Smile Please II

Harry will be three (eeep!) in early August, and I am dutifully making him a birthday card to be shown on cBeebies, the UK children’s channel. The links are pre-recorded, so they require the cards at least 4 weeks in advance. I am not nearly as confident as I was about last year’s effort, particularly as I have sub-contracted a major part of this year’s colouring-in to John, who is even less of a Picasso than I am.

It is customary to include a photo of the birthday child, so in proper Groundhog Day-style, I am once again chasing Harry around paparazzi-style, attempting to capture a full-face smile, directly into camera. I’ve had some corking shots and a few that were nearly ok but nothing that really delights the fond maternal eye.

And while I’m killing WordPress stone dead with photo uploads and shouting furiously at the bastard gallery-thing for including the photos below when they don’t belong there… here is something I have already bought Harry for his birthday. I keep meaning to do the wondrous Mel‘s Show & Tell, but I never do, damnit.

It is a vintage 1977 Matchbox Playboot in beautiful condition, and it almost seems a shame to let Harry The Destroyer at it. I have recollections of playing with one as a child, but do not remember actually owning one; my parents, however, swear blind that I did – and, tellingly, were both able to give uncannily accurate descriptions of the contents after some 25-30 years – which I suppose settles the matter. I hope I will remember Harry’s toys as perfectly, but I bloody doubt it; I feel he owns rather more than most non-royal 1970s children ever did by a factor of Ridiculous.

Harry, a veteran of many a party, has sussed birthdays now; he knows he is two, and will be three on his next birthday, although I have no way of eliciting any clues about his concept of time. He knows there are presents. He knows All About Cake, including candles, and has been cheerfully signing ‘Dinosaur Cake’ for a month or more – until we attended a dinosaur-themed 3rd birthday on Sunday complete with Dinosaur Cake, whereupon he signed that dinosaurs were actually scary, and he wanted a Pig Cake instead. This swiftly became a Train Cake, followed by a Digger Cake, a Lego Cake and has held steady since yesterday evening at Tractor Cake. 

Potty update, because I know you care (!): 3 heavily coached hits, rewarded with stickers and a new Fire Engine, 4 misses, including my prized new stolen from parents fabric armchair. He has been a giggly and cuddlesome delight today. Hooray.


15 Responses

  1. Oh, good! I’m so glad things were better today!

  2. I’m rather partial to The Toothy One, but I know you’re aiming for perfection.

    Erhm, good luck with that 🙂 I’ve long since given the hell up on any such notion.

  3. Oh, and I like the sweet one. Although your favorite one is precious!

  4. I like the one on the swing in the 4th row although you will probably have to crop it as no doubt they will be squeamish at child in pants.

    So pleased at peeing in appropriate location progress – soon your soft furnishings will be safe.

  5. I like that photo of him looking through the yellow playhouse window. You could do a retro Play School thing, and title it “Through … the ARCHED window!”, but the CBeebies presenters and editors probably aren’t old enough to get the reference.

    Glad to see that you’re advertising Great Works of Fiction on your blog (“Potty Training in Three Days” – yeah right…)

  6. Three? Ah. Big!
    My Favourite One, is my favourite one, too.
    The Beeb surely must see Wisdom and show Harry’s card. Show us?

  7. Oooh, I remember the boot! Didn’t have one though. I cannot believe he’s nearly 3. Beautiful boy.

  8. I also vote for the Toothy one followed closely by Your Favourite One. Keep going, my rule of thumb with photography is roughly one hundred “meh” shots for every “That’s IT!” moment.

    And 3 hits for 4 misses is close to 50/50. Keep working on continuous improvement. And Harry.

  9. I love all the ones on the swing (especially The Best So Far), but I think you could safely pick any random one to send. They are all quite adorable.

    Hurray for improvements in the potty arena! Coaching is the way to go…followed closely by bribery.

  10. Oh god, my boy is one on Aug 4th and am making a card at the moment – or rather am in a panic about card.

    I cant believe the masterpieces some people send, and am in awe of your card last year!! How did you do it?!?!? I am struggling!!

    Good luck with yours, will hopefully see it (happy happy happy happy brithday to you, have a happy day today … la la la … )

  11. He’s getting soooo big, all lovely pictures.

  12. “My Favourite One” is too far away for a proper look. I like “I have committed serious mischief”.

  13. I like the best one and the commited mischief one.

    Tell me, did they actually show your card last year? Because I created a spectacular effort (if I do say so myself): Timmy and the gang having a party all individually handpainted and varnished and glittered and with a proper background and mounted in a fetching red card frame and it signally failed to show up on all four of the birthday broadcasts. The tension as the family gathered round to watch the last one was like watching an England game and ended in the same sense of let-down!

    This year I’ve done 8 individual Chuggington trains AND Timmy AND a couple of those singing birds and sent it with two months to spare. Take that, you Cbeebie bastards!

  14. Oh he is so adorable. He has the best expressions on his face 🙂

  15. Do you still have the live-n-learn play boot as shown above? If yes, I would like to buy it from you.

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