Happy Birthday my darling boy. You are four years old today.
You spend your days dressed as Batman, defeating imaginary baddies and fighting crime, asserting your independence and your new found sense of self. Yet you still spend your nights seeking me out and secretly snuggling into my arms while I sleep, only for me to realise hours later, when your little brother wakes.
You have a ready made sidekick in your brother and I’m, so often now, the villain of the piece in your games. Cries of “Evil Dr Mummy is coming! Quick! Hide”, followed by endless giggles as you both dive for cover under the duvet, ring in my ears. Two partners in crime, bound by a common foe. To me, it’s the happiest sound in the world.
You are a fearless hero, a climber, a warrior, fiercely independent and growing so fast each day. But by night, you’re still my little boy, sneaking cuddles and kisses and just wanting to be close to me.
By day, a superhero, unfazed by anything. By night, a boy who doesn’t like the dark, being on his own, or unfamiliar sounds. A non-sleeper, a landing-creeper, an into-bed-sneaker… My little comfort-seeker.
Both alter egos fill me with joy. I want you to grow, explore and find your own path and yet it’s so reassuring to know that you’re not quite ready to leave me behind completely just yet…
Every superhero has his Kryptonite, and if night time is yours, well that’s fine by me. To paraphrase a popular saying: the nights are long, but the years are short. So, as I reach for a large cup of coffee each morning, I’ll try to remind myself to enjoy these nights of sleep deprivation and visitations while they last, because one day you won’t need Evil Dr Mummy any more… and I don’t want to wish that away too soon.
Because even evil arch nemeses need a cuddle sometimes. And besides, I can always sleep in my 40s…