Smiler is officially child one of three, and turned eleven in September. The photo above is one of my absolute favourites of him ~ we were on a family outing to Puxton Park (an okay place but a lovely 'hold and stroke the cute baby animals' bit and an exceptional farm shop with locally made cheese and pickle and crackers and other yummy things). Although it was cold and a bit on the breezy side, Smiler was having a great time, and looks so relaxed and content.
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Technically in year six right now, Smiler will be moving on to 'big school' ~ secondary, next September, which he's really excited about. The class he'll go into is the class most of the children from his class have gone into since he's been there, so there won't be many new children for him to get to know. This is his third year with the same teacher, and while the LSA's have swapped around a bit, the entire staff there are amazing. Luckily Briarwood provides education right through, including a post sixteen unit, so although he'll have a different teacher next (school) year, he'll have seen them already at the whole school events (of which there are several through the year). The staff team as a whole are great at working with parents to tailor the transition to secondary to meet the needs of individual students.
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Smiler loves books ~ I think they're kind of like TV for him ~ we read them to him over and over and then when he looks at them by himself I'm sure he hears the words in his head! At the moment his favourites include Octonauts and Rastamouse, along with the ever popular Charlie and Lola. I should point out that although these gave all been tv~if~ied, we discovered both Charlie and Lola and Rastamouse through books initially!
Smiler eats anything going these days, his favourite being Chinese takeaway (I'm with him there) or weetabix (definitely not with him there). He loves getting new clothes (especially jumpers ... don't ask me why, I have no idea!) and he also loves anything with stripes ~ his grandparents got him a stripy jumper for Christmas, which caused great excitement ~ he was rendered genuinely speechless, which doesn't happen often!
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This photo was taken in the city centre, inside the water feature that is outside @Bristol ... I promise that makes sense if you know Bristol! Smiler knows it as the water near the big shiny ball ~ another description that will make much more sense if you follow the link! (@Bristol is a fantastic place to spend the day if you're local by the way, or even if you're not!) Smiler was really focused on the sensation of the water on his hand, a big achievement bearing in mind he has difficulties touching anything 'wet'! So often photos of Smiler seem to catch him at just the wrong second, and he looks kind of daft ~ this one shows him concentrating on his hand and the water, and you can see how beautiful he really is.
So, that's Smiler. My first baby boy, who seems somehow to have grown up without me realising. Smiler has not had an easy eleven years, but more of that another day. For now, what matters most is that he's here with us, very much loved, and he laughs every single day.
I love you Smiler.