A Birthday For Bean

Almost two years ago something remarkable happened: Fat Sister had a baby, my beautiful, brilliant, hilarious niece, Bean.

I’ve worked with children for about twenty years but they’ve always been five years or older and I had limited experience with younger children, particularly babies. Before Bean I thought babies slowly acquired their personalities over time, but Bean’s has been strong from the very start.

It’s been amazing watching her grow and develop. When she was just five months old I wrote about how weird and funny it was to watch her achieving things that I can’t do, like drinking without spilling it down herself, standing up, or eating strawberries without squishing them into her head. Today I discovered that she’s now using metal cutlery, including a knife, something that would go badly for me because of my arm tics.

Today lots of our friends and family came together to celebrate Bean’s birthday. We went to a great playground, fed the ducks (her favourite activity), ate pizza and cake. She loved having ‘happy birthday’ sung to her. At one moment while she was playing in the playground she looked at me and her Nana and, beaming, said “Happy”, “Happy”.

It was a great to hang out with so many lovely people. King Russell’s brother and sister-in-law are down from Yorkshire with their three children, and Bean loved having her cousins about. A few days ago I wasn’t sure that she really knew what a birthday was – I think she definitely does now.

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