So it’s only taken us all of five months (seriously, how is SB nearly 5 months old?! I’m sure I was heavily pregnant and complaining a couple of weeks ago), but we’ve finally booked SB’s naming ceremony!
As you’ll probably remember, we were having a big moral dilemna a few months ago about whether to have SB christened or not. We aren’t particularly religious, but some of D’s family is, so we weren’t sure whether we should go with tradition – we were both Christened as babies – or to go for a naming ceremony instead.
In the end, we realised that having a Christening wasn’t going to work for any of us – we couldn’t make promises to raise SB Christian, we couldn’t ask the godparents to make promises to a God we aren’t even sure they believe in, and we couldn’t in all good faith (no pun intended) ask everyone to come and see SB Christened, when it really wasn’t what we wanted. Instead, we decided to organise a naming ceremony.
Some ceremonies are really official, with a celebrant and everything, but in all honesty that’s just way too much faff for us, with uni starting again. We just want a party, with a little bit of ceremony in welcoming her to the world and thanking her godparents. Oh, and cake. You can’t have a party without cake.
I’ve never organised a party before. I had a party for my sixteenth birthday party, but my parents did the majority of the organising. This is just me and D, trying to navigate the minefield of party planning. No-one warned me that it was so hard! Is this what I’ve got to look forwards to for the next eighteen years of birthday parties? So far we’ve had –
- Guest list woes. We have space for one hundred people. We want to invite more than a hundred people. Of the hundred we’re inviting, there’s no guarantee they’ll turn up. And don’t even get me started on the minefield of inviting some family members but not others…
- The venue. One function room wanted £95 an hour for a party; and that was one of the cheaper ones we found! In the end we’ve booked a village hall, £30 for a two hour party with time to set up before and clean up afterwards.
- Food. Inviting one hundred people is one thing. Catering for a hundred people is something altogether different – not to mention the fact that many won’t turn up, so we’ll be eating leftover cheese sandwiches, cheese and pineapple sticks and sausage rolls for weeks afterwards (I’m not too upset about this, but my bathroom scales are).
- Decorating. It isn’t a party without balloons. I’ve found some really lovely pink balloons, and we may even get some helium to make it look really pretty. Problem is, I’m scared shitless of balloons.
- The ceremony itself. For a couple who met through a theatre group, where we both played main characters in pantomime – a type of theatre with a high level of audience participation – neither of us are big on public speaking. Trying to work out what we’re actually going to say is surprisingly difficult – again, you’d never expect two writers to be lost for words, but we are.
We have a month and a half to go until her party and with no invitations sent out, no real finalised guest list, no decorations and no actual ceremony, you might be fooled into thinking we’re getting nervous. Actually we’re pretty chilled about it. Like I said – I can live with eating hundreds of leftover jam sandwiches until Christmas.
In other news, we took SB on our first day out as a family of three yesterday! We went to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, which I can highly recommend, and SB had a whale of a time (even if no actual whales were seen). She giggled at sea lions and was very interested in the red pandas (so much so that D ended up buying her a cuddly one!). Some tips for days out with babies that I’d suggest include –
- Invest in a baby carrier. Pushchairs are great, but they can get in the way, and in some places, you have to leave them – we couldn’t take ours on the lemur walk, and struggled to get it through the reptile house. We were very glad to have our baby carrier with us, so we could just pop SB into the carrier and leave the pushchair at the car, or use it to carry bags.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for hot water. D went to the cafe and they filled our thermos flask with boiling water, so we could make up her later bottles safely. On this note, invest in thermos flasks and bottle thermos jackets (we have Tommee Tippee ones).
- Remember to still enjoy yourself. It’s easy to get so wrapped up in trying to make sure your little one enjoys themselves, that you forget that really they’re too young to take it all in, so while they’re happily babbling away in their carrier or pushchair, enjoy yourselves!