Rory's Lockdown Birthday
By the end of lockdown, most people, if not everyone will have missed out on something major in their lives. Whether it be a holiday that was cancelled, or a wedding which had to be postponed. For us, the biggest thing will have been Rory's 2nd birthday. We knew quite early on that we'd be in lockdown for his birthday, but we weren't entirely sure of what restrictions would have been in place. We had just entered the second phase of '3 week lockdown'.
Originally, before Coronavirus took over the world, I was meant to be in work on Rory's birthday, but Luke was still going to be on his Easter holidays. We'd known about this a whole year in advance and it bothered me. I wouldn't have minded being at work on Rory's birthday if Luke was because I know in years to come we'll be at work on most of his birthdays. It was more the fact that I was supposed to be at work and Luke wasn't! We had arranged his birthday party for the weekend after and we were just planning on having a nice family evening together after Rory and Luke had a busy day of celebrating. Then Corona hit, and suddenly, we were both working from home, with me being on a rota for being in work once every few weeks. Naturally, this felt bittersweet as I'd got my wish of having Rory's birthday off but at the same time, I knew that the only people he'd be allowed to see were us.
I felt obliged to prepare as much as I could to ensure that he would have the best day ever. Now Rory is an independent little boy and can quite happily sit playing by himself for most of the day. But when all you can do other than play in your house is go on a walk and nothing else, you need more activities to fill the time to avoid those toddler meltdowns. I ordered lots of craft activities and baking sets online thinking that throughout the day we'll have lots of time to do them. I was concerned that because by this point, we'd already been working from home for over a month, and Luke and I had both been on Easter holidays for over a week, that the day wouldn't feel special, and it would just feel like every other day we've had recently. It didn't turn out that way at all, and all of those extra activities I bought didn't even get touched!
When it came to his presents, originally we were going to give them to him spread out over a few days to help us in lockdown, but last minute we changed our minds. He had one present early off Luke's parents which was a football goal so that we knew we could get some use out of it in that lovely weather we had in early April (I swear the weather has helped make lockdown a lot easier!). We're pretty bad at buying him things all the time as it is, so we don't really go to town when it comes to birthdays and Christmas. From us he had a huge Happyland Zoo set and a workbench, then had an easel from my parents. Those of you that know me know that I'm a huge bargain hunter. So the Happyland we actually bought back in Black Friday 2018! We bought LOADS of it and have been giving him a new set each Christmas and birthday. He's really started to play with it properly lately and it's so lovely to see. His workbench we got in the sale from Sainsbury's. They do big toy events in the run up to Christmas so I can't really remember when we bought it but it was the best £10 we've ever spent! He's loved messing with all of the tools and Luke's even sanded down a little piece of wood to help out with the imaginary play.
I can honestly say that the day didn't go how I'd initially planned in terms of all the activities we'd got ready, but we had a lovely day all the same considering the circumstances and it was nowhere near as awful as I'd imagined it was going to be. Luke did an amazing job of collecting lots of videos of friends and family wishing Rory happy birthday. Check out the final compilation here. It was very emotional and I ugly cried for quite a bit! We hugged it out then got back to entertaining Rory, although he was oblivious to the whole thing! We did go on a walk throughout the day, and did see some family members from a distance. For me one of the hardest things of lockdown has been Rory not seeing his grandparents and great-grandparents. They're such a big part of our lives and in the week he spends more time with them than he does us so it's been really hard. At tea time we FaceTimed everyone so they could sing Happy Birthday and he blew his candles out like a pro! Then as a special treat, we ordered a KFC which was delicious!
All in all, we more than survived a lockdown birthday! Rory is fortunately too young to remember this time we've been going through which is why we wanted to write this blog and make the video to look back on in years to come. I just hope that if he does remember anything, he'll remember a sunny day and quality time with his parents! We really appreciated the simple things throughout the day and in some ways, felt less pressure to have this 'amazingly perfect day'. We'll rebook his party as soon as we can and we'll celebrate with all of our family and friends. Being young and having no concept of time will play in our favour here and we'll just have an April birthday in August...hopefully!
Mommy Davies x