Some four years ago I was two weeks overdue with my first child. I was huge, hormonal and desperate to be rid of the squirming intruder inside my belly which seemed to show no interest in exiting at the appointed time. Two sweeps, two pessaries and 36 hours of gas and air assisted labour later and my boy arrived at 12.07 am on 7 March 2007.
There is nothing like the first few weeks with your first baby. Equal parts awestruck at the miracle you have created and sheer terror at the enormity of motherhood. Slowly you find your groove, and before you know it the first year has passed in a blur of nappies, sleeplessness and a love you never knew you could experience.
Then comes the milestones of walking and first words. Then the emergence of a strong willed little individual with their own opinions as to whether they should comply with your entirely reasonable requests. Another year passes in a whirl of delight at your little one's achievements and battles for supremacy.
Then came the terrible twos and, in our case, the arrival of a little sister. This combined with a 7 month extended potty training period made that year a challenge but nevertheless the charm of that little person never fails to win you over after even the worst day. A little smile, a whispered "Love you mummy" and a fierce hug will never. ever. ever. fail to win me right back onto his side. Another year passed.
Then the threes hit. Somehow I thought they'd be more straightforward but I was wrong. He's a handful. A bundle of bouncing, wrestling, mischievous energy. Cheeky, clumsy, impish, monkey child, leaving a trail of smells, noises and chaos in his wake. He cannot stay still for a moment, has to touch everything. And the questions....dear god....the questions. From morning til night;
"why, where, how, when, which, why...".
This is the year when I first started to hear my parents words coming out of my mouth;
"Because I said so"
"I said NO"
"I don't know why it's like that. It just is"
And my personal favourite invented by my great-grandmother and going back over a hundred years in my family history; "Because why is a crooked letter and you can't straighten it". (I don't believe it is intended to make sense, just to stump the average three year old into silence.)
I wouldn't change him for the wold. Not one single part of him.
Happy fourth birthday my dearest, darling first born. My son. My boy.