I hadn’t planned much at all for Rory’s birthday.
With the house renovations, not living at home, and a baby that probably wouldn’t but could potentially arrive around the same time, I admitted to myself long ago that Rory’s celebrations would need to be low key and adaptable.
I wasn’t counting on the fact that a certain almost-three year old knew EXACTLY what a birthday party should entail. For the past couple of months, I’ve been repeatedly hearing all of Rory’s strict ideas for his third birthday celebrations, and almost every day, he would ask me if his birthday was “coming up soon”.
He wanted a Minion cake. He wanted a party. And he wanted “people” to come.
I did have a little birthday wild card up my sleeve. For a long, long, time, Arlo has been a huge fan of Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures (and now Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures) on Cbeebies. This enthusiasm has naturally filtered down to Rory, who is also pretty into Andy and his dinosaurs. They are almost word and dance move perfect to the Dino Raps on Youtube, after months of daily viewing.
As luck would have it, Andy was going to be performing said raps in a neighbouring town on Rory’s birthday. So, of course, I snapped up tickets.
Arlo was enthralled, Rory was playing it cool.
Doing their velociraptor pose.
As Rory’s birthday grew nearer and the questions about where his party would be and who would be coming ramped up, the guilt started to creep in. Just a week after we moved into our new house, we were just going to have a shop bought cake at home and invite whichever family members were able to attend that day. No friends, no extravagant party.
Was it enough? Would it be what he was expecting? His party-awareness had thrown us, and Sam and I crossed our fingers that we wouldn’t be disappointing him in some way.
In the end, his celebrations couldn’t have been more perfect for Rory. He spent time with every single family member, carefully opening their present for him and making sure to take time to play with it (something you can’t make a three year old to do). He devoured all the attention. He sang his heart out to all of Andy’s songs at the show. And it was clear that he wouldn’t have asked for anything more.
I’ve found that between two and a half and three years of age, both my children have grown leaps and bounds, developing their personalities even further, and becoming people in their own right, rather than seeming like babies, or an extension of me.
He might not have grown literally overnight on the eve of his third birthday as he thought he would, but Rory has certainly changed over the past six months. From his talking, to his ability to grasp more grown up concepts, and the continuing assertion of his fun yet stubborn personality, it’s been a pleasure to see his individuality shine through.
Happy Birthday, Rory!