We started Henry’s unbirthday by giving him a haircut that broke my heart.
Unbirthday because his birthday is actually tomorrow. But we held a little family tea party for him on Saturday evening. He has no clue what a birthday is, but he knew he had new hair, and people kept giving him exciting things, and suddenly there seemed to be no restriction AT ALL on cake. Add in the bunch of helium balloons I let him jump around with for an hour, and this Saturday just sky-rocketed to the best one of his life. I watched him dance on the edge of two, with short boy’s hair and a giant smile, and felt like I couldn’t hold him still for a second. He has a bike now. We’re stuck into boyhood, and there’s no going back.
I knew that with Teds in the house and my mama visiting I wouldn’t have much inclination for party planning. And so it proved. It took a whole two days just to decide what birthday cake to make him, and I didn’t get much further than that. I settled on a Hummingbird Bakery Hot Chocolate Cake in the end, adapted from their Hot Chocolate Cupcakes, mostly because Henry would lick up hot chocolate from the floor if you let him. (I don’t let him.) He also calls it ‘hot cocky’, which is not at all awkward, particularly when he’s asking for some of Daddy’s at the top of his voice.
It’s called a Hot Chocolate Cake because there’s hot chocolate powder in it, instead of cocoa. I can’t say it tasted overwhelmingly of hot chocolate, but it did have an interesting sort of malted flavour that went well with the chocolate frosting. It turned out to be the sort of frosting that doesn’t ever go smooth, so I textured it like wallpaper from the eighties and hoped the chocolate sprinkles would cover the rest. I rather liked it, in the end. I recycled bunting from his party last year, and we made a trip in the morning to pick up a bunch of balloons. We made miniature scones, which we ate with jam, cream and strawberries, and put out cheese and crackers and chopped up vegetables. We opened presents and ate, and that was all. By gum, it was lovely.
I will write a happy birthday post when I have made my peace with this boy being two, which might be never, but I will try my best. More later; I have leftover birthday cake to eat. What else is 11pm for?
Most of these photos are courtesy of my father-in-law, who is much better at this sort of thing than I am. Thanks, Jeremy!