It is the last week of term. As I walk along the familiar route to school with my six-year-old's hand in mine, it hits me that this is the last week we will share our one-to-one chats on the school run. For two years he and I have walked the pavements between our house and his classroom sharing our views on matters as diverse as what happens after you die, is there really a God and which is our favourite alien in Ben 10.
This type of quality time is rare in a family as overcrowded as ours and we have both savoured our mother son bonding walks. I would like to say that they need not end when the four-year-old joins us, but he is not one for such erudite discussion. Instead I imagine our walks will be punctuated with much bickering, the odd crying fit and me yelling at him to hurry up as he holds the world record for dawdling.
This makes it sound as if I don't enjoy the company of my middle boy, and this is far from the case. On his own he is a delightful companion, he will chatter away about this, that and the other. His mind is not troubled by such philosophical issues as his big brother, but he is a great conversationalist with a refreshing take on the world. He is also very complimentary, which always goes down well with the ladies, especially his mother.
The problem is when you combine the two boys, it will often result in a rather disorderly and volatile compound. They are masters at winding each other up and competing for parental attention. Not the recipe for a pleasant school run. Perhaps it is time to give daddy a turn at walking the boys to school, while I stay behind and tackle the slightly less challenging task of preventing the twins from battering each other too severely over the latest toy dispute.