I’m sure that if you asked her, Mrs L. would not say that I was always the happy-go-lucky, fun filled father I like to think of myself as. She would probably say that I am prone to quite spectacular mood swings, which usually follow sleepless nights, and that I can quite often wake up like a bear with a sore head. I take some comfort from the fact that I don’t seem to be alone in this, having discussed it in some length with a few of my work colleagues. Whilst at heart I believe I am a glass half full kind of a guy, over recent years I have become far more cynical and am becoming one of England’s greatest contributions to the world; a grumpy old man.
It is therefore, very refreshing for the rest of the family, to have someone around like my eldest son. To say that he has a sunny disposition would be a gross understatement. He is almost always smiling or laughing, and this is a kid, who by rights should be embracing the terrible two with both hands. Don’t get me wrong, he does have the occasional melt down, but as you will see in a coming post, this almost always coincides with meal times. He wakes up smiling, and goes to bed in the same frame of mind and I have even heard him giggling in his sleep.
At the weekend, we were all eager to get out and so we went to a big local park. We took some stale bread along with us, so that we could feed the ducks and geese, and I hoped that we might see some of the fish which inhabit the lake. From the first moment I gave him some of the torn up loaf, he was laughing. Perhaps it was the texture of the bread in his hand, of maybe it was throwing crumbs into the water, or even the flock of birds around him, but whatever it was, Boy-Boy was having the time of his life. He got really excited when he saw a “snake” (eel) in the water and tried to give them a bit of his bread. Later on, as we continued walking around the lake, we noticed a couple, feeding something in the water. Not being able to resist being nosey, I asked them what was taking their food. At that precise moment, a catfish popped up and grabbed a mouthful of bread. I was so surprised that I may have screamed just a little (fortunately, I had the presence of mind to disguise it as a cough). The kids were also really excited, and Fraboo asked if she could help them to feed the fish. Amidst much shrieking she managed to pop a morsel of bread into a fish’s mouth. Boy-Boy, meanwhile, had to be restrained from getting into the water to pat the fishes. He commandeered a slice of bread, and whenever one of the catfish came close to him he started to laugh almost manically. The laughing became uncontrollable when the fish took a little bit of his bread, and his joy was utterly infectious.
Up until then, I had been having one of my grumpy mornings, but listening to those peals of laughter was just the thing I needed to pick me up, and it wasn’t long before I too, was sniggering to myself in anticipation of the next aquatic appearance. Who would have thought that something so ordinary, as feeding some ducks and fish would provide so much happiness? It was so refreshing, not only to be amused by such a simple activity, but also to be able to laugh without any concern about how others might see us.
Whilst trawling the internet a few weeks ago I came across a quote from a guy called Paul Jensen.
He said “I was walking with my four year old son today when we found a rubber bouncy ball, the kind you get from a vending machine for 25 cents. When I told my son that he could keep the ball, he looked up at me and excitedly said, “This is the best day EVER!” And at that moment I hated everything about being an adult.”
Don’t get me wrong. It is great to be an adult, but don’t we all wish for a few hours where we have no responsibilities, or we can run around in the garden? Naked? Well maybe that’s just me then. Wouldn’t it be lovely just to not care for a couple of minutes. In those precious moments with Boy-Boy, I was able to have that, and it was such a rare privilege, something I will carry around with me for quite some time. I’m intrigued to know if we’ve just been incredibly lucky with this little man or if your almost three year old(s) have been similarly sanguine?
Anyway, I’d better go; Mrs L. has just bought me my slippers and the news is on. I’m sure that the government is talking about yet another idiotic policy and if not I’m sure I can find something else complain about!