Last week it was my birthday. Not a particularly 'special' number, but it turned into a pretty special day.
I never used to tell the children in my class when it was my birthday, but then a colleague once told me that she thought we should - after all, kids get so excited about birthdays, and it also helps them to appreciate the fact that you're a 'real person' too (not just someone who lives in school!). I thought this was a good argument, so ever since then I've not been shy about mentioning it to the kids - not making a huge thing of it of course, and making sure to emphasise that gifts are not expected (I always give them the 'homemade is best' yarn, and I do love the cards that they make!).
This year it was easy to drop into the conversation as my birthday co-incided with our year-group's Chocolate Day, officially the culmination of our book-study of Roald Dahl's classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but unofficially just an excuse to eat lots of chocolate and watch a film!
Not only was the classroom filled with chocolate (we had a chocolate fountain!) but at snack time the cake appeared... not just one, but TWO birthday cakes.
The first was a cheesecake, from my year-group colleagues. We have a very nice tradition of getting eachother a cake on our birthdays, and getting all 3 classes to come in and sing. Which made me almost cry (in the nicest possible way!).
And next came an amazing Red Velvet Cake, made my one of the delightful girls in my class, with the help of her Auntie who is a professional baker.
It even came with little Red Velvet cupcakes - so adorable!
The cheesecake was gorgeous - not too sickly-sweet, and with lots of fruit. The Year 3 staff polished it off fairly fast.
Helped by 19 children, the Red Velvet cake didn't last too long either, but was really delicious. Dense and with a hint of chocolate, topped with cream-cheese icing. And made with love so very special.
Luckily we managed to leave a piece for our special visitor...
Yes, I am currently hosting my 3rd Flat Stanley from Lewknor School. This one comes courtesy of Poppy, following the example of Polly and Hayden who sent theirs earlier this year.
After the monkey disaster with Polly's, this is as close as Poppy's Stanley has got to our neighbourhood macaques:
Once I got home I started on birthday cake number THREE - one of Ben's legendary Ferrero Rocher cakes. I had been dying to have another one of these since Rob's birthday in May, so this was the perfect excuse.
I don't think I've ever managed that many cakes on any birthday before. What a treat - and huge thanks to all who gave them. I had a wonderful day.