It’s Toots’ birthday this week, and we had a little get together for her over the weekend. There were just four of her friends, with their parents, round for tea and cakes for a couple of hours on Sunday. It’s really the first celebration for which she’s been fully conscious of the implications of what’s going on. She’s been looking forward to getting a suitcase (we’ve not yet got to the bottom of why she’s been asking for a suitcase for her birthday, but she did pack it immediately after unwrapping it, so she may not be here by the end of the week), and she’s been practising singing, ‘Happy birthday to me’ for about three weeks. I thought last Christmas might have meant something to her, but beyond being further practice at throwing wrapping paper around, it passed her by without much excitement on her part about the traditional icons of the season.
Last week my mum had commented that she wished she could have an injection of 3 year old, such was Toots’ enthusiasm for life, and the energy she puts into it. Having moved from a cot to a bed last week as well, Toots has quickly realised that she can now leave the status of sleep and be on the bedroom floor in – literally – seconds, and on Sunday morning we found her standing by our bed in our room at 5.45am. Naturally, she had no interest in going back to bed, or to sleep.
Nonetheless, Toots had a magnificent day, doing jigsaws, playing trains, baking cakes and making sandwiches, shopping with grandma and then welcoming her friends in and dancing, running around, playing, chasing, eating and laughing like a drain right up to the friends all going and bedtime arriving.
She dropped into sleep like a stone that evening, but she was back this morning with her energy levels restored. It was a remarkable day, filled with joy and happiness. As parents and grandparents, we looked back on a hugely satisfying birthday party. But it’s terribly unlikely that we’ll have the bounce that Toots shows today and every day in these early years, barring that magical elixir being harnessed in a digestable form.