Tomorrow you are a year old. I hope you like your present. Daddy has spent days and days de-rusting it, repainting it and making your very own licence plate. I hope you don’t mind that it cost £2. I hope when you’re older you’ll be impressed and proud that it cost £2. It only cost £2 because we have spent the whole of this year with a direct debit set up at the local chemist. All hopes for eco-mummy went out with the first tummy-bug and any ideas of reusable nappies and free and ‘easy’ breastfeeding were quickly obliterated by your fiercesome suckle. So formula, nappies and clothes are the way forward.
I’m sitting waiting for Granny and Grandad to arrive and have made you a big cake shaped like a Number One as well as a little House-shaped cake from the leftover cut-off bits that we can eat with Granny before the big Party on Saturday for all your little friends and our big friends.
All this preparation, baking, tidying, restoring and general nest-feathering is in your honour, but I hope you know that it is also, I hope, not too enormously over-compensating for my general disinterest and disengagement over the last 360 days. I say 360 because, over the last few days, there have been no end of developments in your personality that make my stomach flip every time you perform. There’s the little royal wave that greets every look in your direction, the noise mimicking (everything from shrieks, mammamamas, dadadadadas and gagagaggas), the 12 steps unaided that mark the beginning of the unassisted walker (goodness help us), the facial interest and delight that is cementing your cheeky, interested, tricksy and gleeful personality.
You take delight in emptying any container you come across, be it a handbag, a cupboard, a drawer, a nappy bag or a toybox, meticulously and individually selecting and discarding each item in turn. You are a fabulously interested eater and have so far only eschewed scrambled egg (albeit temporarily)… Favourites are the obligatory fromage frais, satsumas, cream cheese sandwiches, hummous… Chocolate is a rare treat courtesy of Granny’s Advent Calendar.
Tomorrow we’re going to soft play for the morning and then a pub restaurant for lunch. I’m at ease with you, I’m enjoying you. I feel like you were the right choice. You are just what I wanted. It’s taken me 360 days to feel complete.
I’m relieved and relaxed and rejuvenated. This is me. This is amazing. This is us. And you are my daughter. What a feeling.