We had a pretty darn British Easter. Egg hunt in a park that was kind of grey and drizzly, and then Easter morning, no baskets — not really a thing here — but the Easter Bunny brought a toy and directive to search for eggs in the back garden after dinner, so that is what we did.
Too small, but we forgot about the bunny hat last year and darn it, I had to squeeze his little skull into it once.
It was too cold and damp for Theo to run around the garden but it sure didn’t stop Dexter from finding chocolate, which is his favorite.
Obligatory loot inventory:
The toy the Easter Bunny brought was a kinetic sand kit which we bought another kid for a birthday present, and Dexter begged to open it so many times, I knew it would be a hit. He actually played with it for like, an hour straight, two mornings in a row which is remarkable focus for this kid.
And Theo munching on a hot cross bun, as is traditional:
Oh, and we didn’t take Dex to meet the Easter Bunny (come to think of it, that might also not be a thing here?) but he made an appearance at playgroup the week previous:
“Why aren’t there any photos of Theo and the Easter Bunny?”
“Because THEO CRIED.”
I put together a little video of the Easter morning hunt:
Want to know two key differences between kid birthday parties in the U.S. vs the U.K.? Okay, I will tell you!
First, my favorite difference: no opening presents at the party!
Yeah, you read that right. Somehow, our chubby, smiley little T. Rex has been in our lives for an entire half of a year.
It seems we’ve fallen into a rut with Theo’s monthly updates. He still has a smile that could broker world peace. (Theo for President 2052: Make America Cute Again!) At this precise moment, he’s rolling back and forth across the living room floor, playing with toys along the way. He is a topple-risk, but Theo is getting better at sitting up unassisted.
Our childminder, who I affectionately call Mary Poppins, has nearly two decades of experience caring for children, and last week, Dexter rendered her speechless.
Let me back up.
We had a rough morning.
Theo Rex is five months old now, and we may have moved from sunny Florida to grey London, but we do not miss the weather at all because Theo is the brightest ray of sunshine.
He rarely cries, just makes some fussy noises until we give him some love. He has been experimenting with some solid food and exactly like Dexter, likes it all so much that he pounds the table between bites until we spoon in more more more. Really, the only time Theo does cry is when I run out of food in the bowl and have to take two minutes to walk into the kitchen and get more.
Oh, the humanity.
Theo Rex, at four months old, is strong and smart. He’s hungry and happy. He is a shameless flirt.
I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been sitting in a waiting room or at the train station or anywhere, and I see a woman across the way smiling and making faces at me, wide-eyed and delighted. And I always spend a couple seconds wondering why the crazy lady has singled me out for attention before I realize – Theo is in my lap and he is sharing his irresistible grin with a stranger.
In the U.S., when you have an American baby, all the necessary paperwork is generally filled out before leaving the hospital, and then a passport is a separate process, usually done later, since most new babies don’t have immediate international travel needs.
For an American baby born on the U.K., it’s different.
Right now, Theo is lying on his back on our ottoman, giggling madly at Matt while Matt tickles him and makes faces.
He is three months old. Dexter is 26 months old, and deep into toddler-hood – equal parts infuriating and charming, with the uncanny ability to flip, casually, between hopelessly frustrating to melting his parents’ hearts.
So it’s a testament to what a fantastic personality Theo has, that he is able to cut through the madness and shine.
Today, Theo Rex is two months old.
Theo smiles and babbles and gives little giggles.
Lucky, lucky kid Dexter Ian turned two years old April 10.
We kept it pretty low-key. Matt and Theo and I woke Dex up singing, then made him wear his “It’s My Birthday!” crown immediately. He wore it to the mall while we ran errands and got lots of birthday greetings, which was nice and made me glad we practiced “What are you going to say when someone asks you how old you are?” even if sometimes it takes Dex both hands to raise just two fingers.