Well I think we have managed to give Anton a really good birthday.
We got back from Hemel at about 10.30pm the night before and I managed to stay awake long enough to wrap the presents. In the morning the boys all clambered in to our bed and Anton opened his presents. He was very happy with everything, especially Oscar’s golf club set and Lucas’s washing machine toy for the bath.
Oscar had been asked over to a school friend’s house for a sleepover and it felt like something he should definitely do but it was strange to not have him there for all the birthday. We went for a hot chocolate in town before dropping him off though so he could feel like he was celebrating with us. However, not all went according to plan as Anton decided that he would not, absolutely no way, definitely, completely not walk to the coffee shop from where we’d parked the car which was about 5 shops away. The coffee shop is not built for buggies so we weren’t taking it, I was carrying Dante in the sling and Joth has got a bad back so we asked him to reconsider. No. “But Ican’t walk,” he said shrugging his shoulders heavily and within 60 seconds he had worked up in to full tantrum. He even drew a crowd. I started saying loudly “But it is your birthday sweetheart, and we’re going for a lovely treat,” in case people thought we were awful parents. In fact writing this makes me feel like we are awful parents. How difficult would it have been to carry him and Dante for few yards – it was his birthday after all, but I’m afraid it became a point of principal.
I did get cross, even though it was his birthday. I even said we were going home but in the end, after a firm talking to he did get to the coffee shop and tearfully chose a huge slice of chocolate cake. The boys enjoyed themselves anyway. We met a lovely old couple in there who’d had four children and adopted another. They had obviously loved having a family and kept saying how lovely our boys were. They helped make our morning really which is a reminder of what an effect we can all have on those around us.
Oscar seemed a little reluctant to leave us all which was touching and Lucas had initially been upset that Oscar was going but typically Luc went all out to give Anton a lovely day. We took Anton out on his new bike to the cycle path but he was still put out that he hasn’t got pedals on it (it’s one of these balance bikes). So cue the second tantrum of the day. I want to point out that he was all for going out on his bike until we got there. Until I got Dante ready in the sling that is and Luc was ready on his scooter, the parking was paid for and Anton was all set up with bike and helmet – and then Anton decided that he didn’t want to go on his bike. He wanted one that didn’t “fall over”, and that had a basket and a bell. I seized on the bell bit and used bribery and corruption to say that if he had a good go on his bike we would buy a bell. That did the trick and he was soon loving it. He did really well and we went to the shop and bought a bell and a basket. One happy boy and one relieved mother. That was two tantrums too many though for a birthday. It was all my fault. He’d never had a tantrum until I said a week last Monday at toddler group that we had weathered the little storm with Anton after Dante was born and now he was so easy. Well I did ask for it. He went to sleep on the way home that day and woke up to have the biggest tantrum he’d ever had because I wanted to cuddle him sitting down rather than carrying him non stop.
Anyway, luckily these are little blips in an otherwise calm, fun sea. He’s a treasure. We had a lovely calm rest of the day and Luc played with Anton and his new washing machine toy in the bath so Anton had a lovely time and then when Anton had gone to bed Lucas helped me make marzipan figures for the cake (he’s really very good at modelling small figures) in front of the TV so he had a treat night while Oscar was out. He said he’d never had a night where just Oscar had gone for a sleepover before. He seemed OK about it though. I always love changing the dynamics and spending time with each of them separately so I enjoyed it.
The next day K,E and P had arranged to take him to the Make Your Own Bear shop in Plymouth for a birthday treat. It worked out really well as I wanted to prepare for his teddy bears picnic party and Oscar and Lucas also went to R&A’s so Dante and I were home alone getting ready. Dante wasn’t much help but I did manage to get ready, tidy the house, finish the cooking and even make bunting on the sewing machine. I was really chuffed with the bunting and can make lots more too all for a couple of pounds worth of remnants from the material shop.
Anton brought his new gorgeous teddy home (called Binky), took Binky’s new shoes off as he came in to the house and they both had a nap before K and co all came round with hundreds of teddys for the picnic and we played games and ate tea.
I cracked open some bubbly for the grown ups which all helps when you’re playing “Pass the Bear” and “Who’s that growling?” K and E made sure the bears ate lots of food when no one was looking and all in all everyone had a lovely time. I don’t think Anton ate anything at all but he still had a lovely time and hopefully a memorable one. Well that’s what photos are for after all – “See, look what we did for you!” I also think there was something really lovely about having such close friends around so that we could just concentrate on Anton and make sure he had a lovely time. I felt really emotional when he came back from the trip to Plymouth with his lovely bear. They are so generous and loving to Anton – it’s like him having another family.
I slept the sleep of the just that night, or the sleep of someone who was up until 2am making a teddy bear’s picnic cake.