays come and it's a bit difficult to remember what you've done in the last year, unless you've moved, or got a new job, or had a lovely holiday. But even then, there's sometimes a bit of  'was that this year or last year, I can't remember...'

But I know EXACTLY what I've done over the last year. I know how many times I've seen my mum, how many trips we've taken to London. I remember the number of times I've been swimming, with and without Nancy. I know exactly how much weight I've lost. And put back on again. I know the plays I've seen, the clothes I've bought, the books I've read.

But mainly, I know that I've spent everyday with a brand new person. One that we made. The thought of which still makes my brain feel like its going to explode if I think about it too much.

I know how her face has changed from a scrunched up mewing baby, with wrinkly fingers that flex and unfurl like fern leaves. To a little girl who head butts me affectionately, laughs when you tickle her, and has six gappy teeth and a hairdo that looks a bit like its been blowdryed and set, like Emily's from Coronation Street.

I've gone from having no structure and no real plans past the weekend. To not leaving the house without the changing bag, two bottles of formula, an emergency bag of raisins, the rain cover and factor 50+ sun cream.

I've got a new boss who's less than a year old. Whose birthday will be more important than mine for the rest of my life.

And she doesn't even know it yet.


  1. Happy birthday you two! And congratulations and jubilations on a year's parenting! Can't actually believe it's been that long, incredible... Love reading your blog and hearing what you've been up to, sounds like the little nugget that was Nancy has grown up into quite the gorgeous glamour puss! Enjoy the first of many birthday parties to come with Nancy xxx

  2. Thanks lovely, would love to see you soon and hear all your news. let me know when's good for you. We're normally free on Thursday and Fridays. xx