Happy 4th Birthday.
Sorry I didn’t manage to buy the exact presents you asked for – a live monkey and a black cat called Thomas. Also, I couldn’t find a birthday cake with a dinosaur being ridden by a monkey. Sucks to be you, I know. Still, I hope the guitar is fun.
You don’t know this, but at midnight I sneaked into your room to watch you sleeping when you turned four. Technically, you'll turn 4 at about 11.30am, but you get freaked out when I stare at you for extended periods of time, so I took the easier option. I’ve got to say, you snore a bit and that looked horribly like snot on your Star Wars pyjamas, but you still looked like a miracle.
Four years ago, I was in a hospital bed, prodding my stomach and shouting “Get out already, you little leech!” Sorry about that. Still, I think it’s good that I didn’t raise your expectations of my parenting skills too highly.
My excuse is that I couldn’t wait to meet you, and I just wanted to know you’d arrived safely in the world. In the 40 weeks it took for you to cook, we went through 12 haemorrhages, 11 ultrasound scans and several medical procedures that involved a doctor with very large hands pointing a torch at the top of your head – while you were inside my womb. I’m saving the details of that particular story until you ask why you don’t have a baby brother or sister.
So, now you’re four. It’s been a good year, probably my favourite so far. Definitely top three.
You managed to swim a whole length of the pool for the first time; although the discovery of how to fill your cheeks with water and then slap them to create a personal fountain could probably have waited a year or two.
You’ve also learned about traffic this year. You love pointing out road signs, reminding me to use petrol not diesel (it’s like you know me, or something) and saying “It’s green Mummy, you have to go now”. Also, a more recent skill – identifying traffic jams and roadworks and using the phrase: “Oh good grief, why aren’t you moving, you great prawn?” Can’t imagine where you picked that one up, mind.
This was also the year I discovered you like to get up in the middle of the night and line up your soft toys, so you can do a performance for them. Hearing you singing “Nobody loves me, nobody seems to care…” in your best BB King voice might actually be the best thing I’ve ever heard at 2.30am.
At four, you can build a sandcastle, bowl a strike, turn three forward rolls in a row and your series of drawings of “monkeys in space” was, frankly, quite brilliant.
I can’t wait to see what adventures we have next year.
ps: I think I’m finally ready to forgive you for the stretch marks. I’m still working on forgiving the pregnancy-related increase in shoe size that meant my fabulous Pied a Terre boots became useless overnight. Maybe next year.