You wonder where the years go.
You blink and your toddler is suddenly starting school and doesn’t want to hold your hand or kiss you at the school gate any more. And it slightly breaks your heart but inside you feel a bloom of warmth spread through you as you realise you’re actually doing a great job because they have that independent spirit blossoming in them and you helped do that.
And then you blink again and it’s all changed once more and they’re this gangly and hormonal creature wearing things you’re really not that keen on, filling your bathroom with a thick fug of Lynx spray and spending an awful lot of time locked away in their room.
My boy is 13 in a few weeks time. This is how I find him most days, snuggled up with his phone within inches of his face.
I don’t mind so much as he’s so active and usually racing around a field with either a rugby ball, a hockey stick or a cricket bat in his hands no matter what the weather.
He does Too Much everyone tells us. But he’s having none of it. He’s in a happy place. Sport has given him so much, that I don’t mind him disappearing into his online world for a while.
This is his downtime. He curls up quietly on the sofa and checks in on his friends or plays a game. He will giggle and invite me to share in something funny he’s seen or stumbled on. We sit and pull faces and share the joke.
In a few minutes he’ll jump up and wrestle with his sister or ask me to throw a rugby ball to him across the sofa. The game will start off as fun and casual but end up having a full set of rules as it becomes more and more daring and more and more difficult. Everything has to have a competitive edge.
He’ll take it really seriously but if his sister is ‘out’ he’ll invent another rule which means she can stay in.
I give him a knowing smile. He is an excellent Big Brother.
When I told him I’d been contacted by Snugrugs to see if we’d like to review one of their blankets he literally slept out of his seat. He is a boy of creature comforts. He has had a blue and white blanket on the end of his bed for as long as I can remember which he takes everywhere from camping to wrapping himself up in front of the TV.
He’s wanted a more ‘grown up’ one for ages and I’ve just never got around to finding one. He wants something which doesn’t look like a child’s but is still warm and cosy and can be carted around.
So this is what he opted for – a lambswool blanket in ‘cool grey’.
And he now sits wrapped up in this; looking much more grown up, but still every inch my little boy.
And because he wants to be in every single photo Dan is in . . .