Today is a very special day. It's Mini Clog and Northern Boy's fifth birthdays.
The former is Big Bro's son – he should soon be opening a Spiderman costume that I posted to him – and the latter is Head Girl's first little boy.
I still remember the day I got a texts to say they'd both been born. I was in HMV in my lunch hour in Leicester Square and I promptly burst into tears while trying to buy a Goo Goo Dolls album – the till guy was a little disturbed.
I'm not sure quite why I had such an extreme reaction. I guess it just felt so surreal that at 26 I was an aunt and my best friend since i was 11 was now a mum.
Thankfully, I no longer have this extreme reaction to the arrival of my friends' children – and there are quite a few these days. Even better, I'm apparently balanced enough to be godmother to two of them, but I'll never forget the way I felt on that day – a mix of happiness but knowledge that everything was now changing.
Anyway, the countdown is now on for Christmas – the tree is up and looks like an explosion in a tat factory, the poinsettias are out and at some point there will be some mince pie making.
I love Christmas. I love walking down the street peeking through people's windows at night and seeing what they've done for decorations. I love the fact that all the Christmas lights make it so much easier to lipread in the dark, and I love that I get to go toy shopping for the little people in my life. Having a justifiable reason to be in Hamley's is never a bad thing.
As a kid, before I knew that I was deaf, I never really understood a lot of toys – the ones that spoke or beeped or chimed… I thought that half the challenge was guessing what they were doing. I thought the point of the mini keyboard I was given one year was so you could compose tunes without being able to hear them and then hold it up to your ear to play it back and see what you'd created.
One year I got a red walkman and the latest Kylie album and I remember wondering why it had a volume control when I could only hear it on the highest setting, and I also thought Kylie made up the words as she went along, so I did, too – to this day I reckon this helped me get my first at uni in writing poetry!
But what this does mean is that when I'm in Hamley's choosing Christmas presents for the little people in my life, I'm completely oblivious to just how noisy they could end up being…
So apologies to all my friends with children this year. I didn't know I'd bought the noisiest toys in the shop… honest!