Arlo, I’m not sure I can put into words just how lucky I feel to be your mam. You are such a wonderful little boy. Each year I get to know you more, I love you more. Daily I say to your daddy, ‘he’s so precious, how did we get so lucky to get him?’.
You are so kind, patient and generous with your time and affection. You are my little cuddle monster and love to snuggle in. I’ll be so sad when you grow out of that. I’m not sure you have ever said no to a hug from us. You are so sweet and sensitive.
This year you made a huge transition from us staying with you while you went to sleep, to us tucking you in and saying good night and you going to sleep on your own. We had tried many times in the past to do this but you weren’t ready. I’m so proud of you that you felt brave enough to do that now. (And proud of us as parents for giving you the space you needed to get there on your own terms – it was REALLY hard).
You do still ask me to give you a hug and sing our special ‘go to sleep song’. As I sing it, you close your eyes and yawn and I feel you relaxing into sleep. Then we hug and tell each other we love each other, to sleep well and that we’ll see each other in the morning. It’s one of my favourite times of the day.
You are the best big brother to your little sister. She can be (very) hard work but you rarely lose your patience with her. I couldn’t have wished for you to be better with her. It’s watching your interactions with her where I really see your kind and gentle nature shine.
I love watching you with your friends at school. You seem well liked and you have so much fun running around with the other boys. You do struggle academically at school and that makes me worry about you but you are happy and that’s all that really matters to me. You are finding school a bit more boring now you are required to do more work now that you are in year one. You are getting much better at reading and are sounding words out all the time now. I can’t wait until you can read! I hope you inherit my love of books.
This year you also blessed us with nits which was not so fun, it was your dad’s very first experience of them aged 33. That made me chuckle having had them many times as a child. That was when we shaved all your hair off which you found really fun.
Your favourite things to do at the moment is playing Roblox on your iPad and watching YouTube videos of other people playing Roblox. You are finally outgrowing your love of Thomas which makes me a little sad. It’s been such a love of yours for 4 years. I’m mostly sad that I own about £1 million worth of Thomas gear though and you’ve gone off it. I’m going to have to re-decorate your Thomas themed bedroom too.
You are becoming the mirror image of your geeky dad and have inherited his introversion. I asked you if you could do anything on your birthday what would like to do and you answered ‘not have to talk to anyone’, which did make me laugh. You are two peas in a pod.
You still love running around and soft play. You like to play super hero games and play one a lot based on a show you like called ‘pj masks’ where you pretend to be the characters. You try to make me play too but I’ll be honest, I’m really not sure of the rules. Last time you just made me run round and round some teddies to make them dizzy and the only one who ended up dizzy was me.
Unlike this time last year you are now happy to play alone in your bedroom and actually request to regularly to ‘get some peace and quiet’ (the irony).
You pretty much never seem to have clothes on and are always walking around in your underpants. You enjoy your body and feel strong. You are happy when you have eaten lots and your tummy feels big, you say ‘look how fat I am Mammy’ and are really proud. You are a skinny little thing on the 5th centile but you view fat as positive and I hope you always love your body so much. You favourite foods are sausages, smoked salmon, raw mushrooms (with no stalks), raw carrots, spaghetti Bolognese, McDonald’s and all sweets/crisps.
Unfortunately you do have a couple of minor health issues – you still haven’t outgrown your dairy allergy, although you can tolerate some baked dairy now. Also your eyes wander and you are scheduled for surgery under general anaesthetic in February which I’m going to hate. I’m already worried.
You are such a well-behaved little boy, you mostly listen to us and do as we ask. We have mutual respect so that if you aren’t happy with something or don’t want to do it then you feel able to tell us that and we listen. Some things we can’t budge on but if we can be flexible then we are and I think that helps you to listen to us more when we are firm. I’m so grateful of the relationship that we have.
You are a wonderful child to parent. You are no bother at all. I just can’t get enough of you. Thank you for being the most amazing human I’ve had the privilege of getting to know but if you could stop growing up now that’d be great.