There something about the way the boy looks when he's lying down that makes him seem so much older. Standing up it's clear he's a half-pint; lying down all stretched out with his long legs and his baby face pulled back by gravity he's shockingly much more grown up than I think I thought he should be.
Anyway, so all this growing up has clearly been happening right under our noses and while we've been blithely purchasing longer trousers and bigger shoes and helping him read and write and swim and... well, all the things a growing 5 year old might do, we've somehow failed to notice.
It's just that so much has remained the same. He still loves his trainset - in fact we're buying Brio for Christmas for the 3rd year in a row. He still has warm milk at bedtime, he still loves Peppa Pig and busses and the Transport Museum - and he still hates to dress up.
For some inexplicable reason, we've managed to avoid the Nativity Play for the past two years - his last nursery didn't engage in anything so overtly religious; however he is now in a full on church school and has been coming home singing songs about Baby Jesus for the past two weeks. This has culminated in a letter requesting the construction of a costume - angel or shepherd. He's chosen shepherd (thankfully; not sure I would be very good at making wings or that he'd be good at wearing them...).
He might have chosen a shepherd's outfit, but he's not going to wear it - and we all know that. I know it. His Dad knows it. His teacher knows it. All his friends know it and he knows it - although he's not admitting to it at the moment. So, even though we all know that this is a total fantasy, I am making the costume. I am even making the headdress. I may even make a shepherd's crook, who knows.
What we do know is that the outcome will be a total repeat of the last nursery play, the one from the lovely Montessori he was at for a few months, where we made a costume and packed it up and he wholly and completely failed to wear it.
In fact, I'm going to post the picture up again, because I'm 100% certain that, barring the age of the children around him, this is the picture I will take at the nativity play next week; Charlie in his normal clothes, sat tearfully on someones lap, mouthing the words to the song while all around him, pixelated children sing loudly and do all the right hand-gestures.
And, I will be delighted; proof that he's still actually quite a little boy... at least for a while.