I’ve made myself a hostage to my past efforts. When Luca was about to turn two I decided to make him a really special birthday card and send it into CBeebies so they’d put it on TV. They didn’t. I was beyond disappointed but I made a second card for Luca to keep – a big picture of the village in Ballamory with the characters from the show and Luca behind one of the windows.
He got an enormous amount of pleasure from it. It sat on the mantlepiece throughout the year and he often wanted it taken down so he could look at it. The next year the card became slightly more elaborate.
By last year it had become a major production with a treehouse theme (surprise, surprise) – the bark, the leaves, the tiles on the treehouse were all cut out and stuck on individually.
The trouble is that I’ve established an expectation. Every year at this time I end up spending days (it’s not hours) making the birthday card.
But this year’s extravaganza has ben fun. Luca knew what he wanted – a rocket. I’ve introduced him to Mr Benn, so he features, as does Ben 10, (under considerable duress – jeez, the company that animates it was set up by one Steven T. Seagal – and boy do they write like it’s the famously wooden actor of the same name).
The card ended up being Van Gogh meets The Clangers. I’ve still got to add the Clangers. But, hey, I get to play with paint and glitter and glue. The best part of having a five year old son is the excuse to be five again oneself.