Hail to the toddler! The stumbling, pointing, ga ga gaa-ing, smiling, gibbering, bashing, twirling, dribbling little person that rules our lives. In a good way. Yes they scream and cry. Yes they throw wobblies. Yes – that little mouth will stay clamped tight when you are trying to insert wholesome food into it, and yet dog biscuits and wax crayons cannot be devoured fast enough. But MAN they don’t half make you smile.
I’d had a rubbish nights sleep due to a painful shoulder, was snappy with my poor other half, and was generally, in a foul mood this morning. And it was raining. I grumpily mooched to the kitchen to make the strongest cup of coffee in the world, and grumpily mooched back upstairs. What greets me at the top of the stairs, peeking through the stair gate, is a grinning toddler with a bra draped over her head whilst triumphantly brandashing Dad’s slipper in one hand and a sponge in the other.
So Grace is up then.
She pauses briefly to laugh at me, then wobbles off happily to busy herself about the bedroom whilst we try to have a lie in. I have instantly gone from crotchety old sow to smiling Mum.
Shouldn’t we all try and take a leaf out of a toddlers book? Maybe next time someone is being a miserable git at work (and I wouldn’t have to wait long) I should go running in laughing with a bra on my head, slipper and sponge at the ready? Or maybe I’d have my P45 on the desk the following morning.
This afternoon, we had an appointment with the bank. We sit opposite a rather old-school, formidable looking bank manager who bangs on about APR, variable rates, and variable interest. I sit and try to nod in the right places, wishing I was more au fait with the world of finance whilst mentally composing my shopping list and cussing myself for being such a stereotypical girl. Husband and bank man deeply engrossed in this conversation when the wee one wakes up abruptly from her snooze and demands immediate release from the bastille that is her pushchair. Off she toddles, right around to the other side of the desk and stares up at the strange man talking to Daddy. Strange man gives her a token nod and tries to continue his bank prattle. Grace decides she has a productive contribution to this consultation and loudly babbles her rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. With actions. Mr bank man is caught off guard and he politely listens, eventually giving way to a broad, genuine smile breaking under the grey moustache. This in turn becomes a game of peek-a-boo around his computer monitor. Whilst Grace wildly runs around the office, screaming with delight at her new play mate, husband and I have little choice but to sit and wait untill the two of them have finished.
Now if I had sung twinkle Twinkle Little Star and tried to play peek-a-boo in the bank managers office, I have no doubt that panick buttons would have been subtly pressed or security called. What a colossal shame that we remember so little of our babyhood and toddler-dem. The time when we are happiest with ourselves, when all the world is a play centre, every song and colour is new, every face is friendly, the whole big wide world revolves around you and no-body minds! They dance with no inhibitions and ask questions the brightest academics cannot answer. The trouble with the world if you ask me, is that we have to grow up. We forget what it really is to be a child. As a wise woman once said . . .
“While we try to teach our children all about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about.”