An awful lot is happening here at team fun HQ. So much in fact, that I am beginning to feel really quite ancient. This isn’t helped by the fact that over the coming week, Fraboo is going to celebrate her sixth birthday. As most six year olds do, she is having a little party with some of the girls from her class, and I am now quietly writing this in a snatched moment before I have to get back to blowing up balloons, putting decorations up on the wall or testing the latest batch of cup cakes. Mrs L. and I are keenly aware that this could well be the last birthday when our little girl is our little girl, and so we are eager for this celebration to include all of her favourite characters. Perhaps 6 is too old to be having fairy princesses and a certain little piggy as central themes, but then this is coming from the man, who had to be sat down at the tender age of 15 and have the myth of Santa Claus explained to him. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with encouraging children to stay as children, and this is one of the many reasons we choose to stay in New Zealand. If my observations are anything to go by, kids aren’t encouraged by the media to grow up prematurely here, as they seem to be in so many other countries. Or perhaps I’m being naive (it certainly wouldn’t be the first time).
This isn’t the only milestone we have recently crossed. Over the past few months Boy-Boy, after quite considerable protest, has finally mastered using the toilet. As with so many of Boy-Boy’s significant steps forward, this was a bit of a battle, but now, after several weeks of coaxing, bribing and at times begging, he has finally got the hang of it. Mrs L.’s influence is evident whenever he goes, as he is a considerably better shot than his father and he looks in dismay (and pity) when he watches me give him a master class. Seeing the steps which she has taken to achieve success with Boy-Boy though, I can see where my parents went wrong. If I had been offered as many marshmallows as he has had, I think I would probably hit the bulls-eye every time too.
This week, we have also seen Jojo begin to move forward! That’s right, he has just started crawling. This is obviously very exciting, although tinged (for me at least), with a certain sense of sadness. You see, Mrs L. is maintaining that this will be the last of our babies, so after him there will be no more first steps, or first words, first days at school or (hopefully) first nights of sleeping all the way through. Yes we are still waiting!
As a kid you live in peculiar area on the space time continuum. Events which you are eagerly anticipating, approach at glacial speeds, yet when they do arrive they are over so quickly that you wonder whether they’d happened at all. I can clearly remember waiting for Christmas and my Birthday. Due to poor planning on my parent’s part, they are only a week apart, but they were always both done and dusted incredibly quickly. Likewise,whilst the school holidays seemed to take forever to arrive, even the summer break, a six week stretch which must have seemed like purgatory for my poor Mum, vanished in the blink of an eye.
Conversely school terms, which my parents assured me only lasted for ten or twelve weeks with a seven day break in the middle, stretched into infinity. There were however four regularly occurring occasions which offered even greater “value” on the actual time vs perceived time ratio. These were (in no particular order):
- Sitting an exam when you had no idea of the answer (which for me was frequently).
- Being in the back of the car next to a random (and usually smelly, and often mad) old lady my Mum had taken pity on who insisted on telling me her life story.
- Waiting for my parents to finish discussing my school reports which ranged from downright diabolical to having delusions of mediocrity.
- Listening to a particularly boring sermon on a lovely summers Sunday.
There is a point in your life though when you notice that everything rushes by at the speed of light. There is no (im)patient waiting for holidays or anniversaries. Rather like knowing when you should stop drinking (before your last drink), you only realise this, once that time has arrived. The idea of being forty, aside from filling me with dread, seems utterly bizarre to me. I can’t really be that age, and although I am not yet, this is only a couple of years away for me. Still, I have friends who wish that they were 40. Sadly, they are already 41 or older, but when I ask them they would be as clueless as I am about where all that precious time has gone.
So in the meantime, I shall just enjoy all of the little milestones my family achieve, (and the ones I achieve myself). I ought to go and change Jojo’s nappy now though, as he has reached another significant event in his young life. He is now eating solids. Now where did I put the air freshener?