First things first. No baby yet. I’m working on it, the baby is or isn’t, and sooner or later some medical professionals will have something to say about it.
In my ever increasingly difficult quest to be very cool, calm and collected about the fact that the tiny wriggle-baby is far too comfortable and shows no inclination of making an appearance any time soon, I’m passing the time with cake. Well it is almost Christmas.
Actually I’m struggling to realise that it’s only 14 days until Christmas. In my mind, the baby was due at the beginning of December, therefore I have 25 days to enjoy the baby haze and still pull Christmas out of the bag after the baby arrives. No baby, ergo, 25 day countdown remains unaltered. Yes, I know it doesn’t quite work like that. Is it the Orthodox church who celebrate Christmas at Epiphany? Maybe we could convert; H speaks a smattering of Russian and I’ve got an Ancient Greek GCSE so I’m sure we’d be fine with either (please note that whilst the GCSE is 16 years old, it was the Greek that was Ancient).
But whatever the date, it’s either been cold and damp or cold and frosty so I scooped Kitty up over the weekend and took her into the kitchen to do some ‘cooky’ as a pre-baby treat. She’s proving an adept little helper and even managed not to add any porridge to the cake mix, although the evidence of the butter dish would suggest that either a herd of teeny tiny but quite heavy reindeer had trampled that way recently or someone took to prodding it when Mama wasn’t looking.
Her chief task is to choose and lay out the paper cases, and I suspect she may have her parents’ magpie eye for colour as we mixed pastel pink, blue and yellow with polka dot primaries. Cleary being too matchy matchy is overrated in the world of toddler fairy cakes.
And this is where properly I ought to show you a picture or two of some pretty little lemon cakes, iced with the frostiest of pale blue glace icing and topped with fondant snowflakes, but inexplicably the only evidence I have on camera of the existence of these cakes, is this:
I know we started with 12, and then we all had to test one, and then Kitty and I tested another one just to be sure they were good, and H and I polished off a few more during the evening. And on Sunday morning I snarfed another one while making the coffee, only to discover tiny girl on her way back upstairs, climbing adeptly with two feet and one hand whilst the other triumphantly clutched a slightly battered looking confection of icing and cake crumbs.
The photos are from Sunday lunch when, not content with her own little ‘cay-cay’, Miss Kitty decided to feed some to Daddy (and eat half of his in the process).
And in the true spirit of being spoilt rotten, I took our little cake fiend out to tea yesterday afternoon for a Mama and Kitty treat before this bump arrives and demands more of my attention. We popped into Vinteas in Leamington as the epitome of girliness and cake and it more than lived up to my expectations.
It’s what H would call a very Carie sort of place, full of the dainties and frippery that I could never get away with at home, like wallpaper covered with birds and butterflies and tiny tables laid with mismatched vintage china. It makes you want to be wearing a fabulous hat and a skirt with rustly petticoats and be taking a genteel break in a quest for something sensational to wear to a Christmas party that involves amazing cocktails, rather than being a pause after the wholefood shop and the butcher.
The real treat was that in among the tables for two there was a gorgeous mirror glass coffee table, set with two adult size chairs, and two well loved, chinz covered chairs at little girl height. It was perfect.
And that’s before we’d even got to the cake. With a slice of Red Velvet for Kitty (containing beetroot. If you’re my health visitor please note the feeding of vegetables), and triple layer Victoria Sponge for me, on plates that were decreed ‘pretty blu’ and ‘pretty flous’ we had old fashioned lemonade and an orange squash that came in the cutest mini-milk bottle plus straw.
It was such a joy to spend time wholly with my little girl before she has to share her spotlight with a baby brother or sister, rather than just carrying her along for the ride in the never ending rotation of laundry and shopping and cleaning and antenatal clinics. At almost two and a quarter she is mischievous and loving, a happy little soul who’s turning into quite the chatterbox with a sparkle in her eyes that can mean only one thing – it’s not going to be long before she can outsmart us, and then we’re in real trouble!
I leave you with what may be my favourite photo of the afternoon; I asked her to smile for a photo to show Daddy, she looked straight back at me and said “cleek”:
It looks like we may have another photographer in the family.