Child on the train

Happy Birthday Oliver-How Can You Be 4?!

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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