On 17 January 2014, I became a grandparent, when Iris was born to my son, Julian and my daughter-in-law, Sara. To celebrate her first birthday, Julian and Sara held a party at their home in Healesville last Saturday afternoon. A dozen or more of their friends went along, as well as at least half a dozen children ranging in age from one to the teens.
We arrived ahead of the throng, for some family time before things got lively; and to meet Stevie, a female labora-doodle pup who joined the family three weeks ago. (Stevie, named after the great Stevie Nicks, will be spending two weeks with us in February, while Sara and Iris catch up with family and friends in Hawaii and Oregon, respectively. It will be neat for us to have a dog in our home again.)
We gave Iris two books and we gave her parents the blocks that we had made by a stall-holder at the Red Hill Market. Earlier in the day, Iris had received birthday wishes, via Skype, from Sara’s mother in Anchorage, Alaska and from Julian’s mother in Albany, Western Australia.
The weather was very clement – some sunshine, temperature in the low 20s (Celsius) and a light breeze. There was party food for the kids and the big kids; bubbles from France, Yarra Valley, bubble-making toys and the Schweppes factory; and lots of colourful balloons and pennants.
Maggie and I took some chicken and mayonnaise ribbon sandwiches and one of Sara’s favourite cakes, our chocolate, almond and hazelnut torte. Iris wolfed down two of the sandwiches and a few cherry tomatoes from our garden. Then she was ready for cake!
One of Sara’s friends and her three sons – the boys adore Iris and are very caring of her – had made a big birthday cake with pink icing. Iris was very happy with the icing!
Then it was time for her to say goodbye to Pop and Gran. Just to reassure you, no, she wasn’t trying to pick my nose! For the last two months, she has been busy pointing to objects – animate or otherwise – wanting to have her powers of observation noticed and to be told the name of the object. My nose and the buttons on my shirt are regular targets of Iris’ pointer.