Advice, Kiddo

Our Baby Expat Turns Three

Oh, time is slipping away too fast. Our littlest expat turned three today. She has no friends here (where are all the small children in the Maldives?!) so it’s been a quiet, peaceful kind of day. Mila woke up at 7 and made short work of opening her presents. We may have helped in that department by being too lazy to take them out of all the parcels that we received them in and just collating them in the biggest box. She didn’t care.

Her presents included books, a wooden dragon and knight set, dyed wooden eggs and eggcups, dyed wooden tiny stacking acrobats, a marble run and a few other other bits and pieces. I used to be very much the minimalist when it came to birthday gifts, but now that the weather keeps us penned into very small living quarters much of the time I’m starting to see the value in having a wide range of different toys.

I started planning her gifts a few months in advance, which turned out to be a very good idea. Male’ is chock-full of toy shops… BUT most of what they offer is pretty rubbish, to be frank. Cheap plastic tat that falls apart after a couple of uses. And Male’ being Male’, none of it is even cheap. So I ended up looking overseas. Etsy is fantastic for handmade wooden toys – we’ve been buying things from there since Mila was born. A bonus now that we are overseas is that you can tailor search results to view only items that ship to the Maldives.

All the books were from Book Depository. I have mentioned them before in my posts and for good reason – excellent prices and free shipping worldwide! My only beef with them is that they send every book you order separately (regardless of whether you order several at once) and each book comes in very thick cardboard packaging. It seems like a waste of resources, but I guess as someone who is ordering items from overseas I can’t bitch too much about the environmental impact of their actions.

Finally, we also took advantage of my parents’ kindness. They offered to ship toys over for us, so we bought online from New Zealand toy shops and had the items delivered to their address. Of course this also gave them a chance to slip a few extras in for the birthday girl. The marshmallow bunny to be fair was looking slightly the worse for wear after surviving being juggled around different airports and customs. This was of no concern to my daughter, who swallowed it up like a cobra.

The rest of our day will likely be equally low key. Once Mila wakes up from her nap, we’ll make some more marble runs. We’ll go to dinner at the resort restaurant. We’ve got a dragon cake lined up as a surprise: dragons + chocolate = winning! Mr C has the night off. And then we’ll play some more, try again to explain what “turning another year older” actually means and watch a Spot the Dog movie. I’m slowly learning here that small is good, that simple is good. That this quiet existence is enough for us all.

Happy birthday to my sweet, loud, beautiful, firecracker of a child.

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