The day my 33-year-old brother dressed up as a Ninja Turtle

My brother in his Ninja Turtle disguise

Last weekend we celebrated Hector’s fourth birthday superhero style.

There were many tear-jerking moments (god I’m wet)… but one of the most memorable was the look on Hector’s face when my brother, Uncle Bol, walked through the door dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Dressing up is Hector’s big, BIG thing at the moment. He puts on his Captain America outfit before breakfast and will spend the rest of the day being Spiderman, Batman and Chase from Paw Patrol.

In the days leading up to the party he kept asking me what I was ‘going as’. I didn’t really fancy being one of those mums who gets into full costume (bit o.t.t), so in the end I borrowed a spare cape and mask off my mother (!), who was also under strict instructions to dress up.

My outfit just about got Hector’s nod of approval but Uncle Bol’s effort stopped him in his tracks. To make things even better, Bol’s girlfriend was there too, sporting a super hot Super Woman outfit, complete with leggings and cape.

Hector just stood and stared, eyes on stalks, taking it all in, before punching the air with excitement and hugging Bol and Anna’s legs as hard as he could. I had to send him off to the loo before something embarrassing happened. That’s how excited he was.

I felt like punching the air, too, in gratitude to Uncle Bol, girlfriend Anna, and all the other people we know who don’t have children, yet are prepared to go to extreme lengths to entertain our brats.

I looked around the room and saw Sue, my aunt, who has been with us to celebrate so many of our children’s milestones, even though she lives in Germany. She always brings magic powder that turns the bath water bright blue or red or a particularly suspicious shade of yellow.

And Soosh, my mother’s best friend, who was on pizza and sausage duty at the party and who walked Hector home from nursery the other day even though she had a broken ankle.

Of course I’m also very grateful to all my friends and family who do have children, for going through this with me, and being cool when one of my children pushes their child over, or snatches a toy or, in the case of the grandparents, demands a whole multitude of Lego is put together just as they’re sitting down to read the newspaper.

At that moment, however, it was those without children who shone out as being the best sports in the whole world.

Hector was overcome with gratitude that his uncle has made such an effort and so was I. I don’t remember doing anything like that for my friends or family before I had children.

So I want to thank you, all of you, for giving up your precious time and hanging out with three small people who are not averse to scrapping, tantruming and general ungratefulness.

I am insanely envious of your weekend lie-ins and clean, sporty cars but I also appreciate all you do for my children and for me.


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