My eldest turned four yesterday.
Happy birthday, big girl.
I wasn’t planning to write anything, but it seems almost rude to gloss over what is a Very Big Thing in the life of a small child.
It’s hard to believe it’s been four whole years since the day we went into hospital and turned from a nice, well rested and well-within-healthy-BMI couple who had nothing better to do on a Sunday than stay in bed into a stressed out, sleep deprived family of three with a permanently messy house. It feels like it was simultaneously yesterday and ten years ago.
Much like getting married, when your children get older there is a small part of you that almost expects that things will change overnight.
Suddenly, they will feel different. Maybe less inclined to shout at you? I don’t know. Three is a really complex age; no longer the kicking, screaming tantrums for absolutely no reason that you get with a two year old. No, there is definitely a reason behind them, they just can’t remember them or it’s a really stupid reason.
They start to manipulate; things are done very much on purpose. They realise they can have one over on younger siblings. Although my two year old can be a little toerag from time to time, and will often try to blame things on the dog, he’s not often smart enough to cover his tracks or concoct a wildly imaginative story of explanation. Three year olds are wily.
But alas, it turns out that, just like the first day you wake up as a newlywed, turning from three to four is pretty much same shit, different day.
The day of her birthday itself was actually lovely.
She absolutely loves birthdays; as I think you can see in the following pictures of her first birthday…
Just check out the wonder in her face huh?
She did have fun really. She spent the morning opening presents and then went to school and told everyone who’d listen she was FOUR which is exceptionally big. She came home, played with her presents, and then we all went to the pub which is a lot more exciting than what I got up to on my birthday.
Sadly it was sandwiched between two decidedly less fun days of not enough sleep, lots of mess, refusal to tidy up and screaming. There is obviously some kind of developmental thing going on which means that she’s waking up in the night which is no fun for anybody at all. I’m trying not to blame her, but god it’s hard work. I’m tired, she’s tired, she’s screamy, I’m shouty. To add to the fun her brother has chosen now to drop his naps even though he really needs the sleep and it just all comes together to create a great atmosphere for making precious memories.
But back to the birthday.
Among the staggeringly stupid presents we decided to give her were a ‘make you own snow globe’ (glitter ALL OVER MY NEW FLOOR) some nail varnish (currently gracing the arms, legs and face of both children) and a game involving kazoos. We really dropped the ball there.
The fun hasn’t ended though; oh no. She’s having a birthday party this weekend.
Aside from letting people know it’s happening and going out to buy jelly, I haven’t prepared at all. It’s my first experience of hosting a children’s party but at least we’ll have space in my brand new, just painted extension.
What could possibly go wrong?