Happy first birthday, Choo Choo!

Well, my little girl, you’re a year old today. A year ago, you came into our world early, confused, cold, and separated from Mommy. It wasn’t exactly how any of us had hoped you’d arrive, but we were happy to have you no matter how it all went.

Mommy and I had been looking forward to today for a long time. We wanted your first birthday to be small, surrounded with just a few of us, making as much fuss as we could without completely overwhelming you. Today wasn’t really about you, so much as it was about us. You see, we’re actually kind of sad, today.

Why? Well, you’re no longer our baby girl. You’re grown up.

In the year that’s passed, an awful lot has happened. While I can’t say you’ve travelled as far as your sister (who’d seen four countries before she was a year old), or have as many teeth (she had more than six; your third tooth has yet to pop through), you’re easily as tall as her, and you’ve been walking around on your own — Monkey was still a week from that. You’ve come a long way, kid.

This is a bit of a hard day for Mommy and I. By most definitions, you’re no longer an infant — no longer our baby — you’re a toddler. You’re toddling. You’re growing, despite all of our wishes that you remain forever small, forever ours.

Choo Choo toddling, Westgate, Calgary, Alberta, 18 March 2011

It started early, just after 6:00, when you woke up, cooing in your crib. I brought you to Mommy, softly singing “Happy Birthday” to you. I didn’t see you again until just before I left for work, giving you a kiss on the head.

When I came home, you were awake and playing, and make that “GAH!” sound you frequently do, and panted quickly for a moment, which appears to be your current way of saying “Daddy” (or at least “someone I recognise”). We played while Mommy worked on your birthday cake.

Mommy made you snowmen cupcakes. (I really want to take credit for the idea, but Mommy really make it all her own — she did a fantastic job!) They were yummy chocolate cupcakes with a sugar icing on them, with chocolate arms, a candied papaya nose, and a gumdrop hat (you didn’t eat the gumdrop, the arms, or the nose, by the way). Your snowman came with a candle in the shape of a “1” — the very same candle Monkey had on her cake for her first birthday.

Snowman cupcakes, Westgate, Calgary, Alberta, 18 March 2011

Grandpa and Granny came out from Ruskin for the party (Grandpa having taken the bus, in an effort to reduce his carbon footprint), and Grandma came over later in the afternoon. You didn’t have a nap in the afternoon, so it was a bit of a question to see how’d you do with exhaustion.

We did presents first. You got a Fisher Price Little People barn with a variety of animals, a walker/ride-on cart, some bath toys, crayons, some clothes, and Mommy knit you a little stuffed pig. You wanted to play with the torn pieces of wrapping paper … of course.

You were the first to get your snowman, brought to you with candle alit. You poked it tentatively at first, but them pretty much dived right in. It wasn’t quite the level of cake carnage your sister had unleashed nearly over three years ago, and we didn’t give you ice cream to amp up the messiness, but you still required a bath afterwards. You decimated the cake, filling your hands with chocolate cake and icing.

Fistfull of cupcake, Westgate, Calgary, Alberta, 18 March 2011

Although your sister took to the sugary dessert like a flame to gasoline, your lack of a second nap seemed to take you down fairly quickly. (Although I should point out that — as of this writing — you’ve woken up twice since going to bed, likely due to teething.) And thus ended your first birthday.

So happy birthday, my little one. May all those yet to come be far more memorable, and filled with all the best memories.

1st birthday, Westgate, Calgary, Alberta, 18 March 2011