To my darling O,

Six! How did that happen?!

It makes me as sad as it does happy. I’m sad because my little baby is long gone, and how I would love to go back and cuddle you in your sleeping bag as you nuzzle into my neck. It makes me sad for the time that I can’t get back. The two years of worry over your speech delay and the tantrums that came with it. I didn’t enjoy you like I should have. And I will always regret that.

But it makes me happy, because I have truly loved you being 5. Your personality is shinning through and you confidence is growing. I have high hopes for 6 being full of more fun and laughter as you continue to amaze me.

It’s a strange thing to parent two boys who are so very different to one another in so many ways. Your big brother has always been more cautious and considered. Where you dive right in with no fear. Something you get from your Dad more than me, and whilst I admire it as a quality, I can tell you it has given me a few grey hairs.

Your big brother is a performer and loves to be centre stage. You love to sing and dance but prefer to do it with the lounge door closed when no one is watching. But I hear you, and I sneak peaks at you jumping around with your guitar and singing your heart out to George Ezra. It fills my heart with joy. You will quite happily sing with me and we do a pretty mean duet to Lewis Capaldi with choreographed air grabs. But if anyone else is there you get shy and leave me hanging to perform solo and It’s not quite the same.

You are so very loving, and fierce with it. I love your cuddles but sometimes your love and affection generally hurts as you hurtle towards me full speed for a hug.

One of my favourite sights is you stumbling into our bedroom in the mornings, bleary eyed, messy haired clutching a cuddly toy under one arm and holding a toy car in another. And every morning it makes me smile because I know these days are numbered. Soon you won’t bundle in with us first thing. So I try and savour it whilst the moments are there. Even when in recent weeks the cuddly toy has been replaced by your toy guitar and your first words are “Alexa, play songs by George Ezra”.

You are so so stubborn. A trait I believe you inherited from your Dad, although I know he would blame me. I’ve had to learn as you have grown to give you time. Pushing you to do something you don’t want to do, makes you dig your heels in further. Patience is the key. Given time you normally come round in your own time.

Your brother is a talker. He chats all day long with very little filter about whatever is on his mind. I rarely need to ask him what has happened at school, because it all spills out as soon as he sees me. With you, not so much. You normally live very much in the moment, You don’t care to talk about things that have already happened. Finding out about your day is normally met with “I don’t know” or “I’m not telling you”. But again, given time, you eventually give me snippets of your day. It normally involves what you had for your lunch.

It has been amazing this year to watch you learning your place in the world. To reach an age where you have memories, and I love the conversations we have that start with “Mummy? Do you remember…” Or when you try and tell me something that happened at school that was funny, but you cannot get your words out because the giggles have take control.

I hope in years to come you will remember the time we went to Australia when you were five. You made me so proud on the plane. It took me over 6 hours to watch one movie because of the little taps on my shoulder saying “Mummy?…” But you were so good. Even if you did urgently need the toilet every time the seat belt sign came on!

Of course travelling for 24 hours and barely sleeping did catch up with you at the Wildlife park. Where you had no interest at all in kangaroos and koalas and just wanted to play at the park and eat ice cream. But then parks and ice cream are what life is about when you are five, and I whole-heartedly agree that the koalas were a bit stinky.

Your dedication to ice cream is unwavering. And when you have one it is your sole focus. There’s no conversation to be had when an ice cream has you full and devout attention. Chocolate cake and roast dinners are up there with your favourites.

You love Where’s Wally books and playing football. Colouring in and cutting out. You are a big fan of board games, not so much a fan of the board game rules! You hate cheese, unless it’s on a pizza. You love to snuggle under a blanket, yet you also love to be outdoors. But I think I will always remember 5 as the year you discovered music. No more wheels on the bus or baby shark in this house!

I hope six is as big as you wish it to be. I can’t wait to see your face when you open your ‘rock star’ guitar.

Happy birthday by gorgeous boy.

Love Mummy xxx

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Claire Kirby

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