As we left the last exciting birthday episode, Mr A and I were waiting for Lola II in a pub. I'm still not entirely sure how we managed to stay awake for two hours past our normal bedtime, but we made it.
The next day was filled with fun and games, literally. Lots of Lola II's friends came to visit, we ate pizza and we played games. Actually, just one game, because there were ten of us and it went on for quite a long time. But a good game, and Mr A won. So that was nice too. Then some of the guests went home, we ate Chinese food, some more of the guests went home and we retired exhausted.
At this point, I shall switch from focussing on Lola II to the usual subject: it's all about me. I would like to confess one of my failings as a human being: presents. I'm not particularly good at presents. Birthday presents, Christmas presents, wedding presents - I find them all a bit difficult, what with finding time to go to the shops (which I hate), choosing the right thing at the right price, wrapping it, labelling, finding a card to go with it, and then handing it over on or near the relevant date. I'd much rather bake a random cake when someone's not expecting anything instead of sticking to a conventional present-and-card on a particular day, the way that everyone else seems to operate.
With Lola II, I try a bit harder than with most people, but she still doesn't get many presents from me, and if I do manage to get her something I usually hand it over unwrapped in a plastic carrier bag on a random date. One year I really tried hard, and bought two things for her birthday some months beforehand, wrapped them nicely, and then when I handed them over on the right day, I'd completely forgotten what they were. Which was exciting, because it was as much a surprise to me as it was to her.
So this year, a special year when her age has a zero in it, I thought I'd try and do better. I started making a list before Christmas of things I know she likes, and bought them, wrapped them all up, labelled them, and found a card, and then hid them all over her house. I even kept a list of what they all were (so no surprises for me this time), and since we visited I have been drip-feeding her a daily present. The only aspect I have failed on is that several of them are wrapped in Christmas paper, but you can't have everything.
So Happy Birthday Lola II, I hope you like the presents (there are still a few to come)!