A week on, I’m still pretty shocked to have a 10 year year old! 10! I mean, I remember being 10, it wasn’t that long ago, surely (it was) but 10 feels incredibly significant as Oliver marks a decade on the planet and a move closer to the teenage years and more mood swings. HELP!
Seriously though, I remember seeing my husband’s baby photos back in the early days (his Mum showed me them at my request much to his embarrassment and I distinctly recall thinking that if we ever had a baby together, I’d love it to be just like him. Oliver really is a dream come true!
Like his father, the kid seems wiser ever year whereas I’m personally and proudly regressing in maturity!
According to my kids, I’m morphing into ‘The Embarrassing Mum’ stereotype or maybe I always was one and they’re only just cottoning on!
I’m regularly chastised by Oliver that my outfits are embarrassing (not that headband Mummy, you look 5) or informed I’m not to call his friends by their nicknames (‘it’s just not cool’) and worst of all, singing in the supermarket is ‘100% banned’. Killjoy or what!
Ever the rebel, I continue to defiantly dance and sing whenever the mood takes me, even while pounding the pavements on the school -un, simply to show him the importance of being yourself and dancing like nobody’s watching, especially in the rain!
Life lessons right there. OK, maybe he’s right about me being a bit embarrassing. This pic from his party last week does say a lot ;).
But this post isn’t about me. It’s dedicated to my sweetheart Oliver (who I’m not sure I’m allowed to call ‘sweetheart anymore).
Oliver is somewhat of an enigma. A natural introvert like his Dad, Peter (obvs), he flourishes from his shell when it comes topics he’s passionate about: his national TV appearances with me last year are testament to that where he spoke about the positive aspects of technology and discussed a Brexit book for kids on the BBC and Sky News respectively.
Oliver seems to oscillate between being a shy guy to the most confident kid on the block which understandably confuses those who don’t know him well. Lately however, with a spurt not only in height (he’s nearly as tall as me) but confidence too thanks to a school move and a little more life experience (homeschooling with me for a start), I’ve started to see a boy who, far more frequently, stands tall and speaks up and I couldn’t be more proud.
Cerebral and kind, Oliver really does teach me as much as I teach him. Scrap that, when it comes to maths and science, he undeniably teaches me far more than I teach him!
The kid doesn’t miss a trick which can make parenting tricky at times but it’s a challenge I relish: his company never fails to stimulate me, his smiles and trust from all might be hard earned but they’re all the more precious for it.
With a strong grasp of boundaries, and so young, he often takes me by surprise with his pearls of wisdom and just the other day told me off for not standing up for myself.
‘Why didn’t you tell that shop assistant he was rude, Mummy’ and, ‘Don’t listen to the trolls’ was his response when I was abused online last week.
Just look at his words of wisdom which resonated with many when I shared them on Twitter, FB and Instagram.
Oliver’s my hero.
Oliver has quickly realised that I’m human (always a good thing) and that I sometimes waver, not always doing what I advocate, letting cruel words hurt me or failing to have the confidence to speak up when someone treats me badly.
I’m learning though, thanks to him!
…Thick as thieves, my favourite times together are our 3 mile school runs twice a day, he on his scooter, I power-walking to catch up with him, as we put the world to rights.
These joyful times together are a cherished salve to his first year on the planet, post a traumatic birth I suffered.
He has no recollection of that first ‘lost year’ and photos and videos show him happy as can be but every day since my recovery feels like a day we make up for lost time, our bond, unbreakable.
Late last year, I chatted to Oliver about the trauma I’d experienced in an age-appropriate way explaining he was always loved but the way he entered the world affected my mental health and that it was not his fault. At the end, he turned to me and said, ‘That’s such a sad story, Mummy’.
Perceptive, a perfectionist, thoughtful and according to some, Jessica Alba’s double (it’s not fair) my artistic, science-obsessed son keeps us all on our toes with his endless questions and thirst for knowledge, and brings us so much joy. A caring big bro to 7 year old Alexander who idolises him and hangs on his every word, his greatest wish is to have a baby brother or sister like his friends (let’s see if Daddy agrees).
So to celebrate our big boy, he invited his pals for a sleepover party c/o the generous folks at Muddy Boots Sleepovers and the wonderful Melissa who transformed our living room into a wilderness-inspired fortress of teepees, plants, toys and fairy lights for the dreamiest of days (and nights).
The attention to detail by Muddle Boots Sleepovers was simply staggering, our lounge, within an hour had morphed into a magical kingdom of cuddly toys, gold stars, winding faux ivy and twinkling fairy lights, a beautiful centrepiece the party revolved around, where the boys spent most of their time lounging and chatting in their teepees, eating at their trestle tables and watching movies on the projector from there, too.
Oliver and Xander wore their new party Pjs for the occasion too.
Together, the group played Charades, conjured up scary stories, chomped on party food (and far, FAR too much sugar), hit the Party Pinata in the boys’ bedroom winning chocs and spinning tops and they even had a play on new updated Game Boys the kids got for Christmas… falling asleep well past midnight.
What a party.
What a kid.
You can watch a little film of the day below:
Thank you to Muddy Boots Sleepovers.
This is my honest review in exchange for the sleepover party.