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Miss Two’s “Happy Birthday”

I wasn’t sure how I would convince her to stay in the room till we were done dressing up, while her dad finalised her birthday surprise in the living room outside. She normally heads out of the room as soon as she’s done breastfeeding and had her fill of morning conversation with mum. Surprisingly, it wasn’t hard at all.


We got ready, ran outside before she did and, with her maama (uncle) on Facetime, we waited for her to make an entry. The cameras were rolling. I took a deep breath as we waited.

“Look at that! Dada, look at that!”, she squealed as soon as she entered. She was thrilled and we could hear it in her voice. I smiled. It had worked. The surprise, we had pulled it off!

We watched quietly, as a camera and two phones recorded her reaction on video. She took a moment to realize what was happening. Flashing a wide smile, she turned a shade of red with embarrassment and ran to hug her dada. Then she turned around and, once again, looked at the preparations of the previous night. I think she hit a high spot when we all screamed,

“Happy Birthday!”


She ran towards the balloons and bounced them in the air. She couldn’t stop jumping and laughing. I couldn’t have asked for a better reaction! We brought her to the table with the cake. She noticed the Peppa Pig lollies right away and grabbed a handful. I asked her if she would like to cut her cake and pointed to where she should stand, so I could get a few good pictures. She knew exactly what was happening. I hadn’t expected that of a 2 year old; my baby is so grown up! We blew a 2-shaped candle and I handed her a plastic knife to cut the cake. As we sang Happy Birthday, she cut the cake, the wide smile never leaving her face.

I loved that she recognized the digger cake, even though it only remotely resembled the actual digger next to it. She snatched up the toy digger and held it out to us,

“Look at that mama! It’s a digger!”

She ran it along the edge of the table. By the time she was done “cutting” the cake, it looked like there had been some digging on site. She just made my cake look perfect!


If I had any doubts of whether the cake was any good, she sorted me out right away. She couldn’t stop eating it! Could I get a better review of the party? I don’t think so. We spent the rest of the day shopping for her presents.


When she went to bed that night, it was time to start preparing for part 2 of her birthday celebrations. She went to daycare the next day with some cupcakes and returned with more presents…



I hadn’t realized taking one toddler’s allergy into consideration and making an eggless cake for the class would mean so much to her parents. I want to send back a Thank You card but my husband thinks we’d end up in a vicious cycle of thanking each other. I’m going to send one anyway.

Her daycare gave her a huge birthday card that her friends and teachers made for her, as part of the day’s activities. If 2 year olds could express feelings in words, my daughter would be saying,

Best birthday ever!

I think we outdid her last birthday by a leap. Now to start packing for that long overdue New Zealand trip that marks the birth of a gorgeous little girl, for whom I had cancelled the trip 2 years ago.



I used to wonder whether I could ever be a parent. Then I became one. I was handed a delicate little bundle that I was terrified of bringing home. I didn't know how to be a parent and I was sure 'winging it' was not the right way to do it. Little did I know at the time that there is no right way. The baby knew what she wanted and all I had to do was figure it out along the way. As she grows up, she helps me learn what I need to know... I just need to pay attention to her.

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