For Smallest's 3rd birthday I used my go-to chocolate cake recipe, but this year he requested white chocolate, chocolatey icing. I obliged and it was delicious, but perhaps a bit much on top of a milk chocolate cake. It would be immense on something fruity though.
I'm not ready for your babyhood to be over. The sweet spot in the middle of the top of your head still smells like the baby that healed my soul, ruined my sleep and completed our family.
Three is such a big, grown-up step into the world. Three feels like such a milestone. You are a social, creative, clever little man. This morning you spent at least half an hour trying to engineer an 'enormous special slider machine' up the side of my bed from daddy's chiropractic roller, a cuddly rabbit and a plastic golf club. You tried different combinations of props, persevered after each giggling tumble back to the floor and eventually shinnied up the contraption with a great smile of triumph looking for a celebratory snuggle. Snuggles are your favourite thing. 'Let's snuggle mummy.' 'Can you snuggle me?' 'Shall we cuddle up under a snuggly blanket and watch something together?' Are all amongst your most frequent requests. I love it. There's nothing better. Your instinctive need to nest and cosy sits so comfortably with my outlook on life and if I could, I would bottle the feeling of your little body tucked in next to mine and keep it with me always. I think you're the same. You are at your happiest when all the family are together at home. Your birthday was no exception. We offered you all sorts of parties, keen to compensate you for spending over half of your life in covid 19 related lock down, but you weren't having any of it. You know your own mind and what you like and I really hope you hold on to the courage of your convictions as you grow. If I had spend more of my life not trying to do the popular, trendy, perceived right thing and more of what I actually wanted to do I'd have been a whole heap happier for a whole lot longer. No, you didn't want a 'loud birthday' with the chaos of games, music and party bags. You wanted a 'quiet birthday' with a 'a few presents in the morning' and a trip to see some animals with mummy, daddy and your sister and that's exactly what we did. You cuddled a piglet and I don't think I've ever seen anyone fall in love so quickly or so completely. One day I will rent us some land and we will have our dream of a little small holding for two, both of us in our wellies making sure everyone is well bedded, fed and happy. Bliss.
It's not that you're perfect - I wouldn't want you reading this when you're thirty-something and about to make your own baby's birthday cake and getting a big head. Just like your big sister each birthday seems to recreate you a little bit more independent, a little bit more stubborn and with a few new challenging character traits. This week has been no exception - a new penchant for throwing things and bashing things seems to have materialised as if from nowhere. I blame Grandad for buying you that drill and plastic hammer. Everything is a tool bench or a vehicle needing fixed. At least, that's what I'm telling myself when you whack me round the head with a plastic rolling pin wrapped in greaseproof paper. Sometimes it's a good job you're cute and you are bloody cute. A commodity I suspect you will trade in over the coming years. But as those years advance my love, please don't be in a hurry to cut the apron strings too soon. I don't want to hold you too tight or keep you all to myself. After all, parenting is a life long lesson in letting go, but I hope that some of the feeling of communion we have in those snuggly moments remains when you are no longer a moon-faced bobbin-top with eyes as big as tea plates and that sweet smelling sweet spot on the top of the top of your head.
Happy birthday gorgeous boy. Be yourself always. I love you.
White chocolate butter icing.
500g icing sugar
500g softened, unsalted butter
200g melted white chocolate
Mix together the icing sugar and butter until smooth.
Melt the white chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of just boiling water. Alternatively, melt in the microwave in short 10 second bursts, stirring between each blast to make sure it doesn't burn.
Add the chocolate to the mixing bowl and beat until smooth.