As one season ends, so another begins.
It was finally Isaac’s turn to have his second birthday party on Saturday (actually, a joint party with Amelia). It was the last in a series of parties which have gone on over the past several weeks, but that didn’t stop him enjoying it tremendously. Like his peers, it’s clear that, at the end of his second year, Zac understands and appreciates the concept of a party now; equally obvious that he understood when we told him it was now going to be his turn turn throughout last week. (Wandering round the house singing “Happy birthday to me” is a bit of a giveaway …)
Anyway, a good time was had by all. Heather had booked a half-hour music session – Zac’s favourite – as part of the party, which all the kids seemed to enjoy, and we even had the majority of them sitting down to food together, which is virtually unprecedented.
And, of course, he has had fun since the party tearing into his haul of presents. (Although I must admit we have put a fair few away to give to him at Christmas – possibly even later – instead. Once you’ve watched him open and get excited about five new toys, there isn’t much point giving him even more to open as he just develops that wide-eyed kid-in-a-candy-shop look and doesn’t know where to turn next.)
Now that birthday party season is over, it means we can start thinking about Christmas. (We make a point of keeping the two separate, so the one doesn’t spoil his enjoyment of the other.) So I will be spending the next few days trying to work out where on earth I put all the decorations after last Christmas. In the meantime, Zac is already running around excitedly pointing at all the “lights flashing” on our neighbours’ houses. I’m planning to let him help put up the tree and decorations at the weekend – something he will love, but potentially a recipe for chaos and disaster.
No doubt we’ll also attempt another visit to Santa’s Grotto. Our first trip a couple of weekends ago was less than successful. First Zac showed minimal interest in Santa arriving in his horse-drawn carriage, and then he flatly refused to even join the queue of kids to see him. (Mind you, why would a two-year-old want to wait to spend thirty seconds sitting on some strange bloke’s knee? Knowing Zac, he’d probably grab my phone and immediately call Childline to report a suspected paedophile.)
Once Christmas is over – and hopefully not before! – we will go into full-blown baby preparation, with Heather being due on January 17th. Which means that we face a future in which, over a period of a few weeks from early December to some time in January, we will transition smoothly from Zac’s birthday to Christmas and New Year, and then to number two’s birthday.
In the past, I had always hoped that my children wouldn’t be born too close to Christmas (or to each other), so that they wouldn’t have two celebrations back-to-back and then a long gap to next year. But the thought of having a month or so of continuous joy within the family to cheer up a dark and dank winter doesn’t seem so bad now. (Although I can imagine we will be knackered by the end of it.)
‘Tis the season to be jolly, indeed. It’s certainly something to look forward to.