When Your Little Baby Isn’t Little or a Baby Any More or “The Emotional Rollercoaster That Is Your Firstborn’s First Birthday”

I think I need to go and collapse in bed.

Today was emotional, the kind of emotional where I wonder why I chose to try out the new “extreme super mega amazing length” mascara when “looks half-decent waterproof” was clearly the minimum requirement. But it was also hilarious (squeals of laughter, enthusiastic ripping of wrapping paper and the occasional slow-motion face-plant as Sophie rolled off of her new bouncy tent thing) and just bloody lovely. No other way to describe it really. Lovely. I felt loved, I felt in love with her, she loved playing with us all day, and also really loved her birthday cake. She especially loved her new tea set from Auntie Charlotte and Uncle Chris and sat drinking imaginary tea out of her little plastic cups with hearts on. Good girl.

We had planned to go out to Sandwell Valley, but a mixture of “I don’t like the look of those clouds”, my anxiety and the fact that yes, she’d probably like to see some animals but she can’t get too close for fear of grabbing and smacking the poor furry babies but also she’s been to see animals already this week and to be honest it’ll be fun to play with all her new toys and she won’t know what she’s missing-

breathe…

So yeah, we ended up staying at home and played with Sophie’s new toys and took lots of funny photos, played in the garden, had yummy birthday breakfast and lunch and were perfectly happy.  Decided to go to Sandwell Valley during Damien’s time off next week as all the kids will be back at school so it’ll be much quieter, woo!

Sophie has already had a lot of excitement this week, as on Saturday it was her birthday party!  I think as far as parties go, it was a success, and I’m putting a lot of that success (but not all, a good part of it was my lovely family and friends helping set up and clean up, mwah, and my 4-year-old niece Imogen finding me in the kitchen at regular intervals to tell me that everything was in fact going very well in the garden.  Future event-planner that one, very professional and thorough) down to the fact that it doesn’t take much to entertain babies. There were a few older children there, but throw in some bubbles, crayons and giant chalk so they can go nuts on the patio and they’re happy for a few hours.  I made a point of enjoying the simplicity of it all as in years to come I’m sure there’ll be a demand for themes, entertainers, petting zoos etc.  Nope, this year she was happy as Larry with cuddles, cake and stealing her grandad’s burger.

Without really making a point to think about it and reminisce, I’ve still been thinking back to the day she was born and feeling the weird feelings I had that day, things I haven’t felt since she was at most 3 months old, like the absolute crippling fear that she was asleep in her cot but wasn’t breathing and I hadn’t noticed because I was a terrible mother, or the level of tiredness I felt when being woken for the 6th time that night by a tiny but somehow also VERY LOUD scream demanding milk and wondering if I was awake or if this time I was actually dreaming it all.

I thought about how tiny she was, and how it made my insides clench just a little bit because I was so overwhelmed with love and pride and fear.

Then for a split second I thought about how I missed that weird mixture of feelings and wanted it again, and how lovely would it be to have another little baby.  Then I stopped myself right there and realised I was clearly tired and the best cure for that is sleep.  So I’m going to sleep now.

To the next amazing year!

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