Monday, 19 October 2015

I'm four now. I have a t-shirt and a pixie brought me my bike and I went to space.

And then he turned four

Life is pretty magical at four. 

He closed his eyes tight, held out the glitter and wished for a brand new green bike. I had hauled his old bike into the living room; that night it would turn green courtesy of the Birthday Pixie, (so long as he had been good). Once his snores were audible I swapped the bikes. 

"She turned it green!" he exclaimed the following morning. 

He pulled on his birthday t-shirt adorned with the vital number 4, gobbled up birthday bagels before embarking on the days adventures - a trip to Bristol, on the train no less.

Things to do in Bristol

A photo posted by Siân Summers (@downatthemill) on

We visited the @Bristol Science Centre. It was a Friday: no queues, no crowds. We built houses with giant lego bricks in their Build It section, filmed stop animation films while E sat dimming and brightening the lights in the Wallace and Gromit exhibit and made parachutes drop from the sky. Repeatedly.

We also went to space. My four year old believes he went to space on his birthday. Does childhood get any better?

Sarah was our Space Ranger tutor - we all sat down within the silver globe. Padded seats and a view of the stars. We turned wheels, selected planets, made pictures in the stars. We viewed our galaxy from far, far away with the help of a group "zooooooooom" to get us there.

Specifically for under sixes, this was twenty five minutes well spent. Largely to do with how wonderful our Space Ranger tutor was with the children. 

Our gift aid ticket price also got us four pounds of gift tokens to be used within the shop or cafe that day. While this sent little chills down my spine at the potential cost of the gift shop, it was actually reasonable. And we left with glow in the dark stars for his bedroom ceiling for the perfect price of £3.99.

(The entry price felt a little on the steep side at £13.90 for me and £8.95 for E, but that is because my outing of choice is a (free) hike up a mountain side splashing out for ice cream at the top. As a birthday treat it worked perfectly and there was plenty in there to last a full day of in and out and back in again.)

Learning to ride a bicycle

Day trip done, time to get on with the main business of the day. Giving cycling with pedals a go.

I bought him an Islabike. The green Cnoc 14 made me smile. It was light and shiny and all kinds of beautiful. But had I spent too much? I saw so many videos of children progressing from balance bike to Islabike with such ease, in hours, sometimes minutes. 

But seriously. He did it.
A video posted by Siân Summers (@downatthemill) on

Ten minutes on his new bike - and he can ride! One year on his TinyBike (which I beyond recommend and is currently reduced to £49.95) and he is now a fully fledged cyclist who flies through the parks with me jogging, running, sprinting after him! (I need to dust off my bike).

He has discovered speed, and distance, and even more speed. His sense of direction sometimes goes awry, and he's used a few fences in replacement of brakes but he is most definitely a little cyclist now.

"Let's sit and catch our breath and look at the river for a bit shall we?"

"No. More cycling and more running!" (Oh... good.)

I've even caught him halfway out the front door at 7.30am, dragging his bike behind him. He is (at least for now) a little cycling addict. And as autumn gets into its full swing and the outdoors turns that little bit chillier, I'm grateful for every additional draw on the outdoors! 

And so that is it for another year

Or at least until Christmas. Or any other occasion that feels like it needs a splash of magic. I have good feelings about four. I had good feelings about the other three years too - but they really do just keep getting better and better.

He is cuddly and loving with a splash of super hero violence and lots of rough and tumble bruises. Happy fourth birthday E. How lucky I am to have you.


  1. Love this... love how you embrace the true beauty in the best moments of life... happy birthday!!!! x

  2. wow sounds like he had a fantastic time. The science centre sounds great too. I'm a space geek and we have a telescope in the house which I get my daughter to look in. We'll have to pay a visit asap. Glad to hear the years keep getting better as they get older x

  3. What a beautiful post. Happy 4th birthday to your gorgeous little man. Looks like he had a lovely day! xx