To our gorgeous little girl,
Happy birthday! I’m pretty sure you can’t possibly be 1 yet, but the calendar tells me otherwise. The last 12 months have whizzed by, and yet it’s like you’ve always been here.
This time last year you were 9 days late, it was the hottest summer for years, I was visible from space and I wondered if I’d be the first person to have a 12 month pregnancy. Then, at 5:15am on 21 August, my waters broke. Almost 15 hours and a bit of shouting and screaming later, you were born. I cried (standard), Daddy cried, and in that moment we fell in love all over again – with you.
These 12 months have been the hardest and most rewarding, in equal measure. From your first smile, the first time you sat up, the first time you rolled, the first time you crawled across the room, your first word (“Dadda”) and your little box of tricks (blowing kisses, waving at birds, grinning at EVERY camera, saying “yeah” to everything, dancing to Disney’s Birthday Book) we are so proud of you. You spent most of your first 3 months on this earth crying. A lot. Now, every time we take you out at least one person comments on how smiley and happy you are – that makes us realise how much we have achieved, too.
You and I have had the best social life. We have been to Pyjama Drama, Monkey Music, Baby Sensory, Baby Group, swimming, Tiny Tumblers, Funtastic, Tots & Toddlers. We have been to the park, to the seaside, to picnics, to hotels, to soft play, to farms, to restaurants, to birthday parties and to a Christening. We have had almost weekly play-dates with your NCT buddies – for me, coffee and cake sessions with 7 other Mummies that have made me smile even when I really haven’t felt like it. And you have made so many friends, most of whom who pinch food from, but I’m sure they’ll all forgive you.
You met your Great Grandad when you were just 6 weeks old and straightaway he said how much you looked like me, and that your lips were a perfect cupid’s bow. Your Great Grandad, my much-loved Grandad, would be so proud of you and I know he is looking down and smiling when you’re racing up and down the lounge. It was so fitting that you learnt to crawl when your Great Grandma was visiting, as your cousin did exactly the same 2 years ago in Great Grandad and Great Grandma’s lounge. He would love you just as much as we all do, and he thought the world of all of his Great Grandchilden.
Your favourite things are waving at birds out of Mummy and Daddy’s bedroom window, yoghurt, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse (especially when they read out the birthdays), playing musical instruments, the MegaBlocks advert, dancing to the Shake n Vac song, grapes, emptying the office bin, Mummy’s spaghetti bolognaise, and sitting with the teacher in all the classes we go to. Reading back that little list I reckon you’re almost as random as your Mother…
You love your sleepovers at Nanny and Grampy’s, playing peepo on Facetime with Grandma and Grandad (every time you see Grandad on screen, in a picture or in person, you laugh – but he doesn’t take it personally). You love causing mess and mayhem with your 3 (soon to be 4) cousins, and you keep your Uncle Dave, Aunty Vicki, Uncle Marc and Aunty Jane on their toes (it’s only fair payback for all the times your cousins have used me and Daddy as climbing frames and trampolines).
Last Christmas I wondered if I was cut-out for this Mummying lark. I knew this year would be one of the toughest, but I didn’t realise quite how tough. A year on and I reckon we’ve done okay; you are so happy, so smiley, so sociable and we will never take for granted how lucky we are to have you.
So happy birthday, gorgeous girl. Eat cake*, play, laugh and be happy. We love you more than you will ever know, thank you for choosing us.
Mummy & Daddy xxxx
*Not all of it, mind. It’s my birthday tomorrow and from this birthday forward I suspect my cake will be your leftovers. And I do love cake.
Your first year in pictures, month by month