I am a smug mother


I HAVE to hold my hands up and be an utterly smug mother: Dougie got the ‘Churchill’ leadership prize on his last day at primary school. Shared with his good friend and all-round top lad Tyrell Bernard.

At home, Doug is fairly typical second-born: fiercely determined to make sure everything is ‘fair’ but also quite happy most of the time to let his older brother get into trouble first while he pootles around with his head in the clouds. But at school, this year he’s matured enormously.

I was bursting with pride (and a little moist-eyed) when they called his name out to go up and take hold of the trophy – a ceramic statue of the war-time leader – and terrified he would drop it.

You tend to think the really noticeable changes in your children happen in the early, crawling,walking, talking years. When they get to the ‘tweens’ they might not change much physically – they get taller, fill-out, smell more – but basically have all the practical human characteristics to take them through the rest of their lives.

But in their brains, it’s all going bonkers. Hormones, being the eldest in school, seeing the opposite sex in a new light, it’s scary stuff.

Somehow, Doug has embraced all of these changes and the absence of his older brother with relish. Brothers as close in age as Jed and Dougie have the benefits of a constant companion, but also need to retain their individuality.

I can’t quite believe my cuddly, thumb-sucking little boy is getting all grown-up. (Actually, he does still suck his thumb when he thinks no-one is looking. . .)

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