We had a lovely day on Monday. Rather worse for wear now, but it was well worth it.
We had a little do for Alexander's first birthday in my folks' garden; there was Alex, his Mummy, Daddy, both sets of grandparents and his favourite Auntie and Uncle.
The Goldfish family and my sister's in-laws haven't seen an awful lot of one another, but my Dad managed to disperse any social tension by serving us "Pimms and Lemonade" with what I reckon was about 1 part lemonade to 5 parts Pimms - you certainly couldn't see any of the bubbles. But of course, we didn't realise this until we'd started drinking it and soon everyone was comfortably giggling and making rude remarks about one another as if we'd all been fast friends for some years.
My Dad also provided a dysfunctional bubble-generator/ water-pistol, which kept [...] busy while he took the entire thing apart, performed his juju magic and put it back together again in perfect working order.
My folks have a little paddling pool for children who visit, which we had fun in, and for his birthday, Alex got some tubes to crawl down. These, Alex and I mostly used merely for peek-a-boo purposes and Alex's father employed in a dramatic reconstruction of his terrifying pot-holing adventure - made all the more terrifying when we turned the now functional water pistol on him once he was thoroughly stuck.
Alex's Mummy had made a hedgehog cake, presumably to raise awareness that hedgehog numbers are dwindling in the UK. She realised at the eleventh hour that her design could so easily have been converted into a Dalek Cake (link originally provided by Jess in the comments to a post of Lady Bracknell's).
The cake was delicious and Alexander liked it so much that he smeared it all over his face and hair, an act accompanied by squeals of delight (see above - I didn't take too many pictures as I was busy having fun).
Alexander's favourite birthday present by far was a little toy piano with four notes very much like this. He has apparently played with one of these at a club he used to attend called Baby Sensory and was delighted to unwrap it and make noise with his. Making noise seemed to be the principle use to which he employed his various presents.
I painted up some wooden skittles for him, which you may note are extremely well varnished in the hope that not all the paintwork falls off the first time they're knocked over. These were a terrific rush to finish; last coat applied first thing Monday morning. We made him an alternative ball out of two pairs of black socks which I then sewed together - one you could throw at a window by mistake without breaking it. Alex gave them all a quick taste-test and seemed to approve.
It was a really good day; last week I was anxious whether I would be up to going at all, and whether it might be grim for me if I did. But it was good, I was fine and whilst it is impossible that Alex will actually remember it, I believe that he had a very good birthday himself.