There is something special about being in a capital city… being in such a famous place that is filled with so many people, so many stories and spectacular sights. There is something special about taking your own kids to all of the places you have loved from being a kid and sharing in their excitement as well as holding your own, over all of the famous sights of our beloved London!

For a few weeks now Ethan and I have been excited about our approaching trip to London which took place on Saturday. We had plans to go on a date (just the 2 of us for just the day) and see a few sights, go to the theatre, ride the underground and eat sushi. I love that because we live in Yorkshire, going to London always feels like such an adventure for us, and whilst parent/child dates are becoming an ordinary for us – this one was certainly more extra ordinary!

I really love London these days. We used to live a short tube ride away as a kid, and I have fond memories of being on daddy daughter dates with my Dad there! I also remember in my early 20’s I spent a lot of time visiting my now sister in law at Uni in London and it was always a lot of fun. But as I have had my kids and entered my 30’s, I haven’t had that many opportunities to visit, and at times (with current affairs) I have also felt more than a little anxious to go!

However, since blogging more seriously over the last couple of years I have had many opportunities and reasons to go, and each time I have grown more in love with it again and found myself feeling way more comfortable there. I love that no matter how many times we visit, and no matter what the weather, London never fails to impress and excite me, and being in the capital feels so special!

Seeing London through the eyes of kids is something else though, and the moments spent there with Ethan this weekend were wonderful. It felt so much lighter and less rushed than it usually is. We wandered along those city streets avoiding puddles and laughed as we ran for the tube and through each barrier. We stood in awe at the London eye and the river Thames (because its “such an amazing river”). And we snuggled and sat mesmerized together at the theatre, before enjoying the lights of Leicester square in the evening (and a quick trip to Zara!!).

We didn’t see everything, but we saw enough. He got to see the River, Big Ben, the London Eye, and the main focus – We got to have a wonderful afternoon at the National theatre seeing Pinocchio. And then to tip it all off, we scoffed sushi and noodles on the train as we headed back north in the evening which is something we both share a love for, but that the rest of our little family turn their noses up to!

I really loved my date in London with Ethan. I loved how exciting things felt that I have seen so many times before, and I loved the moments we shared in the capital on our adventure together. I feel we bonded in a way that was much needed between us, and as we headed back to Kingscross station for our train home we made plans to return again very soon to see where the Great fire broke out (his latest interest) and to visit the pigeons and fountains of Trafalgar square.

Parent and child dates provide so many ordinary and special moments together and this is a special little date we will both treasure for a long time.

The main purpose of our visit was to see Pinocchio – if you would like a sneaky preview then you can catch it here. My review should be live in the next day or so if you want to pop back and have a read! It was a spectacular and magical show and we haven’t stopped talking about it!

 

The Ordinary Moments
Follow:

Yesterday Ethan’s wish came true when I took him to the barbers to have his hair cut just like his new style Icon “Bugsy Malone”! As he walked into church today with his suit and bow tie on, the ladies of all ages commented on how absolutely adorable he looked, and in his coy little way he gave a cheeky grin! He loves his new do, we all do, and whilst it reminds me of the 90’s, it has certainly given him an air of confidence!

Ethan has always been one to take great interest in his hair. From being quite little I would gel it, and whether it was that or just his personality he became very particular about how he wanted it cut! In Summer it has always been shaved (because he has a big sweaty head!), and in the winter he tend to keep it neat, but longer! It was just his ordinary.

From quite early on, when we entered the barbers and they would ask “Mum what we doing today?”, I would point to Ethan and he would explain to them exactly what he envisioned. They laughed and commented how cute it was, but I knew to him it was something important he want to be involved in and feel in control of.

Up until a few weeks ago, he was growing his hair out long enough to be a “Rock Star”! It came from seeing a picture of Bon Jovi, combined with the fact that last Summer his youngest of uncles had his hair long enough for a top knot/Cool head band. Ethan found both of these fascinating and has spoken a lot about having “even longer than normal” hair. I love his hair short but I also don’t want to be controlling over such personal things, and so in half a hope that it was a passing interest – I agreed it was fine and he has been working on growing it out/never washing it!

Fast forward to the Christmas Holidays and lazy movie days at home. We all became just a little bit obsessed with my old time favourite “Bugsy Malone!”. It was on most days, and on the days we did venture out we would be quoting it to each other and be found doing a couple of dance moves and singing the songs between giggles, as we waited for the train or walked to our destination. The kids loved it, and I loved that they did! And even now we sing as we go to school or I will catch Megs shouting a not so insulting insult from it to Ethan!

Then a few days ago Ethan came to me with his Gel and asked if I would style his hair like Bugsy – “I want to look like Bugsy Malone Mummy!”. I laughed a little but helped him to, and his face beamed for the rest of the night. It was so funny and cute and I assumed it was just a moment of make believe play! As he went to bed however, and when he awoke the next day, he suggested that maybe we could go get his hair cut more like Bugsy! Apparently he’s so cool and nice that Ethan desires to look just like that!

And so yesterday we did. I googled a picture and showed it to the lady and she smiled as she cut the style! As always he sat so still and serious, watching like a hawk at what was being created. I caught the odd grin as he saw his dream become a reality and then as he left the Barbers he excitedly exclaimed – “I wanted to look like Bugsy Malone and now I do!!”. He was so happy! At least until Megan suggested he looked nothing like him!!

Apparently he just needs a hat now, and he will be living the dream.

I can’t believe this year Ethan will be 8…sometimes we really butt heads on things, but I have loved the last couple of days of seeing him looking older, smarter and more confident. I have loved the excitement and harmony between us, and the ordinary moments of childhood where they become obsessed with things and want to be like someone or look like someone they so admire. For Ethan right now that interest is a fictional, straight laced 20’s gangsta kid, that all the ladies like, and that’s totally fine – It’s a lot of fun and very cute he is into something not so mainstream.

The Ordinary moments of hair cuts, style icons and being a 7.5 year old boy – How handsome you are my darling!

The Ordinary Moments
Follow:

I’ve slapped it across all of my social media, and yes its true – I am now mother to a 7 year old! On Saturday Ethan turned 7, and as he went to bed he made another point of telling us that it was the best birthday EVER! I felt so pleased, not just because of all the madness of making it such, but because I had thoroughly enjoyed the day too, and seeing him so joyful and gracious about it really made it all the more special.

It began with presents on our bed (all with a big thumps up and squeals), followed by homemade pancakes with nutella and fruit! As this year isn’t a party year Ethan chose his special day to Williams Den followed by Hull fair, and it was so much fun and a great adventure!

Since the summer Ethan has wanted to return to Williams Den and it’s all he has talked about when planning his birthday! He loves the place and despite giving him several options for a family day out, it has and always was going to “Williams Den”, and he wasn’t disappointed! We met one of his cousins there at 10 and stayed til after 3. The sun was shining and the day was strangely mild (which added to our enjoyment). We played, climbed, built and splashed, and then enjoyed pizza and ice creams in the barn restaurant before more climbing, splashing, swinging and playing!

By mid afternoon we had to prise him away, before heading down to Hull, where we then enjoyed a few rides and snacks at “Hull fair” before dinner and home! On Sunday my family came over and we had cake and Mexican food with everyone, and more presents, and it really made for a great weekend and way to celebrate our new 7 year old!

 

Having a 7 yr old

Having a 7 Year old does make me feel old and is also a stark reminder of how fast time goes. It really is crazy, and we probably all say it every birthday of every child, but how do I have a 7 year old already and where has the time gone?

I find 7 year old boys (by the name of Ethan) incredibly awkward and frustrating. He is very stubborn, lazy, and full of attitude, and has a bit of a hoarding side to him too… but then at the same time he is sensitive and funny, and helpful on his terms! He works hard in things he loves and has a lot of friends and smiles! He is doing well at school and has a funny sense of humour and enjoys a few clubs too.

Ethan is growing so fast and as a result is rather tall and physically strong too.

It seems to me such a long time ago that I was having him, a little 8lb 2 scrawny baby, and in that place as a naive first time mum. It feels like a lifetime ago that I had to have an emergency section and come to terms with the trauma of that, and then plagued with PND! But then I look at him now and wonder “when did you get so big?”! And I wonder where the time has gone and how many opportunities I may have missed but how many adventures we have enjoyed too.

I think of all of our adventures, giggles and cuddles and how now he is 7 these are slowly depleating as he’s “too old”! How he won’t kiss me goodbye at school any more and how I apparently embarrass him and am “a show off” for just chatting to his friends or mums at school (?!). 7 year old’s are funny creatures and its a funny age; it feels so big and yet still is small enough to sneak cuddles, have silly moments and dance offs – providing no one is around! 

At 7 Years old I want to remember how you love playing teachers (and bossing your sisters around in the process!), riding your bike and playing out with your new friends. I want to remember how you are literally obsessed with subway, love going on the train to see your grandmas, and swimming at Bridlington!

I want to remember your new passion for Judo, gardening and how you think Halloween is the mintest thing ever! How you won’t eat too many sweets because “there’s too much sugar” and how you love to dance and have discos and are certain you will be the best DJ ever one day! I want to remember your cheeky little grin when you call me “Mary” in the shops and then pretend it wasn’t you (Joker) and how you pester us like no other once you get a good idea!

Saturday was a really great day together celebrating him and his place in our family as the only boy and first born! Ethan we love you and you make us laugh so much … its a joy to have you in our lives!

Follow:

A few weeks ago, and all by chance really, Ethan did a spot of modelling for a university fashion student. It was a really chilled (and interesting) night, and he had a lot of fun doing it. I was impressed at how well he listened and followed her instructions, and then how cool the pics were (to say they were taken in student digs).

The girl doing it was really pro and arty, and had set up a little studio in her lounge – she was just lovely and it was great that she asked to use Ethan. I love the shots she did of our cheeky little boy.

As I say it was all by chance, and came at the request of one of his Aunts! She has just completed her final year of a fashion degree and one of her friends wanted to photograph the pureness of childhood as part of her final project. She, on the off chance, asked if anyone knew of any young boys that would fit the bill, and so auntie suggested our little E.

I was happy to help them out, and with the offer of some free chocolate, so was he!

The whole shoot, from garment to backdrop and props were white and he really did look rather angelic. It was reflective of how man starts off pure and white and through life (and other garments she made) she told the story of change. He looked super cute and afterwards said it was a lot of fun and that he especially enjoyed all of the lights on set (and the bags of chocolate she gave his as a “Thank you”!). The shoot, along with her others, were exhibited last Friday night in Leeds for her project called “The Colour of Man”.

I wanted to share this small moment, and some of the pics to remember the day that little E looked so cute when he did a spot of modelling…

Follow: