One year

One year was the time it took for me to learn how to make the perfect mushroom soup.

One year was the time it took for me to finally hang up the curtains in my first apartment.

One year was the time it took before I found what was causing that smell from behind the desk. (It was a shrimp which was stuck and dried out behind the radiator actually, probably from a wild party in 2012.)

One year was the age my son turned last Wednesday, and man, did he get a fiesta! My husband, aka Vegan-Dad, and I were stationary in the kitchen for three days before; cooking, making decorations and planning the logistics. We didn’t have the party in our own apartment and therefore we needed to cook, prepare and then transport it all on public transportation to the party venue. You see, we live in a tiny apartment and to stuff our closest family in here (about 20 people) would only be pleasant if you’e a sardine. My youngest sister offered her place as the scene of destruction. Cause that’s what it was, and I don’t think she had counted on us to take her super beautiful and styled by wealthy, fashion – aware hipsters, apartment with stucco in the ceiling and non-affordable art in the corners, hostage. With us I mean me, a person with a very loud voice and wide arm swings, Vegan-Dad; an extremely messy baker and The Child, who walks around like it’s a Sunday and collects nice things as he goes.

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Typical case of hoarding

Nice things can not be touched in my sister’a apartment. Nice things in my sister’s apartment are either ancient or given to her by the designer. She had cleaned all the floors, fluffed all the pillows and set a fire going in the hearth when we arrived to put the party together . She had dusted every frame of every painting and folded the designer blankets as if they  were to be in a photo shoot in Elle Decor when we came in. She had bought fresh flowers and put the inherited raindeer skin on the hallway floor just as we opened the door.

We opened the door and rolled the pram inside with no regards to the collection of Manolo Blahniks that slowed it down. We walked in quickly since there was a slight snow storm outside and the food needed to go into the fridge fast. We burst in with our massive boots from Jula, leaving snow-muddy prints all the way from the hallway to the kitchen – and if that wasn’t enough – we rolled the pram straight into the bedroom, where the extra sized tractor wheels could thaw on the märke rug, since the Child was asleep. Of course it didn’t take long before Iggson was awake again, walking around the apartment, collecting things on the way. He then brings them to his nest, which could be anywhere really, where he sits and admires them in peace while bursting out “oooooo!” at every non-replacable item. Auntie Mary says that it’ okay, they’re just things, but mammy (that’s me) is sweating like a polar bear in a yacuzzi. Actually, that was nothing compared to when he discovered the inherited raindeer skin. Whilst manically giggling he pulled off pretty much every hair on that skin. It now looks like a seal skin. A seal which died from scabies.

After not being able to find a cake with Babblarna (Iggson’s favourite TV show) on it in time (read: we forgot) we hand made the characters and placed them around a bought cake telling everyone we baked it just like good parents shall. Unfortunately the wife of one of my brothers recognised the cake as the Swedish princess Estelle’s official cake.

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The official Estelle cake – Iggson style

A small part of the family came to the party (yes 16 people are a small part. At our wedding our families made 98% of all the guests) and we really had a good time. Iggson was so happy and he got so many great, pedagogical gifts! When the family has gone through the effort of buying, wrapping and bringing really thoughtful gifts it’s difficult as a parent not to feel embarrassed when your child opens all the gifts, goes “ooooooo”, hides them in his secret gathering nest under the now scabies infected seal skin, then only wants to play with the Nespresso capsules. Also, he was being abnormally protective of the Nespresso capsules. Everyone ended up having tea instead.

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If I got a car for my birthday I would show slim to no interest for Nespresso capsules

 

Vegan-dad and I really worked on our  son’s first birthday party and it was a success. Iggson wouldn’t have known that it was a special day at all but to me it was important to carry on the tradition. As long as my parents have been together they have celebrated all of our birthdays like that – with salutes and mountains of food and drink. For 34 years they have invited our grandmothers, our Auntie L, her husband and our cousins. When we were old enough to have significant others we did and they were also invited to our birthdays. Of course the birthday kid could also have their three or so, bffs over for the celebration. We’re five children. That means that some birthday dinners could consist of 22 people. Also, if my calculations are correct, my parents have prepared for 149 birthdays together, not including their own. In our family the birthday child also have (yes, have in present form because my parents are still hosting all our birthday dinners) the privilege to pick whatever they want for dinner.

The time my brother wanted Beijing duck my dad went to, at that time, the only oriental store in Stockholm to order one from Beijing.

The time I wanted the best ice cream cake in the universe my mom went in an April snow storm to Västerås to get it. (That’s 104 km from where we used to live)

The time my sister wanted meatballs hand rolled by dad, he made them, all 250 of them, no questions asked.

My parents have done this as a certainty 149 times, for 34 years.

We’lI have to see if we ever get any more children because I still feel hungover from the one.

 

Oh wow, the transformation a person does in their first year!