Happy Birthday, Flea!

Happy Birthday!
Dear Flea,

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.

With Love,


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.


Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 14th August 2009 / 8:35 am

    Happy Birthday Flea!

  2. Lindsey Collumbell
    14th August 2009 / 9:18 am

    What a wonderful loving piece. Have a great day Flea.

  3. 14th August 2009 / 10:44 am

    You just made me cry in caffe Nero.
    Lovely, lovely. Happy birthday to the lovliest flea i’ve ever seen!

  4. 14th August 2009 / 11:01 am

    Aww, how lovely. Happy birthday Flea!

  5. Emma
    14th August 2009 / 11:07 am

    Happy Birthday Flea! Have a great day! 🙂

  6. Cath
    14th August 2009 / 11:16 am

    I am now a gooey mess. Snif snif. Have a good day with Flea

  7. 14th August 2009 / 12:57 pm

    Aaah – that is too gorgeous. And I’m so glad I read it after I did my own Happy Birthday Renée – can’t believe they’re born on the same day! – or else I would have wanted to copy the lot!!! Happy Birthday little Flea. Your Mummy is very lovely – lucky you xxx

  8. 14th August 2009 / 1:14 pm

    Another beautiful birthday post. Now I feel very guilty about not doing one of my own last week!
    Happy Birthday, Flea!

  9. 14th August 2009 / 3:17 pm

    Yay happy fourth birthday, Flea.

  10. 14th August 2009 / 7:57 pm

    That’s a great post so lovely! I’m glad it’s not just me with the increase in shoe size after having kids and i don’t think i’ll be ready to forgive the stretch Maks for at least another 5 yrs – so well done you!
    Happy Birthday Flea!

  11. Sarah Wolf
    14th August 2009 / 8:37 pm

    Happy Birthday Flea! My bean is nearly five and I can honestly say that each day just gets better and better. She told me she didn’t love me tonight – then looked at me from under her blonde fringe, big blue eyes – and said “I don’t love you because actually I love you to the moon and back a million, trillion, bazillion times and you are wonderful”
    Happy moments (and those sleeping ones count amongst the best!)
    Sarah x

  12. Sally
    14th August 2009 / 8:52 pm

    Thanks everyone!
    We had a lovely day at Chester Zoo checking out the monkeys, orangutans, chimps, gorillas, baboons and then choosing a soft toy monkey.
    There may have been other animals, but we went past so quickly I probably missed them.
    Flea’s crashed in bed and it’s time for a beer!

  13. 16th August 2009 / 4:27 am

    Happy Birthday Flea!

  14. Sally
    17th August 2009 / 1:15 pm

    Oh, ta – I’ve picked the one that doesn’t involve any work since I am idle at heart. Also, had the others!

  15. 21st August 2009 / 11:50 am

    What a lovely post! Happy belated birthday Flea x