I LOVE my boys. Sooooo much and I’ve enjoyed every single part of their early childhood. Yes I would have liked a little less mud. Ok perhaps I wish they had understood the benefits of regular teeth brushing at a slightly younger age but they are brilliant boys and I wouldn’t change them for the world.
But there are a few things little girls (or little girls like I was) dream of when they imagine their lives as grown ups. For me I had only ever pictured myself as a mother of girls and though I am not a girly girl at all and would quite happily live without pink frilly things myself – there is a part of me that always needed a baby girl to have tea parties with.
I completely understand how shallow that sounds and I know that there are people out there who feel that children should be free to grow up free from gender expectation. I also know there are people out there who would do anything to have any kind of a mothering experience, let alone a pink one but there is space on this blog for deep and meaningful ramblings and space for a little girl to live out one of her childhood fantasies and this one is the latter and I make no apologies for it.
So now that I have my little girl I’m not wasting a moment of precious girly time. I smiled with delight when it occurred to me that she is so much more content being pushed around the shops than her brothers ever used to be…. sign of many happy future shopping trips to come? Let’s hope so!
It couldn’t be helped but we were on a family holiday for her 1st birthday so I was unable to let myself loose on the party planning front but even though we are a month or so behind I refused to let the opportunity pass me by and on Tuesday we had a belated birthday and pancake party with some close family and I really enjoyed scouring the internet for some theme ideas.
I’m not quite sure why I settled on mermaids. The Little Mermaid is definitely my favourite Disney offering of all time but I think it was the colours of this party pack that I found on the Little Baby Company website that helped me make the final decision. I knew they would work really well with the colour scheme in my kitchen which of course made all the difference to my little one year old. I was also really tempted to go with the unicorn and rainbow theme but that one will have to wait for next year. And if the Bébé had been a boy I would have been pretty happy to go with the Peter Rabbit theme – in fact there’s space for this one to feature at Easter – these party bags would be gorgeous on an Easter table filled with mini eggs and chicks. While I was searching I also came across this wonderful map bunting as well which would be brilliant in a child’s room all year round and I couldn’t resist (for those of you with boys) sharing this lion mane head dress for fancy dress parties or World Book Days which come around soon quickly!
But back to our shindig. On the menu were pancakes (savoury and sweet), fruit and cupcakes in these cute cupcake cases with cake toppers also in the mermaid theme.
A week after our party and the bunting is still up – it’s pretty sturdy so I’ll transfer it to the nursery soon.
A belated birthday present for the little one and also a fun addition to the party table and guest list was this pretty mermaid who we’ve nicknamed Mindy. We’re rather taken with her.
A few tips for easing the pressure of the first birthday….
- Firstly keep your expectations low. At one your little one is still a baby and won’t perform on demand (actually they still don’t when they are 12, 5, 21….) Invite a small group of close family or friends and keep things really really relaxed. When my middle son turned one (almost twelve years ago!) we invited forty people to a huge barbecue at my Dads (it was August – safe bet right?) WRONG! It chucked it down and he screamed in his pushchair the whole time.
- Make sure you snap lots of pictures – you’ll really really treasure them when they are older. How about taking a picture of them blowing out the candles every single year – imagine the photo book or poster you could create for their 21st!
- Party bags are a great addition to any party but don’t lose too much sleep (or money) over filling them with plastic tat. Little children just love having a bag to take things out of and put things back into. Fill it with safe objects of interest (a spoon? a packet of raisins?) I threw out so many whoopee cushions and plastic frogs the boys were given at endless parties – it’s such a waste and doesn’t add much to a party at this age.
- Go wild with party finishing touches – they make for great photos and memories which at the age of one will ultimately mean more to your child than toys they don’t need. There are so many beautiful products out there – take a look at Little Baby Company and let your imagination run wild. If you sign up to their newsletter you get 15% off your first order.
Oh and remember to enjoy the day yourself and pop a bottle of something cold and sparkly in the fridge for when everyone has gone and your little one is in bed. You kept a small person alive for a whole year – now there’s something to celebrate!
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