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Tuesday, 1 August 2006

getting better with age


I was never really one for enjoying other people's toddlers. They seemed to demand every ounce of energy and attention from their exhausted parents, they kind of smelled a bit funny, and had a perpetual trail of drool hanging from their chins. A typical conversation with a toddler parent went something like this:
Me: "So anyway, there was this really interesting show on TV last night and..."
Parent: "JIMMY! GET THAT REMOTE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH AND STOP TRYING TO SHAVE THE CAT!"
Me: "Um...so, I was watching this show..." [toddler wedges himself into the 6 inches of space between myself and his mother and starts making high-pitched dolphin noises.]
Me: "...and..." [toddler announces that he has done a poo] "...it was really interesting..." [toddler plunges hands into nappy and produces evidence of said poo; mother whisks toddler away]
Me: "Oh. Maybe I'll tell you later."

So really, the whole toddler thing never really appealed to me that much. When couples want to get pregnant, no one says "We really want to have a toddler"; they visualise little bundles of newborn cuteness. I was certain that once Jack became a toddler, everything would get incredibly difficult and I'd spend my days stopping him from showing everyone his willy when we went grocery shopping. When toddlerdom arrived, I barely even noticed. A friend of mine referred to Jack as a toddler when he was around 1, and I was surprised. "Well, he toddles now, doesn't he?", and sure enough, it was true. In fact, Jack gets more fun and hilarious by the day and in a lot of ways, life has become easier. He's happy to entertain himself and also provides hours of entertainment for Paul and I. Seriously, I could sit and watch him all day long with a big bowl of popcorn.

And the funny thing is, I now quite like other people's toddlers. I am the only mother at our nursery who speaks to the other children and I genuinely think some of them are very cute (the kid with the giant head still freaks me out a bit, I do admit). I love my friends' toddlers and it makes me smile to no end when they play with Jack. Toddlers are a-okay in my book now.

So now I'm having similar concerns about older children. I know 7-year-old kids who asked for mobile phones for Christmas and say things like "Am I bovvered?" Oh, I dread to think of what's to come a few years from now. I imagine though, that no matter how old your kid gets, you will always think they are at a great age.

I'm living in denial about the teenage years, so please don't burst my bubble.

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