Four

There are many things about parenthood that you expect to be one thing and they turn out to be quite another. Bedtime is one of them. You are led to believe it is a time for giggly baths, sniffing the top of little cherubs clean heads and snuggly stories and it does, indeed, have all these elements, but mainly, it’s an hour of cajoling, negotiating and probably some shouting.

Birthdays are another. I hadn’t given any thought to how I might feel about my children’s birthdays and so it came as quite a shock when I found them bittersweet. Of course it is so lovely to see them healthy and happy on their special day, but it means another year has gone in a blur. they are so changed from the last one, not in a bad way, but just changed.

However, this year feels different somehow, even if four does seem like a big number. Although if you look back at the archives, I probably said the same about three, two and even one, four does seem particularly BIG. School starts at four. This year’s presents have included a pedal bike and proper watch and even though it is all so grown up, it doesn’t seem to be stinging quite so much.

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I wonder if Mini Mck’s excitement accounts for my change of attitude. Helping him plan his party and making sure all his ideas are included has been a real joy, although I did have to override him when it came to balloon colours. Purple? At a fire party? I don’t think so!

Watching his sharp intake of breath and instant grin every time his birthday is mentioned makes it all so much easier. He wants to be four and I suspect that four will suit him quite well. He has always been an independent minded boy and recently his body is catching up with what his brain wants it to do. He has the dexterity to get himself dressed, pour himself a drink or colour in the lines. His imagination is exploding and his thirst for learning keeps him amused and stimulated. This all seems to make him comfortable in his own skin.

There have still been times today that have caught my breath, mainly when I think about him staying all day at nursery for the first time on Monday, or the fact that we are finding out about schools this week, but mainly I have enjoyed watching him be a birthday boy. Perhaps, as time passes, I am finally learning that whatever age he is there is always good stuff to come and that makes it easier to leave the stuff that is gone, in the past.

I can’t promise to be as philosophical in six week’s time when my baby turns TWO *sob*  

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