You are 6 years old today. On a Saturday no less, what a treat!
You’ve been looking forward to this day for so, so long. The curse of the summer born is being the last of all of your friends to have a birthday; I know there will be a little stab of disappointment when you start back at school and realise some of your classmates are already turning 7, just as you’ve managed to catch up too! Life sucks eh? (Please note when you are my age it will be a blessing).
But today you are finally as big as everybody else and to celebrate we had your party at the (slightly violent) soft play around the corner. It was your choice but also
heavily slightly influenced by Mummy, who after years of being a performing clown and pass the parcel constructor, just um… couldn’t be arsed. Sorry darling – one day you’ll understand.
Anyway the main thing is that you loved it. You were delighted with your Lego Ninjago cake and couldn’t wait to get home to play with your presents, no longer needing so much help to follow instructions and construct them – you have grown up so much this past year.
At six you like – Yo Yo bears, Star Wars, Bionicles, talking about farts and poo, castles, space, battles, water pistols, scoring goals, going swimming, pizza, Twister lollies, zip wires, playing racing games on my phone and hunting for the perfect stick.
You really don’t like – Going to bed, the concept to sleep, sitting still, writing (‘It’s SO boring!’), homework, tidying up, vegetables, baked beans, getting dressed (we pay you to get your school uniform on, yes actually PAY YOU £0.20 per day – worth it though), doing anything vaguely helpful and pink and purple (because ‘they are GIRLS colours!’).
Going by the above lists you may have noticed that I have failed abysmally in any attempts at gender neutral parenting. You are a boysy boy with a penchant for casual violence but you have a very sensitive and innocent side too. At night you carefully arrange about 20 ‘special friends’ on your pillow and then sleep in a tiny gap on the edge of your bunk, when I come in to check on you before bed your face is often squashed right up against the bars.
You still make me promise that you can live with us forever and you can’t lie – you just haven’t fathomed the concept yet. If I say you can have ’10 goes’ of your favourite game on the iPad you count them down out loud and hand it back when you are done. It’s never once even crossed your mind to pretend you had more goes left. What a lovely little fool you are!
Like all kids there are things that you struggle with. You like school but live for playtime and this year you’ve been slightly less keen because ‘There is so much sitting down and working Mummy!’ (the harsh reality of real life has come knocking my sweet). You are just one of those guys that would rather be outside exploring, so reading and writing where never going to come easily. The world is so much more than sums and letters, I really can’t blame you.
But I’m not a competitive parent anymore, I lost the taste for that a long while back. The mix of all the things you are good, and not so good at, are the things that make you you. And no one can compete with you.
Anyway I don’t care to hear too much about the things you can’t do, more the things you can – like building awesome things out of lego, climbing, making new friends, making me laugh, playing tricks and riding your bike. You are kind, thoughtful and inclusive. You give the best cuddles. you were awesome as the Giganatosaurous in your school play!
Perhaps the biggest change in you this year is that your friends are playing a much bigger part in your life. You ask me to play with you less and less, instead demanding I ‘text’ your mates to see if they want to come round or meet you at the park. You don’t cling on to me as tightly as I say goodbye at school and although you still hold my hand, it slips from mine sooner than i’d like.
You used to be such a Mummy’s boy but you are moving away from me little by little, developing a love of football alongside your Daddy, playing games on the Xbox together and Star Wars battles with your little brother. It’s not all about me anymore and that’s ok, but this whole getting bigger malarkey was always going to be bittersweet. I’m losing you bit by bit but the trade off is getting to watch you grow and I’m so proud of the person you are becoming.
Yesterday I asked to take a picture of you, on the last day you will ever be five. I think it encapsulates you very well.
In a very rare deep thinking moment you told me ‘I’m going to miss being five.’
‘How come?’ I asked.
‘I’ve had a lot of fun being five.’ you said. ‘I hope I have such a happy life being six.’
Let’s make it even better baby!
**************P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)
A beautiful piece of writing, love your work. And gin. X
That is so lovely it made me cry, my boy turned 6 two weeks ago, there are so many similarities which makes me feel less paranoid (not enjoying school work/writing etc). I’m also feeling the slightly less hand holding etc, which is what made me upset (or it could be the rose, started early today!) Big love to you and yours
Ahh what a lovely lovely post. A massive Happy Birthday to your gorgeous boy. I’m an August baby too so can completely understand the struggle. Plus, you don’t get to take sweets in for the teachers or anything. Bah! I hope 6 is even more fun than 5 was x
My little boy is nearly four so it’s exciting to read about what’s to come in a couple of years. Definitely going to appreciate holding his hand and playing with him more now!
Lovely piece it brought tears to my eyes, sounds just like my son at that age, they grow up so quickly he’s now 16 but it seems only yesterday he was constructing amazing Lego models and wanting cuddles at bedtime.
I loved this piece of writing! My son Finn turned 6 yesterday, a super busy happy day which ended well with a gin :-)
Perfect, this sums up being a mummy to a growing boy. Mine will be 3 in 3 weeks time, and I love to watch him grow and miss him being little in equal measures. Learning as I go and literally in tears at reading this, (I did have a whole large glass of wine BEFORE my son went to bed tonight, so might be a little tipsy ;-)
Happy Birthday to your not-so-little-but-still-quite-little man x
Ooh you made me blub! Could be the bottle of Prosecco I’ve just consumed to celebrate my baby girl’s last day of being 4. Sooo get the baby in the year thing, she’ll be gutted to get her first 6 invitation. She told me today that she doesn’t want to be 5 because 4 + 4 = 8 Love her so much (& now it’s time for gin) xx
Ahhh this is lovely, Katie. Watching them gain their independance is such a pleasure but also a little bittersweet.
Oh I’m in bits reading this, my boy is only 14 months. It’s beautiful and bittersweet.
Oh this is such a beautifully written tribute to your boy. Made me cry x
My Top Banana turns 6 on Monday. He attended his party today which was a casually violent soft play party. My boy is a boysy boy too. He saves all the pink and purple bowls for his baby sister. His take on the world is unique, but reading your post, I realise that some of his traits (for example the violence) might just be a boy thing and not just poor parenting on my part x
Happy Birthday you awesome dude. 6 is such a big age! x
Happy birthday little man, sounds a lot like O, bittersweet indeed as they grow more independent x
This was so so beautiful. My son is 5. And only last night after tucking him in, he asked me to lie down with him for like five minutes. I thought of going back outside to a life that waited. But I chose to lie down instead; I’m so glad I did. And all of this that you’ve just written down came rushing back with a gush of tears. Kids do grow up too fast. God Bless them all. Thank you for this :’)
You have such a gift, love this x
Such a great piece. I have an 8 year old boy who fortunately and for some strange reason adores me. However I also have a 14 year old boy who hates me with every fibre of his being. Pass the gin!
What a lovely post.
He’s so much like my boy stanley who turns 6 in February.
So much so that I was crying by the end of it.
It is sooooo beautiful, you are so creative, well done. Don’t feel sad they are becoming less clingy, you are always their home.
I’m not crying. YOU’RE crying.
Though I don’t have a boy or a six year old this still very nearly made me cry – only didn’t because I’m trying to get my five month old girl to settle and a bawling mumma wouldn’t help much! Inspired to write a note like this for her on milestones like this. They grow up so quickly – I already can’t believe my squishy newborn is this robust teething charmer. You have a gorgeous little boy and I love how you capture both the joy and hardships of parenting x
I love these posts you do – definitely doing one for my 9 month old daughter, although the teething sleep deprivation makes those things you need for writing – words, that’s it – hard to pin down.
Anyway – you’re brilliant! Can’t wait to read your book!