As the helium balloons silently sink to the ground the day after my baby’s first birthday party, I wonder where the last year went and how he got so big so quickly. Now fully walking, exceptionally noisy and as big as your average three year old my little baby is now my little boy. A whole, unique person who knows his own mind and isn’t afraid to let us know when he wants or rather doesn’t want, to do something. Some would say he’s “spirited” as a nice way of saying he’s a bloody handful, but we wouldn’t have him any other way! It really feels like just last week I was processing steamed veg for him and then yesterday I was giving him whole pieces of birthday cake, biscuits, sandwiches and quiche and he could eat it! Whole! Without help! When did I blink and miss him growing into a toddler? I really need to pause life and just catch my breath.
Seth’s birthday was a relatively low key affair. Just some close friends and family, some food, cups of tea, balloons, party bags and one huge amazing cake. I went for a woodland animal theme for his party which I think worked really well. He had a few of his little baby friends there, who we’d met when we went to local baby music classes. It’s lovely to see how all the babies are growing up, I’ve known them all now since they were about three months, although Seth stands head and shoulders above them all because my partner and I are both tall, it’s lovely to see them all developing different skills. Seth is the first to properly walk but he has no interest in speech or problem solving yet. Whereas some of his friends can figure out how to turn their toys on and off, press buttons to make lights or sounds come on, others can say their first few words like drink, ta, mum, dad, play, milk etc. Yet another reminder to us all as parents that we shouldn’t worry too much about comparing our kids to others. They all get there in the end.
For Seth’s actual birthday we decided to spend the day as a family and took Seth to meet Father Christmas for the very first time.
It actually all went rather well! There was no queue, Santa was lovely, as were his elves and Seth actually sat still for a photo! Ok, he didn’t exactly smile and was seconds away from screaming, but all in all it was a parenting win for us! I love starting these new traditions with my little family as some of the traditions from my childhood are what I remember the most; trimming the tree with my mum, writing my list as soon as mum brought back the christmas Argos catalogue every year (although Mum, I’m still waiting for that Teddy Ruxpin!) and of course, visiting Santa. I’m starting a Christmas Eve box tradition for my family which will include an activity to do on Christmas eve, like making paper chain decorations or building a gingerbread house. I really want to install in my children a tradition of spending time with the family around Christmas. At the rate that this last year has gone by I really want to make the most of all the time I have with my family and show them that the things they remember are the things we did and the time we spent together, not the presents they received.
Over the last year I’ve watched my little baby be born, a tiny, wrinkly, pink thing so light and fragile in my arms. He’s learned to sit up, roll over, eat solid food, stand, climb, walk, clap, smile, laugh, dance and just generally melt my heart with every step of his journey. As a new mum I expected to be overwhelmed, I expected to be exhausted, but I never expected to be amazed and enchanted every single day by this little person who has become my world. If this is how much he can change in 1 short year then I’m so excited to see what next year brings for him and for us as a family.
But secretly I hope he’ll stay a baby for just a little bit longer.