With my first child, you could have smacked me in the face with a birthday hat and I still wouldn’t have known it was a thing. I was too confident and way too cool to think I needed any gimmicks, however cute they may be. But a lot’s changed between number one and number two; there’s less time, more guilt and more Instagramming (seeing a possible connection here).
My sudden, quietly deranged fixation with birthday hats began, I think, because I realised I was due to go to Geneva for work and return the day before her birthday – my first time away from her – and also because we hadn’t planned anything big for her birthday really. There’s not a tiny part of me that feels guilty about this: Dory’s first birthday party was a celebration for us, pure and simple, and we really wanted to mark it. It felt important to acknowledge our new family. Also, after Dory’s third birthday party I realised pretty quickly that very soon Pearl will be dictating her party theme / who she wants to invite / which over-priced entertainer she saw at playgroup she’d like there to entertain the snotty masses, so why start now when she’s happy with a plastic lid? However, I did want to mark the day in our own way. Instagram doesn’t help here. Beautiful personalised cake toppers? Maybe, one day, when I’m organised enough. A cake smash photo shoot, balloons filled with confetti and a monochrome theme? Seems like a lot of effort. But I could get her a cute hat as a lazy in to a cute photo. Except, I couldn’t – it seems the people who make these lovely little hats with gold glitter and pink feathers live light years away, and after three hours of Googling, I couldn’t find one that would arrive in the next month (it should go without saying this was three days before her birthday).
Anyway, I did get Pearly a tawdry pink hat, from some random, second-rate shop on Amazon. It wasn’t perfect, at all. But it was fabulous, and she is perfect, she is hilarious, she is cheeky and naughty and strong and clever and fills our lives with absolute joy, and she has been here a year, which is everything, so forget the hat. It’ll do.