I've said it before and I'll say it again - when you have a baby you can never have plans, only ideas. Whenever you need to go out or be somewhere things never run smoothly - there will be an unexpected nappy change, a sleeping child, a forgotten change of clothes.... it's always just best to set yourself up for the day with the best intentions and then just wing it as you go.
And this was so true for Eric's birthday. Falling on Easter Monday and our wedding anniversary we wanted to do something super-special to mark the occasion. So it was decided that - weather permitting - we would head off to Chester Zoo for the day.
Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans. With snow being threatened for the Easter weekend we woke up instead on the morning of E's birthday to rain pelting it down from the sky. Ordinarily this wouldn't stop us from heading out, but we knew that in reality there was no feasible way we could make going to the zoo work. The animals would undoubtedly want to find shelter, Eric couldn't toddle about and he wouldn't be able to see too much from the pushchair with the rain cover on it.
So instead we had to stay put and spend the day in the house. And this is something I dread. Baby Ginger is so independent now that if we ever have to have a whole day at home we just spend it chasing him round the living room, trying to stop him emptying all the cupboards and hiding things he will inevitable try and eat. However, preempting a day of absolute chaos, the Saturday before Ryan and I decided to pick up some baby-friendly craft supplies so that if our ideas (and patience) started to run thin, we could squeeze in round the dining table and indulge in some mark making, drawing and colouring in.
In the morning we brought Eric downstairs so that he could open the cards and presents we already had here. Completely confused by the fuss we were making over sheets of brightly coloured paper and envelopes he was more taken with crawling round and playing. Taking the opportunity to exchange our own cards, we all then headed into the kitchen to have a family breakfast, with pancakes on the menu for Eric and mugs of steaming hot coffee for us.
The hours passed so quickly and it was actually really nice to spend some time together being busy doing nothing. Eric went down for a nap in the latter part of the morning and then Ryan's parents popped round to see the birthday boy and deliver presents. We brought out a little cupcake with a candle on it and sang Happy Birthday and then headed out to visit Ryan's sister, our brother-in-law and niece. Not content with all the food he had already eaten during the day, Eric decided to spend our time there walking round and eating all the food he could spot.
Seizing the opportunity to snatch some time during the day that was just for us, after the visit we sent Eric off with Ryan's parents for an hour or two, giving us the chance to cook an anniversary meal, eat it in peace, and start the new Murder On The Orient Express, which I had been dying to watch.
Going to the zoo would have been a brilliant day out, but we actually had a really lovely day celebrating our two special occasions. Still - I'm keeping everything crossed for a rain-free day next year. With Eric already a confident walker, if we have to stay in next year we'll probably be trying to coax him down from the curtain pole because he's decided to go for a climb or something!
Fellow mummies - what did you do for your baby's first birthday?