As you will probably have read already, last week ‘the baby’ (henceforth, the small toddler) turned a whole year old!
One whole, entire year of ridiculous sleep deprivation, explosive poos and almost daily vomit until a few months ago. I genuinely don’t know how, but we survived. Hurrah! I’m bloody tired, I look ten years older, but we survived.
Now, two things are a must for any first birthday. Cake, and presents. And balloons so that makes three really.
The cake was sorted. Balloons don’t take much thought. However, it emerges that buying first birthday presents when you have another child not much older is actually rather difficult.
|Birthdays are such a
Does a one-year-old even need birthday presents?
Well, no, probably not. I was listening to a radio call-in show a few weeks ago where the topic under debate was parents who admitted to gifting their child the same toy for Christmases and birthdays for the first few years. Others condemned them; I thought ‘What a good idea’.
It’s a bit late for that though. Like many parents, when our first child turned one there was an overwhelming choice of toys and it was new and exciting; it was hard not to go overboard. Now, our firstborn is well versed in the ways of birthdays and presents (and unwrapping) and we have to get something even if it’s just for appearances; and if we are going to bring more plastic into our home, it might as well be something good.
What constitutes a good present for a one year old?
It’s difficult to say. Their eyes light up upon being handed any number of strange household objects. However for me, it had to stick to the following criteria;
1. Cannot take up a whole bloody room
In theory, this should be fairly easy to achieve however a lot of presents aimed at this age group are of the sit-on or play-in nature; trikes, cars, garden toys, houses, kitchens, ball pools, sandpits, trampolines… As an aside, if you don’t have the space, be sure to tell grandparents this; perhaps suggest that any very large items be kept at their house for when they babysit. That’ll nip it in the bud.
2. Will still appeal to them in six months or more
3. Must not be obnoxiously loud, irritating, or have catchy tunes.
Silence is golden. This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway just in case. Obviously this rule only applies to your own children. If it’s someone you don’t like very much then go nuts.
4. Needs to be something we don’t already have
They very kindly sent me a ‘my first buggy car‘ kit. The packaging states 3+ but I was told that they have been retested and deemed safe for 18m+ and obviously, it goes without saying that all play is supervised. They’re not quite feral, yet.
The kit comes with 14 magnetic pieces including two pairs of wheels, and cards with 16 different car designs. Perhaps we might work towards this bit, I’m thinking it might be a little complex for the one year old right now (possibly a little complex for me but fingers crossed).
So what did the birthday boy think?
He’s little. It went straight in his mouth. However after a bit of encouragement he has learned that he can stick bits together making a pleasing ‘clack’ sound and then pull them apart which he enjoys immensely. He also likes driving the completed article around with his hands, decimating it in the process and then whining until it is put back together, although I don’t really have the patience for this game.
And what about his older sister?
I’m actually impressed with what she’s managed to do with the magnetic pieces. Not make a car, but then she has zero interest in cars so that’s unsurprising. She’s using the shapes to make bigger shapes, and telling me what they are. It sounds educational enough for me. I’m might get her a kit for her third birthday later this year. I think it might even be something they could play with together (probably wishful thinking), as long as we don’t lose all the bits first.