I have two little boys who have just two years between them. They are almost four and almost two. The 'almost' is hugely important to the eldest who is desperate to shake off any link to the number three. Three is little. Four is BIG. Well, big in the eyes of a three-year old anyway. As a result, the whole family (and anyone within earshot), is slowly counting down (painfully slowly as we've been counting down for quite some time now) to the day when four becomes a reality. And I'm pretty sure that after a week of being four, I'll be asked to produce a countdown to five because everyone knows that five is really, REALLY big and way more exciting than four.
Both little dudes are, on the whole, treated in a very similar fashion. They eat the same and have the same bedtimes, are mostly really good at sharing toys despite playing with them in different manners (the eldest is fond of role play, the littlest prefers to see how far he can throw things or how long they can take his weight for) and are very happy on days out planned around one or both of them.
But recently, with four approaching and being on the verge of 'growing up' (his words, not mine), I've been keen to carve out a little bit of time just for my eldest dude. A special treat that we don't tell the littlest about. Shhh!
He adores baking. Way more than I ever did as a child. And way more than I do now. Before he started at pre-school in September, we would often spend an hour in the kitchen creating (mainly a huge mess) yummy, sweet things while the littlest napped. But now we don't get that time together.
Instead, every Thursday evening, as soon as we can hear contented snores from his little brother's bedroom, we sneak downstairs, arm ourselves with a cup of tea (milky decaf for him) and our mixing bowls and set to work whilst watching a recording of the previous night's The Great British Bake Off. And while the smell of sugary goodness fills the air, my almost four year old delights in the kitchen disasters on the screen before him (Iain's baked alaska binning was a favourite moment) and has been known to take a sneaky lick of the TV when something particularly yummy-looking is presented to the judges.
He has his hopes pinned on Richard to win and I have my hopes pinned on him growing up and forever finding happiness in tea, cake, delightfully British programmes and spending time with his mama.