Lockdown schmockdown! It was Lily’s 9th birthday on Saturday and we weren’t going to let pesky quarantine restrictions get in the way of having a good time. Sure, we couldn’t have the big science party we’d planned to have in a hall with lots of kids and fantastic experiments (slime, sherbet, explosions), as we were restricted to our house – and of course, none of her friends could come round, only her dad (as we’re effectively the same household because she moves between our houses). But we absolutely weren’t going to let that stop us from having fun!
When she and her dad arrived at my house at lunchtime, we all sat down at the kitchen table and ate cake (well, they ate cake – I ate carrots!). I didn’t lay on much of a spread as there were only three of us.
After eating, we went out into the garden and Lily took some selfies with us in the sunshine. Here we are:
As has been well-documented on this blog, I am not exactly the flushest of people (hence my constant Patreon appeals). But what little spare money I do have, I spend on Lily. My childhood was a hellscape of joylessness and deprivation, so I’m determined to make hers full of happiness and delight. She is the best girl ever, and thoroughly deserves to be made a proper fuss of on her special day.
So I spent around £300, redesigned her room and got her 58 presents in the process – most of them small, some costing as little as £1. I bought them all at the start of February, mostly from Tiger, and I’m very glad I did, as it would have been impossible to get them after lockdown (Tiger don’t have an online store).
Lily previously had a Harry Potter bedroom designed by me, as she was a big fan of the books. It was very stylish (blowing my own trumpet here and making a loud farting noise) with monochrome and tones of beige, gold and grey, but she said that it ‘wasn’t cosy’ and that she wanted a more colourful and childlike room. Here’s what her room looked like before:
She barely spent any time in there, so I decided to make it a lot more welcoming – a riot of colour that meant she would love doing her arts and crafts in her room. It was quite straightforward: I just changed all the pictures and dark frames to cute animal art in white frames, hid away all her dark and neutral-toned stuff, removed the decals and striped duvet cover, and filled the room with balloons, confetti and presents for her to unwrap. And here’s the result!
As well as all my presents, she also got lots of amazing gifts from my fantastic Patreon supporters Lucy, Emily, John and Oliver, as well as Graham and my mum (and of course, her dad and stepmum). She opened their presents in front of them over FaceTime.
She also had two Zoom chats, the first with lots of kids from her class, and the second with her two best friends. They played Hangman on screen (a game I remember from my own childhood) and did gymnastics in front of each other.
At the end of the day, she announced that she loved her new bedroom and that this had been her ‘best birthday ever!’ Which is quite a pronouncement given the circumstances. I love that she can be so philosophical and find the joy and beauty in any situation. I love her so much.
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