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Thursday, 13 September 2007

The Importance of Being One and a Princely Reward

At 10.05 yesterday morning a small tear found its way down my cheek as I sat in the garden and contemplated the moment that precisely one year previously my baby daughter Ava entered this world. Sniffing, I stood up to throw Nathan down the slide for the umpteenth time, told myself not to be such a sentimental old fool, and the time ticked on. Ava was entering her second year already, and she didn't even know it. Ava was napping upstairs, gloriously unaware of the poignancy of the moment. Ava was busy growing a new tooth, and that was far more important; or at least, it was far more attention-grabbing, evidenced by a red, snot-streaked face and a great deal of grizzling for the rest of the day. When my eldest daughter Eden reached one, we threw a huge party for friends and family. The celebration was more for us than it was for her; we were New Parents and we had survived Year One! What is more we had done it without any really major disaster and people thought we were doing an OK job of it! People told me that this was a quite normal and acceptable eccentricity of New Parents, but that by child 2 or 3 we'd have given up on the 1st birthday parties. We'd be too exhausted - or too cool about the whole surviving-the-first-year-thing - to bother. That has not turned out to be the case, however. We are equally if not perhaps more delighted to have survived Year One of Baby No 3. Perhaps because it seems even more of a mini miracle this time around. Once you throw gallumphing toddler brothers and older sisters with a dressing-up fetish into the mix, and when you survey the mind-boggling array of completely un-baby-friendly health-and-safety-hazards of toys strewn daily on the floor and immediately in baby's path, it's an absolute wonder that any third child reaches its first birthday. So, yes, we are throwing another party this year. I may even go so far as to bake a cake (or at least, I will buy the very best chocolatey one from Marks & Spencers).
What was a bit different this time around, was that on the evening of Ava's 1st birthday I celebrated in a Very Special Way. I don't think I need say more to any female of my generation than this: Prince. At the O2. In gold pants. Dancing. And singing his soul out. Just for me. And shaking his stuff. Brilliant.

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