Littlest’s first birthday was this past Saturday. As I saw it approaching on the calendar, I started wondering how we should celebrate. I mean, babies don’t know what births are, or what days are, much less years. (I imagined Littlest asking me what a year was and answering, “Your entire life.” Don’t worry, he doesn’t talk yet, much less ask questions like that.) But the consensus from my mom colleagues was that the first birthday creates memories and pictures to share with the kiddo later on.
So I created a low-key plan, involving American yellow cake and a couple guests. J’s sister turned down the invitation in favor of leaving on vacation a day earlier (I am not over this, they travel in a van and leave on a minute’s notice), and his parents had already paid for a trip down south (totally not offended by this, since they very obviously couldn’t change their plans but were also sad they couldn’t come, like normal human family members would be). So I invited over two of my own friends who were thrilled to see Littlest again and celebrate him turning one.
Here’s the cake I made, and the icing I put on it, since I didn’t feel like looking for corn syrup after all. I had some sprinkles left over from the baby shower and bought some chocolate letters and a number one candle.
This being France, there were not three Ps in the letter package and I was thus obliged to write happy birthday in French. Next time maybe someone will write it in icing.
Littlest put his hand in the candle flame during our first singing attempt, so we had to start over once Daddy had blown out the candle and rinsed his hand in cold water. He enjoyed making a totally manageable mess of the cake and using one of his gifts to play peekaboo.
The gift opening was sort of intense because it took some time to get him interested in each gift, let him discover it, and then bring out another one. But he really seemed to enjoy himself and now has lots of new things. I’ve even started putting away his toys after bedtime.
New books from Nanna
So, I’m really happy with our little party, which lasted about two hours. J’s little brother came by later in the day so Littlest even got one final present after naptime. He had already celebrated his birthday with the nanny Friday, and she had stuck an adorable picture of him wondering what was going on in his daily notebook.
In all the excitement I’ve forgotten to take his 12-month picture. Maybe tomorrow? This might be the last one since counting by month seems less interesting now.
It’s been sweet to think about where we were a year ago, to look at the pictures I took at the maternity ward, and to think about how little I knew this baby boy back then. He’s such a joy and a surprise every day. There are so many things I look forward to doing with him as he gets bigger, but I still want to hold on to this baby part of his life a bit longer, even as he’s getting closer to toddler-hood.