I was chatting to a mummy acquaintance of mine recently (as in, she’s also a parent, not as in King Tut) and she was telling me that she’s really not a ‘get on the floor and play’ kinda parent. She said she finds it boring.
For a moment, I felt a bit sad for her daughter, but then I realised that my sadness wasn’t actually for her kid, but for her. I was feeling bummed for her inner child.
One of the biggest things I’ve discovered since having someone less mature than me in the house (well, to be fair, first came Mister H, who’s sometime moniker is Captain Sensible Pants but mostly he’s as silly, if not more, so than my fair self, but I’m referring to the small man who looks like me) is that there is a lot of wonder, and simple fun to be had in the world if you’re prepared to take a moment to look properly. Or maybe it’s not looking properly. Maybe that’s what grown ups do and we need to unlearn that.
Take Matchbox cars, for example. I can easily say that until 2 years ago, my knowledge of the Matchbox car was fairly limited. Now, after a crash course, I’ve discovered that Matchbox drag races in the hallway are not just a way to kill time, but kind of exciting. Did you know, that under the right track conditions and optimum wrist action the 1971 Pontiac Firebird (metallic pale blue – because that DOES matter) can actually get ‘air’ over the lip between and hall and the lounge? I kid you not, that puppy pops a Dukes of Hazard, lands on it’s roof and gets a round of applause. No red necks were injured.
I’ve also recently (read : today…..it’s been a long rainy day here in Sydney) had an epiphany with my control freak. My every instinct is to keep the Play Doh colours separate. I do pull more than one out at once but I try like hell to keep them polarised as much as possible. Today, however, we threw caution to the wind…..yep, it looks like shit, and yep, it’ll end up one brown mass, but man it was liberating to smoosh all of that doughy playey Play Doh together and not care.
I’ve been looking at stuff through the eyes of a two year old boy and I’ve discovered there is so much cool stuff at every turn. Stuff that I didn’t see anymore, or if I did notice it, I didn’t see it with a sense of wonderment, it was just stuff, or hell, maybe even an annoyance (NOT NUMBER 12). I thought I’d jot down a quick list that maybe you can pop in the back of your mind in case anything cool comes your way and you might miss it.
- Fire engines, with lights and sirens blaring. Tres cool
- Water bubblers. Once you get over the fact that you’ll very probably need to strip him and take him home in nought but a nappy.
- Police horses. Technically, mounted police but that makes me giggle because I’m a juvenile.
- Swings. The higher, the cooler.
- Garbage trucks. One with the man at the back is quite cool, but the ones with the automated arm is extra cool. Robotically cool.
- Fruit juice icy poles in the back yard under a tree. Cooling, and cool. Double cool.
- Trains are cool. In fact, most large auto motives – so, buses, trucks, tractors, cement mixers – they all have a little cool spot on the cool chart.
- Little lizards in the garden. Cool blooded too.
- Pants off at the beach. Cool breeze on your bits is very cool. Not really for anyone over four. You can try, don’t hold me responsible for consequences.
- Feeding birds. Even skanky pidgeons or demanding seagulls are really cool when you’re giving them food.
- Driving under the runway as a plane goes over the M5. Needs no explanation. ‘Wow, Mamaaaaa’.
- Daddy coming home from work. Possibly the coolest thing of all.