I cannot quite believe I am writing that down, but if I look at the dates it is true: my little baby turned one year old on Monday.
We had a small celebration with his grandparents, aunt, and a few acquaintances on Monday, and expect a larger group of friends and family on Sunday (it will be so busy for out little one; we have our fingers crossed that he will actually catch some sleep..).
As always, I was busy trying to juggle work and decorations for the village festival (which seems to coincide with Pim’s birthday from now until who knows when) as well as preparing for his birthday. It wasn’t perfect, but I certainly tried:
We decorated with lots of garlands and balloons (the picture doesn’t really capture it, since it only shows part of the room), that were all utterly fascinating to Pim. One of his current favourite pastimes is to point at objects, hear their name, and to be carried to them so he can briefly feel them — and so that is what he did with his birthday decorations. I also put up lots of pictures from the past year. Initially, I wanted to copy Michelle’s idea of putting up the number one in pictures, but I ended up simply putting a random collage of pictures on our glass doors in the living room and kitchen, because I couldn’t make a number work in our living room without damaging paint etc.. It still looks nice and really festive though, and I loved going through the pictures and revisiting some of these moments on the eve before Pim’s birthday, particularly as I haven’t been able to find the time to put together his actual photo book yet *blushes*.
I also made Pim a cake as well as a mock one for cake-smash purposes. The cake smash wasn’t a huge hit with Pim, but to be honest we had kind of expected it. He doesn’t really enjoy getting dirty and he is usually incredibly careful with things, and so instead of going for a full-on smash, he continued to carefully touch the cake with his fingertips, study his hands, and then frown a little as if he didn’t quite know what to make of this. Ah well, it made for some lovely pictures anyway. And it does capture his current personality remarkably well.
And anyway, Pim did enjoy doing “Hip, Hip, Hooray” in front of the cake. Every time we use that line he looks around so happy and proud with his arms in the air. And it, of course, made us proud too. We hadn’t expected him to do it in front of a large “audience”, since he usually reserves his clapping, waving, hoorays, kisses, and cuddles (the words he seems to associate with actions) for a more intimate setting.
As seems to be the case for most babies, Pim had little interest in his gifts. We had a small slide wrapped in the living room when he entered, but he only wanted to point and stare at the decorations when he first entered the room. After a little while he also became interested in the slide (we thought), but it turned out he only wanted to touch the balloons we had taped to the present. The tearing noise of wrapping paper couldn’t even interest him, he was so overwhelmed by the general state of the room. However, once the present were unpacked, he loved them! We had puzzled over what to get Pim for weeks. He had already received the two things we were sure he would love a month prior from others: a wooden activity cube with Pim’s 3-month-favourite: a wire maze on top, and a ball track. Traditionally, babies receive a sandbox, but the summer is almost over and as I said, Pim doesn’t like to get dirty.. and so we hadn’t a clue what to get him until he suddenly became obsessed with the baby slide in the pool last week. Of course, he can’t really use the slide as it is intended to be used yet but he loves it when we place him on top and let him mock-slide downwards. Also, it will be a nice addition to the still-being-renovated garden next year. Others also made quite a good judgement of toys Pim would enjoy, and we will continue to swap them up in the following months–year. He was particularly keen on the gift he received from my sister in America, which was extra nice given that she couldn’t be there.
Overall, I think the birthday went really well. I was, of course, a bit overwhelmed and emotional by the end of the day. Honestly, I wasn’t quite ready for the day to arrive and I also wasn’t quite ready for it to be over. I wish we could have celebrated Pim’s birthday all week. To make it last. Or to make the growing up so fast stop, perhaps? In that sense, I am glad we’ll be able to repeat the experience on Sunday.