To my first born son on your third birthday

To my darling biggest boy,

How can you be three already? I know it’s a cliché, but I can’t believe how quickly the years have gone. How quickly you’re growing up, and how quickly you’ve changed from a baby to a toddler and now a young boy. Three means starting school, buying a uniform and trying to arrange childcare around half days. It means moving into the boys’ clothes sections, and no more calling you my baby (though I will in secret).

Even though it feels like such a jump from being two, I still have to remind myself that you are *only* three and you’re still little. People assume you’re older because you’re tall for your age and can speak so well (too well sometimes!), and I’m guilty of the same thing. It’s hard to remember you’re so young when you go around talking in conditional sentences and arguing points that are usually correct! You understand cause and consequence, as you demonstrated with the oh-so-brotherly “if you let Ezra go, he’ll roll down the hill”. Yes, yes he will.

Over the past year you’ve grown so much, both physically and mentally. You’ve always been quick to pick things up, but now you don’t miss a trick. You’re always listening (even when you pretend not to be), and don’t forget a thing – there’s no mentioning we might do something at the weekend because you’ll remember and hold us to it!

Opening birthday presents in the sun

You love watching Peppa Pig (to my dismay), Paw Patrol and still ask for Kung Fu Panda occasionally, but your attention will be caught by random programmes like Police Interceptors or Toddlers Make You Lol … it’s such a funny age you’re at. More than TV, you love being outside. You ask daddy to go for a walk with the dog before bed, and scoot up the street – always insisting on wearing your helmet – trying to race them. This love of the outdoors is something we really want to encourage so we can avoid you asking for computer consoles and wanting to sit in front of a screen for hours on end in a few years time.

You absolutely love sports, and would take a ball everywhere if you could. I’m probably biased, but you seem to be quite skilled at football – you have a good aim and a strong kick (which I’m not so proud of when you smash the ball into the new kitchen units), and can purposely get the ball over next door’s fence. As much as I don’t relish the thought of standing on the side of the pitch on a cold, wet weekend, I do hope your passion continues, and I know daddy would be really proud if you join a team too.

It’s not just football though, you’ll have a go at anything. On our holiday to France last year you loved playing pétanque and asked to go back to the camp to play it most days, and on our cruise you played shuffleboard, table tennis, pool and quoits. More than once we had a crowd of adults watching and laughing at how you were better at the games than they were … I’m not sure how much they enjoyed you shouting “ball boy” and expecting them to fetch a rogue ball though…

Because you’re so active, it can be hard getting you to sit down to play something – you’d just prefer to be on the go. I couldn’t say what your favourite toy is – I’d take a guess at your pirate ship – as you’d always choose to go out on your scooter or balance bike instead of playing indoors. You won’t go a day without asking for monkey and Boofle though, and take them to bed every night. It was heartbreaking when you lost monkey on holiday … we took you down to the reception every day to check if he’d been handed in, but he seemed to have disappeared. You know your new monkey isn’t the same one, but luckily you’ve forgotten than Boofle isn’t the original or even second one. This is why Ezra doesn’t have a comforter – we’ve learned from you that it’s too hard explaining that you can’t have it back if it gets lost.

One of the last photos with monkey before he went missing

If I had to describe you in three words, I’d choose loud, busy and clever. Between you and Ezra shouting, I can barely get a word in sometimes, and I have to be honest, I do let out a sigh of relief when you’ve gone to bed and I can hear myself think again, But at the same time I wish the evenings were longer, that I could have more time with you and treasure these young years when you want to spend time with us.

I just asked daddy the same thing, and he came up with energetic, outdoorsy and funny. He’s right, you are a bit of a character sometimes and we never know what you’re going to come out with (or do, as I learned one weekend when I left you painting to put Ezra down for a nap!).

You looked so proud!

We didn’t suffer with the terrible twos, but you have turned into a bit of a threenager overnight. On the day of your birthday you were so happy, and suddenly on the Sunday you were in a bad mood … which we’ve seen more of over the past two weeks. Don’t change, my lovely boy, you’re such a sweet little thing and so happy-go-lucky usually … I’d like that to last a few more years if possible.

More often than not you’re a joy to be around. You’re very sociable and will chat with anyone – children or adults – but have times when you just want it to be the four of us. Between the manic running or scooting around the house shouting at the top of your voice, you’ll snuggle up on my lap to watch a film with a blanket. It’s a lovely balance, but I am working on teaching you to use your indoor voice!

So happy (very) belated birthday Santino Bambino. Let’s just hope time slows done before the next one, I can’t cope with the idea of you being four.




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