‘The days are long but the years are short’ as Gretchen Rubin’s saying goes, and how true it is. I know every parent in the world feels this way and I feel it stronger than ever now my babyfied baby, Alexander has turned 7. 7! It’s why I’m hanging on to every single day with my munchkins, lapping up the minutes even on the very many days they drive me bonkers!
Argh, Xander, you almond eyed beaut, how can you be 7 already?!
Everyone close to me knows quite how special my bond is with my little boy, we’re like two peas in a pod, Xander and I, in looks (dark eyes and curly manes) and in our larger-than-life personalities too. While Oliver, my eldest son, and I, are the best of friends (Oliver’s an old soul and always has been), Xander is my bouncing baby boy. See, I told you I babyfy him!
I distinctly remember a handful of people asking if I’d hoped for a baby girl with my second pregnancy in 2012, after having Oliver in 2010. I never once felt that way. I’ve wanted to be a Mum forever and have always been maternal and I dream of a big family.
I’m hoping to convince my husband for one more baby please, perhaps in a year or so but not because I want a girl, simply because I want a bigger brood. I see friends with 3 or 4 children and love the madness of it all and the love, multiplied.
I’d desperately hoped for an easier pregnancy and birth with Xander and while I’d escaped acute sickness in my pregnancy with him, and the liver condition ICP, I contracted a severe water infection at 14 weeks pregnant, enduring a 10 day hospital stay. I was relieved when he was born, happy and well.
And he really was a happy chappy from day 1.
My elective c-section had thankfully been everything my first emergency section was not: joyful, peaceful and healing.
That face 🙂
He’s still a calm kid now but grown into one lively character, too. Xander is magnetic and draws people in, he’s been like that from birth. The baby everyone wanted to hold (even strangers in the street which often felt intrusive), he’s affectionate and selfless and his life mission is to make people laugh.
He says so everyday. Walking to school last Friday on his birthday, he informed me matter-of-factly that he was ‘quite good at comedy’, and proceeded to prove it with his latest invented joke.
‘What does Father Christmas say on Christmas Day, Mummy? (not waiting for a beat). Happy Christmas! Hehehe’.
He constantly makes us laugh as is the comedic sidekick to his serious older brother. The Robin to his brother’s Bat Man.
When Peter, my husband, tucked him into bed last week, finding teddies in every nook and cranny, he asked him why slept with quite so many. Xander looked up, his giraffe in his arms and replied dead-pan, ‘Hey, don’t judge me’! BAHAHHAHA!
While he can be super-sensitive and takes offence easily (not hard with a brother who likes to wind him up), he’s slowly learning not just to make others laugh but to laugh at himself too. One of life’s important lessons.
But wow has that kid has got a heart of gold.
He’s always the first to offer his sweet to others (could be why I’ve put on weight this summer) and he’s a perceptive little person too, reading people and situations with ease and never missing the finer details. ‘Are those new boots, Mummy, they’re very shiny?’! ‘Have you had your nails painted Mummy’.
His kind eyes mean you can’t be cross with him for long. Peter and I often buckle half way through disciplining him to give him a big hug. Puppy dog eyes have a lot to answer for!
Speaking of puppies and all things adorable, my Mum and I used to refer to him as a bunny when he was a baby as he was so just so cute and cuddly.
Tactile and loving, he’ll often stroke my hair when we’re sat watching a movie (the Wimpy Kid film are his favourite) and he seems to relish his role as the youngest in the family. So much so, after spotting a group of bored teenagers on the swings at our local park, he cried actual tears at the thought of being a teenager one day, wailing, ‘I don’t want to grow up, Mummy’. Our little Peter Pan!
Despite the warm hugs, the babyfying on my part has its downsides. He’s been slow on the uptake with chores and often comes into our bed in the middle of the night, kicking my back with his long legs. I overheard someone asking a new mum if her baby was sleeping through the night, the other day and wondered if I should mention my 7 year old light sleeper!!!
He has taken on more responsibility at home though bless him, helping with hanging the washing and managing his previously difficult shirt buttons and tie solo. He just needs to work on discovering the wash basket now (and then he can tell his father)!
When it comes to school, his positive attitude to learning has been there from the start mostly thanks to his brother setting a good example. After a tricky time at his former school where he missed a critical period of learning due to illness (endless ENT issues now resolved) it’s been a joy to witness his academic and personal progress this year.
He’s absolutely thriving thanks to his brilliant primary school of 6 months and positive mindset.
He’s a bright boy and is well-liked by teachers and pupils alike (I remember him telling me of children fighting over who would stand next to him in the dinner queue) and he reminds me daily of what a positive mindset and hard work can achieve.
He now zooms through his reading books, regularly coming up with adventurous story ideas (thanks son, your latest might just get me a kid’s book deal) and after seeing me on book tour when Mumboss came out (even signing books himself) he quickly announced that he’d like to become an author himself.
Another wise owl like his brother, I love the way his brain works whether it’s friendship woes or channelling frustration into sport, I often approach him with problems. ‘Just run Mummy if you’re feeling sad, or play tennis’. He would play tennis every day if he could, and football too.
It’s his self-confidence I find the most inspiring, however. ‘I’m going to be the cutest 7 year old ever, Mummy’ he announced, beaming, on the eve of his birthday. If we all had just a 1/4 of his confidence, we’d be far happier. I’m working on it!
He’s resilient, too.
When I had a big thyroid op last year, he, along with his brother, Oliver, (surprisingly to me) gave me a great deal of support. Before then, I didn’t realise quite how strong my kids were nor how reciprocal our relationship was.
Ditto, when I lost my second Mum, my aunt Zak, Xander’s godmother, who he regularly speaks of.
Just the other day, he mentioned that he can’t wait to see her in heaven when he’s old and dies, and on his birthday he asked me how old she is now and if she’s flying around. It’s heartbreaking she’s no longer here. I’ve never witnessed a love like theirs. On holiday in Marbella, where Zak had lived, I vividly remember Xander as a toddler waiting for her by the door of our villa, as a patient puppy would, clapping when she arrived. They were besotted with one another.
I’ve saved the last birthday card she gave him a month before she passed away and take it out every birthday.
She would be so proud of him.
…Alexander’s entrepreneurial spirit is as admirable as it is hilarious. After I explained my job to him a while back and how I earn money (aka Mummy writing on her laptop) he asks me regularly what he can sell. ‘Look, conkers, let’s sell them on eBay’…I shared a recent comment he made about money on social media which made a splash 😉
My 6 year old just asked me if money is the most important thing in the world. I answered that health and love come first to which he replied without money you can’t buy veggies to be healthy so you won’t find a girl (he meant love). Suppose he has a point. Parenting is tiring.
— Honest Mum® (@HonestMum) September 13, 2019
What a mature one! When I asked what he fancied doing for his birthday, he asked if we might be able to stay at a hotel. He loves a hotel stay like his mama! Being a blogger’s child, he’s luckily enjoyed a fair few hotel trips over the years, and we were incredibly grateful to the De Vere Beautmont Estate in Windsor for a magical stay in their White House boutique hotel situated within their breathtaking grounds.
On the Sunday, we hosted a birthday party for his best pals (I’m close with the mums of my sons’ friends) so it was a wonderful get-together for us all with fingers sandwiches, pizza slices, and a beautiful birthday cake and cupcakes gifted by renowned cake maker Fiona Cairns (who created the Duchess of Cambridges’ wedding cake). What a treat!
It was a whole weekend filled with laughter and love that was as special as he is.
I feel so grateful for my boy x
Thank you to Fiona Cairns for the complimentary cakes and Laura Ashley for my gifted polka dot dress, too.