We made it. Twelve whole months together and despite the permanent bags under my eyes and the
pounds stones I still haven't lost, we seem to have done OK. Of course there have been some really really pants days. The kind of days where we've been tested in ways we never imagined possible and wallowed in self doubt in our inability to get anything right. But then there were the good days. These are the days that squashed all the pants days aside and filled our hearts with so much love and pride for how far we've come together and for all the good days we've got to come.
I always imagined that I would be really emotional as the big first birthday approached. I thought I'd be an absolute blubbering wreck, sobbing over a wine bottle 'Oh my baby's growing up too fast!' But it was quite the opposite. Of course there was wine, there will always be wine, but I was so consumed with making everything just perfect that I didn't have time to focus on the emotions of reaching this exciting milestone.
It's been such a busy year adapting to our new life as a family that I thought it would be a much more sensible idea to focus on the celebrations as opposed to opening the flood gates of what's been and gone. Consuming myself with organising a three day event to celebrate the fact that we have brought such a beautiful, bright and very funny little girl into the world was a much better plan.
So here you are as one year old little Miss Elsie Belle. One Year Old.
Instead of pointing you do this hilarious flappy hand waving gesture when you either want to be taken somewhere or you want something that's caught your eye. Usually at something not entirely suitable for little people
We think you might be starting the terrible twos a whole year early which we are thrilled about, not. When you don't get your way you've already started throwing yourself backwards and shouting and screaming at us in frustration. Excellent.
You're still rocking the dodgy crab crawl, or 'crab swag' as we've started calling it, to move about which you still don't appreciate as a mode of reasonable transport.
You could probably walk already but you choose not to- why would you want to when there are so many of us around to carry you all the time?
I think you were a Royal in another life. When we ask you for a kiss you bow your head which means we've been given permission to approach you and kiss your forehead. Cutest thing ever, although I am looking forward to the day you pucker up those lips. Mwah.
You think it's hilarious to bite our noses. I'm not entirely sure how this started but you find it very funny to clamp your five tiny but sharp little toothy pegs around our snouts and wait for us to yelp out in pain.
You are very good at making a mess. From emptying handbags to flinging perfectly piled clothes around the room you carry both out with Olympic style and precision. Considering that your Mummy has a
slight massive OCD tendency with tidiness and organisation this is something she hopes dearly that you grow out of soon. Pleeease!
We aren't kidding when we say you are very very tall for your age. The average two year old is 85cm long and you my darling are 82cm tall at just one year old. It's ok though, you're all in proportion and growing just beautifully so unlike the first time I was told you were going to be the tallest girl in the
world school, I didn't burst into tears in the health visitors office. You keep growing girl and Mummy promises to always make sure you never have ankle swingers.
You love climbing the stairs which is very clever but very unnerving all the same. Whilst the rest of the family are encouraging you to climb and explore, Mummy spends a considerable amount of time trying to teach you to climb downwards safely, but of course that isn't as fun. Being safe clearly isn't a priority in the world of baby exploration.
Music is one of your favourite things. It doesn't matter where we are, if you hear music you start bopping your head to the beat and waving your hands to the rhythm and, without sounding like a 'Stage Mum' already, girl you've got talent! Daddy and I are seriously hoping that you've got a mini Taylor Swift inside of you somewhere. Just promise us you'll look after us when you're rich and famous. Don't make me sell that story to the press about the time you...
Even though you still don't sleep very well and however demanding and relentless you may be, you are a gift and an absolute joy to be around. You make our hearts fuller and prouder than I ever thought possible.
Happy Birthday my darling girl. You are by far our greatest achievement and continue to be our greatest adventure.