As you turn 8 and 6

I’m sure it can’t be a year since I last wrote one of these, but the calendar suggests otherwise and birthday season seems to have crept up again. So here we go – these are my little snapshots of you three boys, as you turn 8 and 6.

Eldest boy:

You are: 

Always engrossed in something, a fascinating mixture of innocent and worldly wise, risk-averse, in your own world, able to amuse yourself for hours, often falling off your chair or walking into something/someone.

You love: 

Rules, routine, feeling safe, numbers, systems, lists, timetables, maps, charts, Eldest boyfamily trees – anything that gives you information, dates or names to latch onto. A hearty dinner, adult company, a cosy jumper, Italian pop music, being out in the evening, a good book, myths and legends, inventing towns/cities/whole lands, football, Subbuteo, devising quizzes; and, best of all, being at home with your books, pens and paper.

You can often be found: 

With your head in a book.

In your room with your music on and your books, pens and paper spread out around you.

Likely to say: 

Will we be having an at-home day today, mummy?”

If I ever have sons, I think I’d like to call them Zeus and Poseidon.”

“Shall I do you a quiz about gods and goddesses?”

“And now shall we have a quiz on fractions?”

Nightmare scenarios: 

Being told we’re spending all day at an adventure playground…..and that we don’t have any books with us.

Special skill: 

Absorbing numbers, facts, dates, names and stories; and recalling these whilst twiddling with your hair and pacing round in increasingly frantic circles.

Twin 1:

You are: 

A joyful, cuddly, grubby, affectionate, lightning fast, wide-eyed whirlwind of a boy who wants to live forever and ever and ever. Twin 1

You love: 

Running races, being outside, compliments, Elvis Presley, winning board games, Top Trumps, Lego, Star Wars, mazes, being with the older boys, bouncing a ball, kicking a ball, throwing a ball, skateboards, surfboards, snowboards, any board, basketball, the beach, roast potatoes, fish and chips, two scoops of ice-cream.

Can often be found: 

Outside with a ball.

Racing across a field.

Playing Ludo.

Doing your Star Wars sticker book.

Likely to say: 

“Who is going to play Ludo with me?”

“Can I go outside and play football?”

Why did that person drop litter, mummy? Why didn’t they just find a bin?

“I don’t ever want to die, mummy.”

“Pleeeeease can I have two scoops?”

Nightmare scenarios: 

Wasps disturbing your picnic.

Pasta and pesto with bonus green beans and peas for dinner.

Special skill: 

Winning at board games.

Twin 2:

You are:  

Earnest, sincere, sensitive, thoughtful, never in a rush, observant, loyal, helpful, conscientious, a perfectionist, reflective, eager to please.

You love:

Taking your time, one-to-ones, colouring, drawing, Blue Peter, being Twin 2praised, grapes, friends, cereal, Bruno Tonioli, sitting next to mummy, silly voices, holding hands, being helpful, crafting, bow-ties, flamboyant shirts, robots, mopping the floor, imaginative play.

Can often be found: 

At the table finishing a meal; an hour after it started.

With crayons and a colouring book.

Likely to say: 

“Mummy, can I sit next to you at the table, please?”

“But I ALWAYS lose and it’s not FAIR!”

“I can see five snails, two bees, a butterfly, a ladybird; and an old sock.”

“Can I help you cook the tea please, mummy?”

Nightmare scenarios: 

Losing a game.

Mummy being cross.

Feeling you have been dealt an injustice.

Special skill: 

Remembering the exact location of those five snails, two bees, a butterfly, a ladybird and the old sock that you spotted two years ago.



You boys took me by surprise when you appeared earlier than expected 8 and 6 years ago; and you still take me by surprise most days. I know I have limited time left of you actually wanting to hold my hand and have cuddles, so I’m sorry if I squeeze you just a bit too tightly sometimes.

Happy birthday x

three boys - 8 and 6




As you turn 7 and 5 – a birthday post

How many sleeps until our party, mummy? / How many sleeps until our birthday, mummy? / And how many sleeps until MY party, mummy?

This has been the soundtrack in our house for the last couple of weeks at least. Three little boys, with birthdays two days apart – the first being tomorrow.  Piled in the corner of my bedroom are party bags, pass the parcel fillers, presents and cards. There is a giant penguin cake under several sheets of foil in the kitchen, and another cake waiting to be transformed into a space rocket.

Birthday season is well and truly underway – one little boy is approaching 7, and two are approaching 5.

7 and 5.

7 and 5!

I am having a bit of trouble with this one – these ages sound…..well, not grown up; but not really like I still have little ones. In my head, it feels like the baby/toddler years weren’t that long ago, but then when I’m out and I see mums with change bags and prams, mums trying to get babies to sleep, mums heading off to baby massage classes, mums lugging around car seats and mums putting babies in highchairs I realise that yes, we are well and truly in a different stage now.

Part of me still misses the baby and toddler days, but then another part of me loves the ages we are at right now. I feel I spend a lot of time either looking back, feeling apprehensive about the future, or attempting to cling onto the present (only the good bits, obviously).

So this is my attempt to cling onto the right now – little snapshots of you, my three beautiful boys, as you approach 7 and 5.

Eldest boy:

You are: 

Confident in your own quiet way, cautious, determined, hungry for knowledge, routine-loving, easily pleased, inquisitive, uncoordinated; an old-fashioned soul in a fast-moving world.eldest boy reading

You love: 

Books, maps, train timetables, names, lists, dates, football, kings, queens, dates of birth, a family tree, cosy jumpers, a hearty meal, twiddling your hair, school, answers to questions, Christine and the Queens; days at home with a pen in your hand, books and plenty of paper.

You can often be found: 

At a table with a pen and reams of paper, making lists.

Sitting on your bedroom floor surrounded by books.

In the garden playing football with your own running commentary and a list of scores by the door ready to update when necessary.

Likely to say: 

‘I have made up a new train line, mummy. It goes from Chorleywood to Aston Clinton.’

‘I’m going to draw another map of my made up town, North Moor.’

‘How many caps did Luther Blissett get for England, daddy?’

‘I still have quite a bit of my work to do you know, mummy.’ (Your work being your lists, charts, maps and tables – it is never-ending.)

Nightmare scenarios: 

Practising bike-riding. Again.

Not having time to finish your ‘work’.

Special skills: 

Keeping yourself amused.

Plotting train routes.

Inventing towns.

Recalling the dates of birth of family members, the Royal Family, and 85% of Watford FC’s players.

Twin 1:

You are: 

A beautiful, affectionate, eager, sensitive, messy, cuddly whirlwind of emotions. Happy to be looked after, always ready for a cuddle.

Twin 1 climbing

You love: 

Roast potatoes, chipped potatoes, most other potatoes, climbing, dancing, superheroes, big drums, motorbikes, skateboards, funny voices, fast slides, funny faces, cake, biscuits, ice-cream in a cone.

Can often be found: 

Climbing to the top of something.

Likely to say: 

‘Mummy, when can I have a skateboard?……. And what about a surfboard?’

‘I tried peas mummy and I like them. But I am only eating ONE.’

‘Can I have some more roast potatoes, please?’

‘I am NOT tired.’

Nightmare scenarios: 

A grazed knee.

A bowl of greens.

Your very precious skateboard top being in the wash.

Being told there are no more roast potatoes.

Special skills: 

Eating all the roast potatoes.

A continually grubby face, whatever the activity.

Twin 2:

You are:  

Helpful, earnest, observant, loyal, stubborn, growing so so fast, cuddly, affectionate, independent but not keen on being alone, a snazzy dresser; sometimes shy, sometimes a performer…..And absolutely never, ever in any rush. Twin 2 fireman

You love:

Observing your surroundings, parsnips, creepy crawlies, helping with jobs, feeling like a grown up, undivided attention, holding open doors, pulling funny faces, emergency vehicles, fancy dress, dot-to-dots, custard tarts, mummy’s necklaces / watch / rings /  buttons; bow ties, smart hats, flamboyant shirts, doors, locks, hand-dryers, a sensor flush.

Can often be found: 

Still sitting at the table long after everyone else has finished.

Drifting along at the back of a group.

Holding open doors.

Testing out toilet doors / locks / flushing mechanisms and the pedals on sanitary bins.

Likely to say: 

‘But I don’t want to be LAST FOR MY MIIIIILLLLLKKKKK.’

‘Can I help you, mummy?’

‘But I can carry it all by myself!’ 

‘Mummy, do you remember that day when we went to the park and there were three tunnels and we saw a blue bin and two ladybirds and a butterfly?’ 

Nightmare scenarios: 

Being the last one to put milk on your cereal in the mornings.

Being interrupted.

Feeling like you’re not being listened to.

Special skills: 

An incredible eye for detail – you notice everything.

Happily spending an hour over your breakfast.

three boys at the seaside

Happy birthday to you, little ones, as you move into your new, more grown-up sounding ages.

Let’s see what 7 and 5 have in store.