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Sunday, August 26, 2012

On this day in 1969, Lisa was fighting for her life in an incubator, having been born eight weeks premature, weighing less than two bags of sugar. Forty-three years later, she's struggling to get dressed. It's as though she's given up the fight. Or maybe she's just fed up with washing baby vomit stains out of her best clothes.

Either way, Lisa spent her birthday in her pyjamas, hence I have no photos of her. She's quite accommodating when it comes to photography, but she draws the line at nightwear. Unless it's a special occasion.

I think she had a nice birthday though. Amelie spent more time designing her Mummy's card than Hallmark did, as a result of which, we discovered that she can write her own name...

She's clearly on the way to becoming a doctor. Or a graffiti artist. It's either prescriptions or vandalism for her.

With that done, we gave Lisa her gift. I got her a slow cooker. It was either that or a lock for the kitchen door and a chain for the sink. As it happens, she's wanted a slow cooker for ages. I think the microwave's too fast for her, and she can't take the pace. You can get them very cheaply now, but naturally I went for the Rolls Royce of slow cookers. They don't come any slower than this one. It's barely luke warm. So it should last her a lifetime. Which at her age isn't long.

I also bought her all the ingredients for 'Chicken in Red Wine' and 'Sausage & Bean Casserole'. It's been hours since she opened them, so obviously they're not ready yet.

Fortunately, the Princess Cupcakes were a lot quicker. At least, the cakes themselves were. Amelie had them mixed, beaten and baked within half an hour. Unfortunately, having iced them and added pink glitter, we discovered that we were expected to colour in twelve strips of paper, cut them out and stick them to the cake cases. Each strip featured three princesses. That's thirty-six princesses in all. Frankly I lost the will to live.

But as yesterday's photo proves, we managed it. Although by the end I was trying to make them look like Andy Warhol's screen prints of Marilyn. Once done, we added a candle to each one, at which point Amelie shouted "Now put fire on them, Daddy!" in the crazed voice of a pyromaniac. So I lit them, and we presented the plate to Lisa for a big blow-out.

After a lunch of pink glittery cupcakes, Lisa opened all her cards, while Amelie and I attempted to guess who each one was from by the writing on the envelope. Amelie guessed 'Jesus' for one of them, but it turned out to be Lisa's friend Maria. She clearly loves her a lot more.

Obviously a top-of-the-range slow cooker is basically as good as it gets, but sadly for me, Lisa's mother managed to pip me to the title of 'Best Gift' by offering to have Amelie for the afternoon. So at 2pm I dropped the girl off at the sheltered housing, Lisa pumped Toby full of milk, and the two of us settled down for an afternoon of uplifting DVDs. We watched 'Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple', followed by 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room'. When you spend three hours learning about murder, suicide and corporate crime, you feel better about not getting dressed.


Phil's Mum said...

There can be no better way to spend a birthday - or at least no cheaper way.  I don't remember knowing Lisa was born 8 weeks early.  Is that why she's usually late now?