4 years ago Leo arrived.
Life as I knew it had changed forever.
I was responsible for a small person, and it was now my job to shape and mold him into a gentle and caring young man. To show him the ways of the world, to teach him manners and feed his hunger to learn. It's the biggest responsibility I could have ever taken on and it has been so incredibly rewarding, even at the most challenging of times.
As I look back over the last 4 years I can't help but smile at how he has excelled and the things he has achieved as he has transitioned into the beautiful boy that he is today.
We spent a beautiful day together on the 27th June for his Fourth birthday. It was a day of gifts, giggles and family time. Games of Mario Kart on Leo's shiny new Nintendo Wii U, where Leo thrived on beating family members as he whizzed past showing us all that he meant business!
For Leo this was the first year that he understood the true nature of having a birthday. He knew it was something to look forward to and he knew that he was going to be spoiled. Leo had told me early on that this year he wanted a Thomas cake, and that was what I had been planning for the last few months. In my head absolutely everything was going be Thomas the Tank Engine. Until of course he discovered Super Mario and decided that actually...A Mario Kart cake was much more up his street. Yes my then almost FOUR year old was all about Mario..
Suffice to say that coming up with a new cake in my mind that I would be able to do justice for my special boy was a whole other story. I would usually attempt a practice cake a few weeks before hand... But this year there was just no time. So the night before Leo's big day was yet another year that I stayed up late, of course not as late as I did on that very same night all of those years ago!
I was so pleased with the finished cake (A separate post on how I actually made this will be going live very soon!), it had taken hours, there were moments that I wished I had just paid to have one made, but when this cake was presented before me, complete and ready for Leo the following morning I just wanted to give myself a massive high five, and I may have even fist pumped the air!
With the cake ready, I now had to make sure that absolutely everything was in place for the morning when Leo came down stairs. I made a little hideaway in between the nook in the sofa, covered it with a sheet and placed all of his cards and gifts inside, then it was just a case of filling it with number four balloons!
The next morning Leo didn't wake up as early as I had expected him, it was almost 9am by the time he catapulted into my bedroom and announced that it was now his birthday and we MUST now get up and go downstairs. Of course you don't argue with birthday boys (Or Leo full stop as a general rule of thumb!). As we marched down the stairs with speed, Leo stopped dead in his tracks! There before him was a birthday banner, and this only fueled his mission to get downstairs.
He marched like a man on a mission, what he thought was waiting for him I will never know, but he knew something exciting was unfolding. It took seconds for him to scout out the room and find his present treasure trove. 'Mummy! There's presents in here!' He announced, or I should say squealed. Diving in head first he pulled out his finds, of course they were all fittingly wrapped in Mario paper!
Mummy and Daddy had treated Leo to a Nintendo Wii U, we thought it would be a nice treat to enjoy as a family, and of course we had to make sure that our budding racer had his own copy of the new Mario Kart 8 to go along with it.
Leo now even has his very own Mario hat! The boy was ready for his special day.
When the excitement of presents had died down and breakfast was settling, I decided to pull a surprise from the car. We were borrowing a rather exciting 16 foot Water Slide for Leo's big day, and with the weather being on side we were looking forward to getting into the garden and having a play!
Leo had been really looking forward to me bringing home one of the Inflatable Water Slides to play with, and to be honest I had shared his enthusiasm! What I would have done for one of these back in my childhood, kids today quite simply don't know how good they have it!
The slide was so easy to set up, it was just a case of laying it flat, plugging the fan into the mains and of course attaching it to the inflatable, filling the included water weights and securing them either side so that there are no toppling incidents...and boom! Time to play!
Leo and his cousin wasted no time at all getting the water out, it was a mild day but I think they soon regretted just how much water they had invested in those first few moments. There was teeth chattering and a few tears, until of course Leo discovered the water cannon! This quickly became Leo's favourite part of the water slide, as it enabled him to shoot Josh with water and stay dry himself, the plan was flawed from the beginning however, and soon Josh had seized control leaving the birthday boy regretting the initial soaking!
This slide is pretty epic to say the least, the size of it (I could have gone down myself if I wasn't absolutely to chicken by the thought of the cold water!), the included hosing that you simply have to attach with Velcro, it means that there is always a constant stream of water! If your childhoods were anything like mine...A water slide was your typical garden slide with tarpaulin draped strategically at the bottom...and a hose. Of course what would happen is, you would shoot down the slide at speed... fly off the tarpaulin and feel your landing... Or if you were feeling a little more adventurous...the slide would be placed in the paddling pool (Usually popping the pool I hasten to add!)...But it was fun while it lasted.
The 16ft Water Slide is everything you need for fun in the sun and even boasts a splash pool, making this model a summer's day necessity.
As you can see both of the boys were so pleased with their afternoon of fun and games. The water slide really helped us celebrate Leo's Fourth birthday in style and just looking back at these memories we made, I know it's not going to be a day either of them forget in a hurry!.
The slide was played with on and off all afternoon and well into the evening, and Leo's favourite time with it was when he was all on his own, climbing up and sliding down after it had all been dried off. Watching him climb and play about with such ease really did highlight just how grown up he now is. Those baby days are so far behind us now, but I am completely and utterly besotted with the little boy he has become.
The day went by far to quickly and with Leo requesting Granny's homemade Chinese feast for his Birthday dinner, we were all ready to devour a banquet fit for a king! Birthday dinner was followed by cake and Happy Birthday! Leo's eyes spoke a thousand words as the sparklers were lit (In my honest opinion...If the cake doesn't take off then it's not a real party!).
The world is now our oyster, and this age right now is just amazing. Another birthday under our belts, another day full of smiles and one Four year old boy. A Four year old boy due to start school in a matter of months, a caring, beautiful little man that has grown up far to quickly for my liking!
Thank you Toyz World for letting us borrow the water slide for the weekend!
Disclaimer: We borrowed the BeBop Water Slide for the weekend. I have not been compensated for this post. All views and opinions expressed are completely honest and my own.