If you follow my Facebook page, you’ll know that I’ve had a pretty trying couple of days (in short, 4 hours in the car just to get to and from work, in the middle of that a clingy sobbing son and at the end of that two effing jeffing parking tickets.) To try and counter the pure rage that the two parking tickets created in me, I’ve decided to write about why kids are great. Sure, they can be bloody awful – they piss and shit all over the shop, they refuse to do at least 80% of what they’re asked to and if you’ve got more than one, chances are you spend most of your day refereeing seven bazillion fights about the most ridiculous things*. But they’re pretty great too, and of course, deep down – sometimes really, really deep down – we all know this; how else would the little turds survive?
Reason 1: They are fearless. Where we see danger, they see fun. Whether it’s scaling a cliff face at the beach, or jumping out of a tree from a ludicrous height or wading determinedly out into the sea, kids just see the opportunity that lies ahead of them. For us, the powerless parent on the sideline, it’s pretty nerve-wracking and I am the first to shriek hysterically if my two get too close to unbarriered water, but what a brilliant way to view the world. When you’re little, everything is an opportunity and nothing is a risk.
Reason 2: They are endlessly entertained by the simplest of things. Z’s favourite game at the moment is making a ball of screwed up foil ‘disappear’.** Other joys my two have recently been entertained for hours by are buckets of shells, buckets of sticks, buckets of leaves, buckets of anything, cutting the grass with scissors, folding loo roll into squares and dancing over and over to the Paw Patrol theme tune. I love that they can see potential in most things to somehow be a fun game.
Reason 3: They have awesome imaginations. My two can tell a tale or two. Sometimes, those tales are true: “Mummy said bollocks earlier. What are bollocks?” More often than not though, their tales are fantastical voyages, full of twists and turns. “Mummy there was a monster in the bedroom and he was really really enormous and he had a very very big nose and he was cross and he said that he was going to eat up all the toys but it is ok mummy because we did smash him up.” OK, I’m not a fan of the slightly too graphic “smash him up” (and nor do I know where it came from – the bollocks was definitely me, but I’m not guilty of the smash him up!), but how wonderful that going into your bedroom to get your shoes turns into a brave fight with a monster.
Reason 4: They are useful. So the first couple of years they’re not that useful, but once you’ve survived that, they can totally do stuff for you. Mine are only 3, but they help me out. If I’m on the sofa and I can’t reach the remote, they’ll get it for me. I’ve also taught them how to get the biscuit tin from the side in the kitchen and bring it to mummy (everyone’s a winner with that skill!) They’re still a bit too young to pour me my gin and tonic or run up to the shops for me, but that will come in time. If you’ve got kids, you’ve got an extra pair (or two) of hands.
Reason 5: They have no shame. My two are entirely happy to bare their arses to all and sundry. Now granted, that’s often not appropriate or convenient, but underlying that is that they are not embarrassed by their bodies, they don’t think their body should look a certain way, they don’t think it isn’t quite right here or there; it’s just their arse and arses are funny so why not flash it at a passer-by?
Reason 6: They are so affectionate. I know they grow out of this but my two are still cuddly as can be. Often it’s a sort of hybrid cuddle/wrestling manoeuvre but it’s definitely affectionate. Every night before bedtime, we sit on the sofa and watch an episode of whatever shit is their favourite programme at the moment*** and they snuggle up either side of me. Z likes to go under my arm and pulls my arm as tight as he can round his chubalub waist and D likes to put her arm around me and stroke my hair. It’s just magic and I love it.
Reason 7: They know when to get their shit together. I was on the brink this morning, after parking ticket number two. I started crying and then couldn’t stop. I was in the kitchen, trying to get myself together when D walked in. While I’d been bawling about the ticket, my diva daughter – who often does not do as she’s asked and who can be a right royal pain in the arse – had gone and got her own clothes, taken her pjs off and put all of her clothes on herself, including her shoes. She’d got her knickers on sideways, so the gusset was on her hip, she’d chosen an outfit that made her look totally batshit and her shoes were on the wrong feet, but bless her little heart. What an absolute little champ. She totally pulled me back from the brink – I told her I was ever so proud she’d got dressed all by herself and she was so chuffed and we had a little cuddle. It went from being a really miserable moment to a really lovely one.
The world might be full of twattish traffic wardens, and unending traffic jams and the bollocks of everyday life, and some days are unbearably hard, but these little dudes, when the chips are down, they’ve got our backs. When they do the things that drive us in-fucking-sane, they don’t mean to do them to wind us up; when they do the things that make us melt a little bit inside though, they do mean to make us happy. And what could be greater than that?
*”He is talking, I don’t like him talking,” “She is looking at me,” “He has taken my necklace,” “She has touched my foot.” – Oh it goes on and on and on and on until your ears are bleeding from listening to it.
** He blows on it then puts it in his other hand and looks astonished. It is fucking hilarious. He’s a shit magician my son, but man he’s funny!
***Ben & Holly right now – weird shit but Nanny Plum is fucking brilliant.