Oh Zachary – how can this be? SIX? How are you six?
I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. Waiting around in the hospital for the Cesarean that would bring you safely into this world. You were upside down you see – your head right up in my ribcage where it wasn’t supposed to be. You came out screaming your little lungs off and you have been a bundle of noise ever since!
I don’t really know where to start with you at age six. I mean, there are both positives and negatives. I tell you what – let’s get the rubbisher bits out of the way.
You have such an attitude on you – you answer back, get huffy, are rude to us and shout at us. Sometimes I feel like I am parenting a teenager and not a young child. I do understand that it’s not just you. I have seen enough of your school friends to know that it’s just a part of the age thing and that it seems like every year just gets worse! Knowing this doesn’t make it any easier at the time though so apologies for my screaming back, the time-out, and the huffy mother. I do try my best but you really do know how to press all of my buttons!
To be honest – that is the only negative part, because you really are a wonderful little boy.
You have gone back to school, and into Year One, with a spring in your step. There has been no tears, no tantrums, no “I don’t want to go”, since you have been back. And that really does make every day easier. You love your teacher (even though I haven’t yet worked her out), you love your classmates, and you seem to love learning. Even though getting information out of you can be tricky – when you do tell me something, it’s always usually with real enthusiasm. In your first week back you received a certificate for kindness, awarded by your teacher. I was so proud that you had been recognised so early on. You have also started a couple of after school clubs that are running until October – one is a multisport-PE club and the other is football. You definitely prefer the PE one – football just doesn’t seem to be your thing and that’s fine – you are giving it a good go.
Getting you to practice your reading after school and getting you to do your homework can be quite tricky. Oscar is almost always causing chaos and you are always super tired. It’s probably one of my most frustrating times of the day! But you are doing really well and your reading and writing is coming on really well. You have quite a thing for maths and are always asking us about numbers, like what’s 100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100 + 100? You particularly like doing this whilst I am driving the car which can be tricky!
You started swimming lessons a couple of months ago and we are so proud at how well you are doing. At the beginning, you had your usual “I don’t want to do this” scenario, but we pushed on with it because we feel that learning to swim is extremely important. And I am so glad that we persisted because you are doing fab. There is still a lot of work to be done – you still hate putting your face in the water and you really hate it when you accidentally go under. But the speed of you when you swim along with your float now is brilliant to watch. You are getting so much more comfortable and confident in the water and we can see that you now really love going. It has just become a part of your Saturday morning which is fab.
Something we haven’t managed to get you to do is to ride your bike without stabilisers. It is so frustrating because you are so ready to do it and if you put your mind to it, it’ll be done and dusted in a day. You have this fear though, that you are going to hurt yourself and it is holding you back. I cannot wait for the day that those stabilisers go and I see you whizzing around on two wheels!
There are two things that you don’t stop doing. One is talking and the other is eating. And you seem to be more than capable of doing both at once which can be wholly frustrating at the dinner table! Your favourite meals are pizza, my homemade lasagne and BBQ chicken fajitas.
You love to watch YouTube. Mostly you enjoy watching random kids opening up random stuff or playing games. You also love to watch OddBods on there which I prefer slightly more than random people. You also love watching science experiments thanks to seeing them for real down at the Gunpowder Mills. Here’s hoping you like your birthday presents – they are very sciencey!
You have taken your role of big brother very seriously and you have been ruddy fantastic at it from day one. Now Oscar is that much older, you do find it harder at times. When you both want to play with the same thing, or he ruins whatever the game is that you are playing – you find it pretty tricky to deal with and instead just scream at him. And then he screams back at you and I’m like, BOYS STOP! But on the whole, you just get on brilliantly. He absolutely adores you and I think it’s safe to say that you adore him equally. There’s nothing that makes me prouder than watching you help him to try and play a game, or help him round soft play, or on the slide at the park.
Probably your most favourite thing in the world (other than us of course), is the trampoline. I mean the damn thing is wrecked but that’s because you absolutely love it and spend all of your time on it. You jump and jump and jump. You bounce on your knees, do starjumps, land on your bum. I feel like I should sign you up to trampolining lessons but then I’m not sure if then it would just become less fun for you. So I will leave it to the garden for now and just watch you out there. And thanks to you and your bouncing, Oscar has learnt to bounce just as well (well, almost!).
You also love Spiderman. I mean, you have barely ever watched it but you love him! You just had a superhero birthday party and you love dressing up as him, you love getting your presents wrapped in his paper and of course, you had a birthday cake that I made for you, that was him!
And now here we are. Six years old. What do we have in store in the next year? School becoming more about learning rather than play. Your friendships developing. Your attitude potentially getting even more teenage like?
Whatever it is, I’m looking forward to it all. Ok, so I may shout sometimes. I may take things away. I may be the mean mum because I can’t always give you everything you want. But do know that I adore you. The same as I adored you instantly in that moment you were put into my arms. My first born. My first real true love. The first boy in my life that I would give my life for. My Zachary.
Happy birthday my darling boy. I love you oh so much.