It’s all too easy to keep on thinking about your baby as if they were still merely just days old. Hanging on to those glorious moments that the first few weeks and months provide is something I’m sure every parent does. There is a subconscious unwillingness to believe that our little ones are growing up right before our eyes, and although each new achievement is received with wonder and amazement, we perhaps still refuse to address the fact that we can’t keep them that way forever.

Having not really had any exposure to babies before we had Thea, it’s been an education for me to see how much she can understand, even at such a young age. Over the last year we’ve seen her learn to do such things as smile, laugh, wave, blow kisses, and even attempt to make a phone call! However it didn’t really dawn on me until a couple of days ago how much she actually understands. I recall watching a programme called “The Secret Life Of Babies” where if I remember rightly they said that a baby can understand on average, roughly 20 words by the time they are one year old. I guess I must have forgotten that of late, but Thea gave me another jaw-dropping moment as she worked her way through her newest picture book…

As I swore in amazement, it really made me take a step back and think about how much more she must be able to understand without necessarily being able to communicate it back to us. In our house, with the constant banter that goes back and forth between Gemma and myself, the language used could be described as somewhat colourful – okay, it’s like a docker’s canteen in here at times. Looks like we’re really going to have to watch what we say from now on…

Wow… a year has passed already since Thea was born, since our lives changed dramatically, since we took our first steps on the long winding road known as parenthood. It has been an incredibly busy year for us, what with moving house, organising our incredible wedding from the ground up (literally!), two mini-moon excursions to our beloved South Cornish coast, oh yeah, and that whole raising a child thing 🙂 Because of all this (and a modicum of laziness if truth be told), the blog has been somewhat neglected. Okay, let’s be honest, I straight up abandoned it for the last few months. However, having friends and family together last weekend to celebrate the little one’s birthday reminded me exactly why I started documenting our journey together – to capture the thoughts and feelings of moments such as these that would otherwise get lost in the haziness of time.

We started the day off by bringing Thea downstairs to the lounge, which Gem had prepared amazingly with the new play tent already set up and filled with balls, books and her favourite toys. With presents stacked outside the entrance in a multitude of colours and shapes, it took mere seconds before those little legs were wheelspinning and Thea was off across the carpet like a mini whippet, headed for playtime.

We were genuinely blown away by the generosity of our family and friends as we opened present after present, each one bringing a different look of fascination to our ever growing bundle of joy. After getting acquainted with Mr. Tumble, Piggy, Pigger et al, the morning nap was next on the agenda – playtime is tiring don’t you know…


Time to seize the opportunity that this brief interlude provided – prepping the tea party for the afternoon. Gem did an incredible job of baking a four-tiered birthday cake and some delicious blueberry muffins with pink lemonade to accompany, while I was on sandwich detail. With a wheelbarrow of scones and their complimentary clotted cream and jam, and the obligatory party rings, the feast was complete. As we collapsed onto the sofa with 30 mins to spare and a sleeping baby still kicking out the zzzzs upstairs, we allowed ourselves a moment of smugness and a high five for the parenting win.


It was so nice to see everyone showing Thea so much love and it reminded us how lucky we are to have both her and all those that were there, in our lives. It was a shame that some of our closest family and friends were too far away to be able to make it but they were certainly there in spirit, and a FaceTime call to Granny and Grandad in Turkey made the distance seem almost irrelevant. Eventually it was time for Thea’s first rendition of Happy Birthday and as we gathered round and all joined in she seemed somewhat bemused as to what all the fuss was about…

I’m sure these fleeting moments will soon have disappeared in the rearview, and before we know it we’ll be pulling out these photos and videos to embarrass her on her 16th birthday, in front of all her friends. Some friends gave me a great piece of advice on the morning of our wedding – to try to take mental snapshots of the special moments that pass so quickly, which I did, and have retained in the dark caverns of my usually porous brain. This is something I intend to repeat, especially during these early years as we keep reaching different “first” milestones with our little girl.


So… one year down and we’re still going strong (and grey!). Here’s to all the birthdays to come and the fun-filled years inbetween. Both Gem and I are relishing watching our baby move from one stage to the next, on one hand eagerly anticipating the next achievement, the other hand firmly clawing on to the status quo, desperately trying to keep her from growing up. Such is life. Happy birthday little one. Dad out x