Peanuts first birthday
365 days is a long time, so long in fact that we spend a year waiting for Santa to come again, or for another year where we can celebrate something special and enjoy a drink with friends. But this week marked our very special year - a year with our lovely little Peanut. I never knew how I'd feel about the occasion considering that a lot of friends with babies say that it marked a point for them at which they realised their baby wasn't a baby anymore, and felt sad. But for us this wasn't a sad day, I woke up so excited and couldn't wait to scoop Peanut out of her cot. True, it marked the 'she's a toddler now' stage and when she scrambled up the duvet to lay on her Daddy she squealed out 'Hiya' like a real little person; but it also made me realise something else - I've not broken her yet!
I'll be the first to admit that there's some days where I've been a bit careless and not been watching as much as I should have and Peanut has been on the receiving end, its little things like this that show you how careful you need to be in those early days. Completely different ball game now, Peanut climbs me like a monkey and drops off like a lemming while giggling on the way down. Nowadays it’s other things on the receiving end of a bump or scrape. This week it was the cake!
I think it's a pregnancy thing for those of us with time but when I was growing bigger by the minute I really got into baking. I'd do cakes, bread and biscuits to my heart’s content so when I thought about Caitlin's birthday cake naturally I nominated myself rather than Tesco or Asda to supply it. Well, what a mistake that was! After a couple of hours of preparing, baking and icing the thing, it came out broken at the base, ugly as sin and with not enough sugar paste to cover it, I decided there was only one thing for it - my fist. I was pretty miffed that I'd failed and in grand Sammy tradition it obviously (at the time) translated into me being a crap mum, failing in even the simplest task and when Peanut was old enough to know I couldn't do a cake for her birthday, she'd hate me. Clearly that was all irrational and after a telling off by Peanuts Daddy coupled with him giggling at my over-reaction, I stopped being such a moron. It did go in the bin though. Peppa Pig and her cakey Asda goodness came to the rescue and all was well; Peanut had her cake, she had a modest mountain of presents and a trip to The Deep with Mummy and Daddy to wake up to.
The birthday was amazing - it was just us 3 doing awesome family stuff; going out for the day and then to a restaurant for some food. It wasn't a huge party like I was going to do and it wasn't a massive cake and an out-of-tune chorus of mums, dads and screaming kids singing 'Happy Birthday' either. It was perfect and I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend our girl's first birthday. Caitlin loved being at the aquarium with her hands and face to every tank hissing 'Ssssshhhhhh' (her way of saying Fish) and squeaking in excitement at the sharks and jellyfish, she loved the frogs and the bugs and even the sparkling lights on the ceiling amazed her.
I sometimes have a look at her when she's just sat there being a good girl and I count her toes and fingers just to make sure I’ve not accidentally nipped one off; and run my fingers through her hair to see I've not yanked a chunk out while brushing it in the mad morning rush. Don't judge me; I'm just a normal mum really! The thing is, she's so precious to me and my previous blog about my mum will tell you all you need to know about why she's my absolute everything. I think that it’s an achievement for any mum and dad to say that after a year of raising a baby and coming to terms with the colossal ways in which your life has altered, that your baby is happy and healthy and your relationship with each other has survived, if not strengthened. Having a child isn't just the next step, it's a huge leap into an unknown world where everything is different and you have to change too - but for the better. Our life is totally enriched just for her being in it and I'm pretty sure she's getting me back for not watching when she took a tumble. So next time I find her finger up my nose or wrapped around my hair while she's giving them a good tug, I'll remember that I deserve it and that she loves me really.