A Year In The Life of Little Girl

I cannot believe that yesterday was Little Girl’s first birthday. Everybody tells you that years fly by when you have kids and they are not wrong!

The baby months have been incredibly precious and I have loved almost every minute of it. This, watching a baby turn into a little person in a matter of months, has at times felt like a momentous scientific experiment in which I was a mere spectator. The truth is, there is a part of me that let out a huge sigh of relief when I realised that she was going to learn new things and grow up without needing as much direction from me as I first thought. As a parent, you either really don’t have a clue what you’re doing, or have vague ideas of what you would like to do with your child, and I personally found it reassuring to know that she would learn to crawl, walk, talk, etc with only a bit of encouragement from me; that most babies instinctively learn these things.

And so here we are. I give you 12 months of Little Girl:

What a difference 12 months make!

To celebrate her birthday, we decided to have a picnic in the garden and invite friends and family rather than focus it on the children. So Saturday was as much about us having survived the first year as it was about her turning a milestone, and it was a relaxed (but heaving) affair. I figured that we would have plenty more opportunities for kids’ parties in the future and that she wouldn’t remember any of it anyway… I know, I’m a terrible parent!

In Britain, children’s parties are pretty full on: halls are hired, clowns and bouncy castles are bought in and party bags are given to each child; these bags tend to contain a piece of cake and a present. And here I was thinking the cake was going to be the highlight! Whilst I want my daughter to enjoy her parties, I feel intimidated by the cost and the work-intensive quality of English parties and I am reluctant to bow down to pressure to conform. I can always do it differently and blame it on being French! I do recall it being more easy-going in France, although it was such a long time ago it may well have changed since then. I went to a number of parties where the afternoon consisted of cake, face painting and playing hide-and-seek whilst the parents sat in the garden enjoying a cold glass of wine, and that sounds more like my kind of party if I’m honest!

In any case, it was a fantastic day. For one thing, it was the first day of good weather since May so we could sit in the garden, which was just as well because I had done a general invite on Facebook and loads of people came! Kids played in the garden and were given a small bag of Haribo sweets. We ate jacket potatoes with lots of fillings and more cake than is healthy. We had briefly toyed with the idea of a barbecue, but had the weather been bad, it would have been a disaster.

Then there was the cake. My plan was to make a chocolate cake filled with cherry jam and buttercream. This is the first attempt:

Cake Fail

On the list of cooking failures, this one had: a foolish attempt to double the recipe, a tin with no bottom and cheap chocolate. The result was a horrible goo swimming in butter and splattered at the bottom of the oven.

The second attempt used this amazing chocolate cake recipe and the buttercream from this one, swapping the vanilla essence with light cherry juice. At 11pm, the cake was finally cooked and the end result on the day was pretty good considering my lack of skills in the icing department.

Chocolate Birthday Cake

Need to practice handwriting a bit more

girl and chocolate cake

More cake! Now!

 

 

And so it was that Little Girl was one year old.

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3 thoughts on “A Year In The Life of Little Girl

  1. When we celebrated L’s birthdays in France (ages 1-3) it was all about us inviting our friends over with their kids for drinks and nibbles. Invariably vast amounts of alcohol was consumed by the parents who then let the kids get away with more than they usually would. The “entertainment” was that there were other kids to play with.

    When we moved back to the UK I realised that birthday parties are for the kids to celebrate with their friends and that the parents drop and go. This may be an age thing or a cultural thing, but it was a bit of a shock first of all!

    For L’s last birthday (she was 5) she put loads of pressure on us to bring in entertainers like her friends, we didn’t cave and did pass the parcel etc however for this year when she turns 6 we will be giving in, but only because baby number 2 is due a couple of weeks before her birthday so I just want to hand over to someone else this time!

    Interesting post, thanks for sharing and enjoy the next year!

    • A Frog at Large says:

      I laughed at ‘the entertainment was that there were other kids to play with’, you are totally right!

      Wow, if it’s the kids who put the pressure on, we have no hope then, that’s scary.

      Good luck with Baby No 2!

      • The problem is that they go to their friends’ parties who have these entertainers (always the same ones) so then expect to have them at their parties too. Nightmare!

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