Today we’ve celebrated your fifth birthday. It’s such a cliché, but I can’t actually believe you’re five.
Half a decade.
How did that happen? I’m not ready to have a five-year-old!
I wanted to write about you right now so I can look back and remember all your little quirks … it’s amazing how quickly you forget the day-to-day things.
Like the way you take so long to come out of the classroom when your teacher calls you, the way you try to carry all your things at once and end up holding things under your chin because your hands are full, or the way you suddenly need all the food the minute I say it’s bedtime.
You’ve been looking forward to today for months … probably since Christmas, and every day you’ve asked how long it is until you’re five, and if your birthday is next. This morning you rushed out of your room to see me, beaming with excitement at it finally being your day.
Your face opening your presents was pure happiness … I’ve never seen anyone so pleased to have yet another football!
I love that you’re so active … your life revolves around football, rugby, swimming, cycling and Parkrun, and you’d spend all day outside if you could. Last week you managed to cycle around 13 miles in a day, and even today you wanted to spend all evening in the back garden practising football.
I have a feeling most of our summer will be spent out the back or cycling up and down the lane. And if it’s raining you’ll be kicking a ball around the house while I tell you off for marking the walls.
You were super excited to go to school today too, which makes me really happy. I was so worried about sending you to a Welsh school, but you’ve taken to it better than I could have imagined. You’re putting me to shame with my Welsh lessons!
At your last parents’ evening you were described as a role model to the class, which nearly made me cry in front of your teacher. I so hope you carry on like that. Although if you could concentrate just a little more when you’re doing your homework, that would be a help!
I think you have a brain for languages. This weekend in France you were picking up words in seconds, repeating exactly what people around us were saying and asking me what it meant. I’m sure I’ll live to regret teaching you how to ask for sweets though…
Your teacher says it’s numbers you have a knack for, which you definitely don’t get from me!
I love seeing you running into school calling out your friends’ names, and four of you looked so grown up today walking to the car park. It’s hard to believe you’re going into year one in September!
Since having your hair cut you look like a different child. I was reluctant to cut it shorter, but you insisted on going to a specific place – the Turkish barbers – and pointed at the cut you wanted on the wall. You looked so nervous while the barber clipped away, but oh so proud as he showed you the finished cut. We even had to go to Boots to buy you a little pot of wax so you could keep it swished to the side.
I was relieved you liked it as you’re a sensitive little thing, and you’re very self aware. If something has upset you at school you take it really hard, and I know it plays on you mind. You have a lot of good friends, so don’t worry about pleasing everyone my lovely.
You’re so switched on, it’s hard to believe. You walked around Disneyland pointing out buildings that weren’t real, you spotted Ariel the mermaid’s real legs peeping out from under her tail at a birthday party, and you question every little thing that a lot of children would take at face value. Unless it’s a superhero – then it’s always the real deal.
By the age of five you’ve travelled more than many adults. You’ve been to 15 countries, ridden a bike in Holland, eaten ice cream in Italy, played pétanque with French men under the Eiffel Tower and paddled in the Caribbean Sea.
You love exploring new places, speaking to new people and finding out about the world. You have a list of places you’d like to visit (join the club!), but you’re equally as happy if I pick you up from school and say we can go to the field to pick a ball around.
You’re mostly a happy little boy, but when your cross you make it known. Give me one of your angry stares and I’m off!
You love pizza, bagels and cucumber, but you mostly have a sweet tooth and can’t resist chocolate, sweets and ice cream.
You’re basically a small male version of me, which is both good and bad. You’re inquisitive (nosy), always looking for the next adventure and eager to please. But you’re a worrier, your mind never stops, and you find it hard to switch off. I hope to teach you how to relax, as I’d hate for your confidence to be overcome by anxiety.
All in all you’re a lovely little thing. You’re my favourite person for a coffee date (don’t tell grandma), and I love people watching with you in Starbucks (just remember to keep your voice down when you’re asking questions about other people!).
Carry on like this, poppet, and you’ll be a lovely, lovely little boy.