Baby D’s first birthday has been and gone with all its ripped tissue paper, cake crumbs and crawling in and out of cardboard boxes. We were joined by family from both sides of the country and it was a lovely day, despite some worrying news hanging over us.
With Scrip, turning one meant so many things and some were similar to Baby D but some totally different. I keep getting told not to compare the two but she’s my only other baby template so it’s hard not to. With D, one year seems to have been a real marker and he’s been frantically upskilling in the last few weeks so he could hit the milestone with a bang.
So this is Baby D’s guide to turning the ripe old age of one year old:
- Reveal your lightning quick crawling and start pulling up on everything – particularly relatives. Remember, walking’s for wimps (but if ‘helpful’ people encourage you to try to walk, respond with stiff legs and an instant sitting position).
- Use this occasion as an opportunity to eat as much as you can (don’t forget, honey and runny eggs are now fair game). If there’s a party, polish off crisps and at least a few pieces of cake and hoover up any dropped crumbs quickly and efficiently.
- Grown ups are likely to be distracted with ribbon and nibbles so now’s the time to try and get into those places you’ve only ever dreamt of going. Like the understairs cupboard, toolbox or a peep inside the (hot) oven [yes, this happened].
- New toys are for exploring – namely banging together or throwing, whatever kind of toy they are. Ride-ons are for pulling up on or pushing over. And it’s important to move on from each toy with record speed.
- Lull your parents into a false sense of security with a few nights of sleeping through around your first birthday (‘we’ve finally cracked it!”) and then bring them down to earth with a bump the day after.
- Your sister is now fair game for hitting (hilarious), pulling hair (even better) or wiping your nose on (convenient).
- And whatever you do and however much mischief you cause, know that your family couldn’t love you any more if they tried.
Happy one year Baby D. 🙂
We had a toy audit recently – not so much getting rid but stowing away those that don’t get picked out of the big basket in the corner of the room as often as they used to. It was actually quite hard. Some were obviously for ‘baby’ babies – so the fluffy blocks and left over teething toys could be gathered up. But I noticed many of the toys were still popular even though they were ‘old timers’ by some people’s toy box standards (which means they were at least 6 – 9 months old. And still going strong.)
When we were in Greece last October, sitting by the pool in the last of the summer sunshine (with a slightly subdued Scrip), we got chatting to another couple staying at the resort. They had a 2 and a half year-old, Cameron. In amongst the general anecdotes and advice I like to soak up from parents slightly ahead of us, I remember them saying how slowly the first six months go, and then how everything speeds up, and before you know it, your baby’s 18 months and you wonder where the time’s gone.
For me, it was probably the first eight months that went at the most leisurely pace. I was grateful for that as time went on – I remember being on maternity leave during the summer and revelling in the fact I had a few months of sunshine (hopefully) and Scrip gradually growing and changing stretching out in front of me. But, as I’ve said before, the first three or four months were pretty tough and I vividly recall counting down the hours from around 5pm until my husband came home, and being particularly relieved when the weekend came around.
At eight months, Scrip started crawling competently, and I went back to work, part-time. I was still getting my weekly and monthly baby updates (‘your baby at ten months’) and reading them as much as I could, but each month seemed to roll by much more quickly, and my newborn became my baby and then my little toddler. Her first birthday was suddenly upon us and before I knew it she was 13 months, and developing all the time. Cameron’s parents were right.
All bets are off – at least they were when Scrip reached the ripe old age of one and hadn’t taken her first steps. Well, that’s not quite true – she’d maybe taken one or two wobbly steps towards me or the sofa but I couldn’t really say she was walking. Which was a surprise because we all thought she’d walk by 12 months.
She’s always been a baby who wanted to be on her feet. From around four months, as soon as you’d pick her up, instead of cuddling in she’d push down with her little toes. And she was also very keen on being bounced on them – I have her to thank for my toned upper arms, which were taking shape long before I lost all my baby weight.
She’s also been standing and holding on for a good few months, and we’ve got videos of her at Christmas walking with support, chasing and kicking a little ball around (very sweet!) More recently she’s perfected one-handed walking and even a gentle trot along. So we all thought that before the start of March she’d have let go all together. Her birthday came and went in a fantastic whirl – we had such a great time, (only partly due to the vintage champagne we cracked open with abandon).
Then, in the week after her birthday, she’s taken three then four steps towards a table, and then tonight, I put her down for a second, and she walked off towards the wall. I was astonished! Despite the fact I’ve been encouraging her for the last few weeks, I don’t think I quite realised that she was capable of moving those little legs whilst balancing independently.
It was a lovely sight and I can’t wait for her to wake up tomorrow and have another go. And to share it with my husband, who unfortunately wasn’t there to see it. But luckily, like so many things with babies, rather than being a single event to see or miss, it’s a progression. So we can help her perfect her toddling technique together.
So much for ‘low key’ and ‘no fuss’ – as the countdown to Scrip’s first birthday begins in earnest (23 days…) I find myself designing invites, planning a big spread and researching the best way to buy helium balloons in the shape of number one. They must be large and shiny (and possibly pink).
We’ve decided to go for a family affair, plus two close friends and another baby, on her actual birthday, which is luckily a Saturday. Scrip’s lovely Aunty (well, one of them) has offered to make her cake, and my MIL is already planning a large tray of sandwiches (and asking me to confirm how many rounds we’ll need…) Then on my day off after the weekend, there’ll be a gathering of babies and mums or nannies who are around for a bit of an afternoon play and a cupcake or two. There are likely to be a few of us so I’m looking for venues at the moment. A room or area in a cafe or even a pub around Chiswick or the Askewniverse would be ideal – hopefully I’ll find somewhere perfect and post about it afterwards.
Scrip’s already been to a few first birthdays – she’s worn a little party hat, fought over toys, hoovered up chocolate cake crumbs and even taken home her first party bag. And I’ve really enjoyed the ones I’ve been at with her, even if they are all rather hectic.