I have to admit that I can't quite believe that Pip is now 1 years old. Where have the past 5 months gone? When he first came home being 1 was a marker that seemed so far in the distance and yet it has come and gone with the speed and fluidity that time seems to bring these days. Being 1 means the end of formula milk and bottles and is the start of becoming a toddler. Pip's face is starting to change now his teeth are coming through and his weight is streamlining. He almost doesn't resemble the boy we met five months ago. People are quite surprised when they see him.
It wasn't quite the serene and fun day that the previous paragraph suggests however. Katie regressed so far backwards on Pip's birthday that I was surprised she didn't want nappies and a bottle! she spent most of the day talking like a baby and generally being a bit of a pain and behaving very naughtily. I totally understand the psychology but it doesn't make it any easier to manage at the time. Pip was full of cold and pretty fed up by dinner time so between them it wasn't a pleasurable dinner (which was a shame because I'd been really looking forward to my yummy Fiorentino Gluten-Free Pizza!). We did have a lovely time at soft play though. Pip particularly enjoyed the big slide and was even happy to crawl all the way up the steps to the top once he realised the big treat that awaited him there and enjoyed holding mine and Katie's hands as we slid down. He also loved the ball pit, scaring the life out of me the first time when he crawled up the steps and dived headfirst into the pit as I was removing my boots. He also really enjoyed following Katie around, who was attempting to play with the bigger children, chasing after her with a big smile on his little face. My sister and nephew arrived for the last hour and Pip had great fun in the ball pit with his adored Auntie BB.
The second part of Pip's birthday was on Saturday when we had a birthday party for him. We tried to keep the party relatively small but our house seemed very full of children on the day. We had one of those "organised chaos" parties that seemed crazy at the time but everyone really enjoyed themselves. We played pass-the-parcel; musical bumps and statues; and pump the Pumpaloons and Katie helped Pip play his first ever birthday games. I gave out so many sweets and chocolates to everyone that I am sure they are all still high as kites! Pip's Foster Carer and her children came and joined in the celebrations. Katie was delighted to see them, as was I, but Pip has now pretty much forgotten them really. I think he was having a hint of deja-vu and trying to work out why they seemed familiar. I really felt for his FC's daughter who was desperate for cuddles but Pip is quite clingy to Mummy these days and didn't want to go to anyone else for quite some time. He did relax once the party was in full swing though and, like a good host, crawled his way around everyone for cuddles and playtime. It was a lovely day and it was really lovely to be able to celebrate some firsts. Firsts are something that adopters don't always get to have with their children and it's been lovely having lots of firsts with Pip. First word (sort of), first tooth, first steps (still waiting for that one!), first birthday. Those memories are so lovely to have and I treasure every single one.
So my big boy is 1 now. We have switched him fully to normal cow's milk and, due to TCM not listening to me properly on Sunday night and bringing a cup of bedtime milk instead of his bottle, the bottles have also sailed off into the distance, the steriliser has been packed away waiting to be sold. I still get my night-night cuddles with the cup of milk though so my grief isn't too intense and I'm glad the decision was taken out of my hands because I was resisting ever so slightly. I never got to feed Katie a bottle and I didn't ever realise how powerful it feels to feed a baby every night. To snuggle them into your body and listen to the happy, slurpy, sounds they make when feeding. To gaze into their eyes and feel the bond growing so intensely. The slight whistle of the bottle as they suck furiously. I will miss it, I won't lie but I have to let Pip move on to the next stage in his life. I now have to concentrate on building up to taking the dummy away from him at bedtime. I'll give him a week or two to get over the loss of the bottles though!
So Happy Birthday to my beautiful baby boy. Your sunny smile has lit up my world and your presence in my life has brought so much happiness with it. Don't be in too much of a hurry to grow up though as I rather like where we are just at the moment, even the new temper tantrums when I'm changing your nappy or doing anything you don't want me to do.......
........have you been taking notes from your lovely sister I wonder?