Oliver smilingMy darling little man is 4 today ( I know what you’re thinking/! I look too young right?! Why thank you) Ha! But seriously now 4? 4 feels insanely grown up for a tiny little baby I had in arms, well, 4 short years ago. Time certainly does fly when little people turn up, doesn’t it?!

It’s strange, I feel both sad that he’s growing up so quickly yet so flipping happy (and proud) that the young man who stands before me is so caring, smart, headstrong, creative, funny and above all, mine. OK ours (sorry Peter)!


I still to this day look at those big brown bambi eyes of his and can’t quite believe I made him (*cough with a little help). Love this sulky shot above. Think someone took his balloon!

Child on the train

…The darling son I dreamed of having the minute I clapped eyes on my husband’s tiny Brad Pitt-esque baby pictures, has literally changed my world.

It’s not always been easy of course, (nor is it now) his birth was tough going with an emergency c-section and first time motherhood as it always is, was a real baptism of fire, first children are guinea pigs aren’t they- it’s like, ‘here you are, there’s your baby now go improvise on motherhood and do it sleep deprived”. Yay!

Pregnant at 28, I had him at 29, a manically busy TV director who went from running sets of 100 plus in the Big Smoke to just baby and I watching Cbeebies on repeat. As much as I love Mr Tumble I did feel a lost at first in all honesty; adapting to life took time (and healing from his traumatic birth) but moving close to my folks in Leeds made things better. As did that little man of mine.

Oliver gave me purpose. He brought and continues to bring happiness and lots of laughter to my whole big fat loving, loud family. He’s a protective big brother to baby Alexander (15 months) when he’s not trying to encourage us to put him up for adoption, “I really don’t think Alexander should live with us when we move house OK Mama?!” Erm…

He has an unbreakable bond with his Daddy whom he adores, his role model and hero and a special relationship with my Mum, his Yiayia-they call each other best friends and it melts me seeing them read and play together. He adores his grandparents in South Africa too and after their latest recent visit, talks non stop about our time together.

He’s actually fresh from recording a video message to them wearing swimming goggles (as you do) and singing Happy Birthday to himself!

Mummy and Oliver

And well with me, he’s my little dude and sidekick. We always have so much fun together, we cook, garden, draw and perform together (I think I have a little actor in the making here) and  we’re really two peas in a pod.

Oliver and mummy

I think I’m even more excited than he is (and that’s quite a lot) for his birthday party on Sunday-I’ve actually given the organisers a playlist for the disco! Eminem for 4 year old’s is kosher right?

Oliver playing a tamborine


Another shot of Oliver-just look at that face. Butter wouldn’t melt!

…Actually let’s really look at that face. Oliver’s a complete mixture of my husband Peter and I but he seems so far to be more like me when it comes to his personality.

Sometimes sensitive, hysterically funny (what?!) , easy on the eye (I mean him of course-he looks more like Jessica Alba than I do for a start and that’s just not fair) and alas some days a little hard work. My husband will agree with the last one! You see Oliver and I have boundless energy and that needs to be channeled and when it isn’t (because we can’t spend our entire lives drawing and jumping on trampolines) life can get a little frustrating.

He is learning patience though and his teachers say he is the most polite, well behaved boy they’ve ever encountered. I think he saves the tantrums for me then!


Plus smart kids can be challenging and I say that seriously, not in a show off ‘my son is soooo clever’ kind of way- a mature super-sensible child (“Mummy please lower the music in the car so you can concentrate”)-defined by his pre-school teacher as an all rounder means no stone goes un-turned, his memory seems photographic and the baffling world around him is ever questioned.

And I wish I had all the answers. Really I do. I actually had to Google whether the moon goes around the earth today ( I know, shameful) in answer to some astrological musings he had as Alexander shouted ‘moooon’ as we got out of the car after pre-school.

I myself said my first word at 6 months and had said 30 by 9, with my mother carting me to the GP to decipher whether I was a genius or not by 1. I love my Mum!

However, special schooling didn’t follow but I was always academic and artistic (I hate that people distinguish between the two), pretty rebellious too…and probably one of very few people to turn down a place at Oxford opting for Goldsmiths, University of London instead, starting my MA at 21, doing things my way and being happy on my own terms… and I think Oliver will follow suit.

Like me, he’s also a bit of a perfectionist.

I wanted to play for Wimbledon the day of my first tennis lesson aged 6. Oliver shows the same signs, he’s desperate to read and write and we’ve made a start but I don’t want him to be in such a rush.

Intelligence of course mustn’t be confused with emotional maturity. There’s often a lot expected from bright kids because they appear older than their years. I want him to keep having fun and listening (and dancing) with me to One Direction in the car. Oh boy does he love dancing… and he’s definitely got the moves people (that’s thanks to me then as the husband hates to dance!)

Disclaimer, don’t dance and drive folks, only at the traffic lights. Jumping on sofas is allowed too (well on New Year’s Eve and birthdays)!

Oliver jumping

Seriously though this precious little dude rocks my entire world and since his brother has come along life has just got sweeter.

Happy Birthday to my wonderful son!

…One day Oliver when you read this, you’ll see what unconditional love your Mummy had for you and always will, I hope I’ve done a good job and you’re happy Mr. To my first child, the one who taught me unconditional love, thank you, I love you and never stop dancing! x

P.S. I sent a birthday card to Cbeebies-I did so when Oliver was 2 and it made it on the telly and very excitingly it made it on again this year! I screamed so loudly Oliver said I hurt his ears! Whoops!

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48 Responses

  1. TheBoyandMe

    Happy birthday little man, he is so gorgeous. I love that he’s wearing swimming goggles for a video, the things that they do!

    And you’re completely right, he does look like Jessica Alba, what’s that about?

  2. Metropolitan Mum

    He’s such a gorgeous little cookie. And I am not surprised your card did make it on the telly 🙂
    Happy belated birthday, Oliver! I hope the party was awesome xx

  3. Notmyyearoff

    A huge Happy Birthday to Oliver. Ahh time flies so fast doesn’t it? He’s a very beautiful and charming little boy that’s always a joy to read about. I hope you’ve all had a very lovely day today 🙂

  4. Charly Dove

    What a great post, such a wonderful read. Beautiful words and the photos are just amazing. Thank you so much for sharing with #whatsthestory

  5. Katie / Pouting In Heels

    Lovely, lovely, lovely post. You did good Mama, you did good 🙂

    Hope Oliver had an amazing birthday and you all had a wonderful time celebrating. x

    P.S I saw his card and squealed too! x

  6. Mummy of Two

    What a gorgeous boy! Hope he has a fantastic birthday. It is hard isn’t it when they grow so fast. I have mixed emotions at every birthday!

  7. Charlotte

    Lovely post, and beautiful pictures. I’ve just written a letter to my little boy who will be 3 next month, happy and sad all at the same time – how quickly does it fly by!

  8. Anya from Older Single Mum and The Healer

    ‘caring, smart, headstrong, creative, funny’ – he’s obviously yours! A beautiful post and congratulations to you on all your achievements – such great ones, yet you proudly demonstrate that your children are your best. I know exactly what you mean about how people try to pigeon hole re creativity and being academic – we’re all both, just in varying degrees at different times in our lives. Beautiful post x

  9. Babes about Town

    Aww what a gorgeous post! Happy birthday little man, still can’t believe I haven’t met you in person but one day soon. In the meantime, rock out at your disco, keep making your mama proud and preparing to break those future hearts! And happy birthday to you sweet Vicki, as it’s your ‘birth’ day too (my mum and mother-in-law both taught me that). Enjoy the party. Oh and of course you started talking at 6 months… ha! Mwah x

  10. Ebabee

    Happy birthday to your beautiful boy! And I just love that line ‘I really don’t think Alexander should live with us when we move house OK Mama?!’… too funny! x

  11. Mel

    Happy birthday Oliver! Your little man must have been so pleased to see the card on CBeebies! Motherhood changes us forever… One day you think you are a career-woman, the next, you realise all you have even meant to be is a Mummy! Mel

    • honestmum

      @Mel thank you! He was made up-although I did scream a little loudly and he said I made his ears hurt! Ha! I do love being a Mummy-those boys are my life. I do enjoy my career too, it’s a balancing act but I feel happy!

  12. sarahhillwheeler

    Happy birthday! Didn’t see Cbeebies this morning, but hope that you made it. Great age 4. Make the most of those precious pre-school years, which I am sure you are! Loving the hair (I didn’t get J’s cut until he started real school) and the jumping. Happy days.

    • honestmum

      @Sarahillwheeler thanks for your lovely comment, he made it on Cbeebies (and the first time we checked too). Oh yes, his pre-school will be his proper school in September and they’re not strict about hair, in fact his teachers won’t let me cut it! Love long American style hair on boys!

  13. Katie

    Happy birthday to Oliver! The photos are stunning and he sounds like a right little character, in fact very similar to my eldest who also needs his energy channelling! Hope you’ve all had a fab day xx


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