Chapter 62-Birthday Boy

Apparently, nothing says happy fourth birthday like a lamb and a were-rabbit.

It could have been a rocket, a hedgehog or even a train. But for his fourth birthday Raffie really just wanted a Wallace and Gromit cake. Not just any old Wallace and Gromit cake, but one from The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

This is the second year he’d asked for Wallace and Gromit so Daddy and I spent most of the week leading up to his party making tiny vegetables and trying to find the best way to get a Were-Rabbit silhouette to stay on the side of a cake.

The Were-Rabbit cake-a vegetable odyssey.

The Were-Rabbit cake-a vegetable odyssey.

It might have been a bit weird and slightly wonky (with six layers of cake inside it) but I am pleased to report he was happy with it, even though he was too excited to eat it for two days. And the second cake I had to make when I realised he didn’t have a birthday cake on his actual birthday.

The second cake.

The second cake.

Devoid of a bouncy castle and an entertainer, Daddy had the brainwave of asking a friend if he could bring his lamb to the party and it seems that you’re never too young or too old to appreciate the smaller creatures in life.

Making new friends.

Making new friends.

For our own baby, it’s going to be a year of change. Starting school in September is going to be a huge change for all of us.

We can only hope the words “Hear me in the face Mummy”, and the phase of running into people at high speed are two things which may be left at school doorstep.

But while there’s were-rabbits and jelly and lambs, at least one of us is taking a year of change in his stride, along with more cake than any of us have been able to eat-so far.

Telling his friends a story at his birthday lunch.

Telling his friends a story at his birthday lunch.

Chapter 61-All American Boy

I found it trapped in the hinge of my suitcase, wedged between my pyjamas and a very small thermal vest.

“Why is your plastic sword in my suitcase Raffie?”

“In case I get bored in America Mummy. I’ve also packed my magnifying glass so I can see it better.”

Admittedly when pondering a ten hour flight to the USA followed by days with a pre-schooler and my octogenarian grandmother, a plastic sword hadn’t been on the top of my emergency list.

A DVD player, an industrial sized box of ibuprofen and just about every one of Raffie’s films I could carry however, were.

But to everyone’s surprise, a boy that can’t sit down for his lunch really enjoys long distance travel. Tucking into his pasta watching Big Hero 6 over the Atlantic he looked like he’d been doing it for years.

Our adventure took us to New York, Connecticut, Cape Cod and finally Boston. Raffie took a great deal of pain but then pride in his blood blister from a viewfinder at the Empire State Building, and was delighted to make a host of new friends at the St Patrick’s Day Parade in New York, where he received free cake and cookies.

high five

Meeting the NYPD.

Meeting the NYPD.

Connecticut was a winter wonderland, and he loved meeting our friends who so kindly finally let him do the cleaning and sweeping he desperately missed from home.

Cleaning the room in Cape Cod.

Cleaning the room in Cape Cod.

The weather got to Cape Cod before us, where the beach remained stubbornly under several inches of snow, and we set off early for Boston, via Plymouth, in a blizzard.

Plymouth Rock.

Plymouth Rock.

Despite the biting cold Raffie embraced Boston and loved the food, the museums and meeting fabulous friends who let him watch Scooby Doo, cuddle their dog and breakdance to disco lights late into the night.

Thanks to our tour of the wonderful Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, I also ended up having to explain the American Revolution to a three year old, under the intense stare of our fellow tourists.

“So who was the bad guy in the American Revolution Mummy?”

“Erm…it’s a bit complicated really sweetheart, they didn’t want to be part of England any more,” I floundered, feeling slightly sick and very hot.

“So they were the bad guys then?”

“Um no. The important thing to remember is that we’re all friends now,” I stammered weakly.

And with this, and throwing several boxes of tea off the side of the ship to great delight, we left for the Children’s Museum and a well-earned nap followed by the long flight home.

Raffie slept through all of our connecting flight and woke up in Birmingham. “Can we go back to America tomorrow?” he asked as we got home. “I loved it there, it was lots of fun. Can we stay in a hotel?”

It will be quite some time before we go back to America. But although he might need his magnifying glass, with all the excitement it had to offer, I’m pretty sure he won’t feel the need to pack his plastic sword next time.

dunkin