Dearest boy, today you are half a decade old and it’s scaring me a bit. If I click my fingers will you turn 10? You see the older you get the more time seems to fly.
But as much as I sometimes wish that I could slow life down, everyday I enjoy getting to know you more and more. This year has been about big changes and big milestones, starting school, riding a bike, falling in love! You’ve done so well for one so small but there are elements of sadness about it too, suddenly everything you once loved being declared babyish. All around us are scattered and broken remnants or your past obsessions…
Age 1. Me
Age 2. Fireman Sam
Age 3. Postman pat
Age 4. Lightning McQueen
Age 5. Darth Vader
I’ve been ditched for the dark side already!
At five you like – Saying everything is ‘Epic’, talking in an American accent, making guns, swords and weapons out of anything vaguely stick shaped, climbing, jumping, shouting, performing your fighting moves to anyone who will agree to watch, space, castles, learning about your body, talking about poo, building crazy stuff out of lego, cheese sandwiches, your top bunk, hot chocolate with squirty cream, being chased, Power Rangers and chicken korma or ‘Mummy’s curry’ as you like to call it.
You really don’t like – having to go home from anywhere, getting dressed, learning phonics, rain, spiders, tidying up, sitting still, vegetables, going to bed, clothes shopping, anything being thrown away (even a broken toaster), the sea when it’s really rough, the dark, bad dreams and your brother smashing up your lego.
You are a rough and tumble boy, there is no denying it, but you have a very sensitive side too. When you go shopping with your daddy you love picking a bunch of flowers to give me when you come home (he is teaching you well). You tell me how lovely I look in a certain dress or how beautiful I am, and I feel it too because yours is one of the only opinions that matter now.
But as much as you are growing up so fast there are still so many traces of your innocence left…
You: Why is chicken called chicken?
Me: Because it’s chicken.
You: But it’s not chicken like an actual chicken is it? That would be silly because you don’t eat chickens!
Me: Um… yes you do…
(You still don’t believe me.)
And for all of your cool talk and bravado, you still like to talk to Henry the Hoover, I put on the voice I always have when I get him out of the cupboard and you ask him questions and tell him about your day, I’m sorry to embarrass you but it’s damn cute… when I pack him away again you tell him you hope he won’t be too lonely until next time.
A couple of days ago we had a rare afternoon of me and you time, something I only wish I could do more of. We played crazy golf and I swear it was one of the funniest half hours of my life. As I watched you crack the ball repeatedly with the wrong end of the club, swing it around in the air above your head, all the while huffing and puffing and then finally picking the ball up and placing it in the hole with your hand, I laughed so much my sides hurt.
It summed up everything that I want to remember about you at five – impatient, determined, hilarious, frustrated, random, competitive and so much fun (when you want to be). Perhaps just a little bit like me ;)
Last night on the eve of your big day you cried yourself to sleep, you were so excited and the concept of just one more sleep way too much to bear. I can’t blame you – oh to be five, care free and have a whole bunch of awesome presents waiting for you!
It was a rather civilised 12.45pm when you were born, I was so relieved to have you safely in my arms. Half a decade later at exactly the same time we bought you your first Nando’s which seemed pretty profound. sort of. It was raining OK!
But you had a great day of lightsaber fights, lego and swimming. It was simple but that always seems to suit you best. I write this as you drink your bedtime milk and you just shouted over that it was ‘THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVEEEEEERRRRR!’ so I guess that’s a win.
You teach me so much every day little man, you bring me into the moment and I’m sure you are making me a better person. I know 5 might feel big, but it’s not so big really. Nowhere near big enough to drop cuddles or the ‘my’ off ‘mummy’ so don’t you dare.
Please keep talking to the hoover just a little while longer lady killer! We all love you to the end of the numbers or ‘Invinity’ as you like to say. Happy birthday my beautiful xxx
**************P.S. My new book The Catastrophic Friendship Fails of Lottie Brooks is out on the 3rd March 2022! It's aimed at 9-12 year olds and you can buy it here :)