birthday portrait


“How old is your son?”

“He’s three.”

Three years old. That means we’re parenting pros. Babies, sleep issues, weaning, learning to walk, potty training. Done it all.

Or that’s how I used to see parents of three year olds, anyway.

Three seemed like a grown up, slightly intimidating age. Oh, you have a three year old. An actual walking talking child human. What do I say to a three year old?

Inside it very much feels like we’re still muddling through this parenting gig. Three years on, and the baby stuff might be in the past, but our boy is still our baby. And as our firstborn, every experience is new. We are still learning, the lessons are just a bit bigger and more child-like.

Sometimes I get lost in my thoughts (usually when doing the washing up, for some odd reason) and I can so vividly transport myself back to a time before children that THAT starts to seem like real life. And then I’m jolted back to the present (invariably by a three-foot presence), left with a sense of surprise and wonder that fate happened and we ended up HERE. With these two.

At times, three years is not quite long enough for all this to seem really real. But I’m pretty happy living this unexpected life.

three years old

three year old


felt crown

So, what do I say to a three year old?

I tell you how clever you are. How sharp your mind is. How much you surprise me with the things you know, and the things you learn from listening to us. I tell you what amazing conversations we have these days, and how much fun it is to talk to you and hear your opinions. I tell you about your wonderful sense of humour and how you have come to be able to make us laugh just as much as we make you laugh. I tell you about how kind and thoughtful your heart can be – with your friends, your family, and with your little brother – I LOVE seeing you so full of love for him, looking out for him.

Some facets of your personality don’t change, but I am learning that they grow, just like you. You are still the hugely vocal, ‘shout if I don’t like it’ baby, you are still the one year old obsessed with trains, you are still the 18 month old with a hatred for messy hands, you are still the two year old with an amazing memory for bird and dinosaur types. You are still the two and a half year old who can recognise all the different London train services. You are the just-three year old who can identify the exact type of ford focus with one glance.

Happy birthday, Arlo.

posing ideas for children


  1. What beautiful selection of images really love the top one and the last one. I miss having a three yr old my are all getting big now.

  2. Happy 3 to your gorgeous boy. F is 3 yrs 2 months now and you are right it seems like they suddenly become a proper little person!

    LOVE the last photo x

  3. Happy Birthday Arlo! I know what you mean about three seeming somehow more grown up than just the year after two, I think it still surprises me that I’m three years into this parenting adventure!

  4. such a nice post! love the pictures, especially the last one (my kids would love that too!! train obsessed :D) so funny how we see 3 yr olds as so big when we have newborns. I remember thinking even 18 month olds were so grown up when my 1st was under one, now I have 3 of them and the youngest is over 2 but still keep thinking of him as a baby!

  5. Awwww this is a fantastic post.
    I absolutely love the photos too, it looks like you had a lot of fun.
    Three is such a big age I think. They really become these little people and it’s quite a shock to the system, but it’s lovely too. xx

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