This time 4 years ago I remember wondering where the last 18 days had gone. The newborn days with you were spent at home snuggling, surrounded by Christmas lights and eating as much Christmas food as I could shovel in, a lot of it while breastfeeding. Already by 18 days old you were holding your head up and leaning and stretching amazing distances to make sure you didn’t miss anything. People say newborns are sleepy but you were wide awake. You would lay on our laps and give us the strongest little baby kicks. I had been feeling those kicks for months but now your daddy could feel the full force of your kicks too.
Fast forward 4 years and you are still a ball of energy and hate to miss out on anything, nothing changed there then! Your birthday this year coincided with a trip back home to see Granny and all our friends and family in Sydney. We spent three weeks there and you really did leave as a three year old and come back as a four year old, you grew up so much in those three weeks.
When I think back to your last birthday I can’t believe what a difference a year can make. You were struggling to settle into life at nursery and still adjusting to the massive change that was going from being our only child to accepting Shine into our family and coming to develop your own relationship with her. The cumulative effect of scraping by on little sleep for months was taking its toll on everyone and I remember feeling like I didn’t have any spare energy left to make your birthday the celebration you deserved. The day came and I baked cakes with Shine wriggling and crying in the sling on me, I ruined them of course and then felt incredibly sad and guilty that your birthday was not how I wanted it to be. It’s only on reflection that I can see that it was really quite a dark time for me and that had a knock-on effect on you, my sweet little boy.
The past year has brought massive change for all of us. We moved out of London and you settled into a new nursery and a new home. Within a week you seemed so much calmer and happier, it was amazing to see. You spent the summer running about in the garden and exploring all the parks and countryside that are now on our doorstep. You’re not a fan of mud and you moan if we say that we are going on a walk in the fields but once there you are the one running ahead of us keen to see what’s around the bend.
You started at preschool in September and I returned to work so another big change for us all. You love your time at nursery, even if you don’t always love it when I drop you off, and you’ve made friends with everyone in your class. We had your first parent-teacher meeting just before we left for Sydney and I could not have been prouder. Apparently everyone wants to be playing with you and you are happy to take charge and delegate roles and set up play scenarios for everyone. I shouldn’t be surprised really, you do love to tell us what to do!
You were my right-hand man on our journey to Australia. I was nervous about taking you and Shine on that flight all on my own but you were incredibly mature and helpful, only telling me a few times that you didn’t like planes anymore. In Australia you ran free. The last time we were there you weren’t quite walking but this time you could take advantage of all the space, and you most certainly did. You ran across sand dunes, through parks, along jetties and up and down beaches.
On the morning of your birthday I was marveling at how happy and calm you seemed. You still have all your cheeky, funny side but I’ve noticed lately that you have a calmer side emerging and I’m increasingly able to have proper conversations with you. It’s lovely. Since we’ve returned from Australia you’ve been back at nursery and I actually miss having you around. Sounds awful to be surprised by that doesn’t it. I really look forward to picking you up and walking home with you, spotting new Christmas trees in windows along the way and discussing the day’s events. It’s the best part of my day…coming home into a warm, dark house, turning on all the Christmas lights and snuggling up with you on the couch as we eat Christmas food together.
Happy 4th birthday little boy, I love you more today than I have ever done.
Now to indulge in a ridiculous amount of photos from the year you were three…because…well, it’s my blog and I can if I want to!