Princess Charlotte turns one in a few days.
About to take her first steps, starting to actually eat food rather than throw it. Starting to say “mamamamamamamamam” with meaning rather than just baby babble.
It’s sure to be a big day.
The usual magazines are already filled with prediction of what her party will entail.
A "Beatrix Potter theme" one predicts.
“Gender-neutral like animals or pretty gingham cotton bunting with elegant lunch settings and canapés for the adults” predicts another.
Maybe a Peter Rabbit theme with Grandma popping for cake while London landmarks like the Golden Jubilee Bridge and the Marble Arch are commemoratively lit, like big brother George’s first birthday party?
What about a Kardashinan style “Kidchella” with a Ferris wheel, jumping castle and mini performance stage?
Sounds fun? Well here is another thought…what about nothing?
No party, no fancy canapés, no waiters and layers cakes, no goodie bags or masses of décor friendly balloons.
After all it’s just a first birthday, for a child still in nappies with a memory as long as a goldfishes. What's the point?
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, with their children, Princess Charlotte and Prince George (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
When you finally make it to that milestone after what really is an amazing year of bloody hard work shouldn’t you be rewarding yourself with a rest rather than an over the top event which, lets face it, is just more hard work?
Wouldn’t the perfect first birthday gift actually just be a night in front of Netflix and a baby that sleeps through?
(Well who says the baby has to get a present?)
But we all fall for it doesn’t we, the lure of a just-perfect first birthday party for our firstborns?
Shauna and her son, Jasper and his two cakes. Image supplied.
With my now eight-year-old son we went all out like many parents I knew then did.
I, a non-baker, baked two cakes – a chocolate one for the “older kids” and a sugar -free dairy-free egg-free fun-free carrot cake for him.
(Not that he had a dairy or an egg allergy it was just to keep his delicate little constitution perfect.)
We invited each and every adult we knew and anyone with children just to make up the numbers. There were party games and a jumping castle and my 12-month-old – who couldn’t even walk, let alone jump – clung to me terrified of the constant chatter, the leering strangers and the ceiling decorated with over-filled helium balloons that every minute or so would explode one by one like gunfire.
The dog hovered under the stairs and the room full of adults got drunk enjoying the knees-up.