Sunday, 5 April 2015

On Putting Away Childish Things...

Youngest child The Boy turned nine years old this weekend. That halfway age when he's not a small child anymore but not yet big enough to be a terrible tween either.

He no longer needs constant supervision; he can read all the words and the numbers, he can tell the time and tie his shoes. He can walk and run, ride a bike and swim a mile. He can run his own bath and wash his own hair and, though you'd never think it, brush his own teeth.

He knows left from right and up from down and back from front and, on a good day, right from wrong .

And I'm like a redundant holiday camp entertainer, because he doesn't need me to keep him entertained either.

He can make his own entertainment whether it be from Lego or Meccano or Hornby. Or the combined cast of all six Star Wars movies recreated in inch high plastic, Or bits of Dr Who. Or three pieces of wood and a piece of string. Or fresh air and a friend.

He is, as the saying goes, beginning to put away childish things. Me though? Not so much.

Standing at the traffic crossing of a completely empty road waiting for the green man to show? I do that. Once upon a time I was setting a good example, now I just look like someone incapable of independent thought and action.

Grabbing the hand of random strangers in supermarkets? I've done that. And wilted with embarrassment under the puzzled (or worryingly interested) gaze of said random stranger while frantically looking around for The Boy. He's either on the store display iPads or, even worse, still at school.

Standing alone at the side of the road waving like a loon at the passing fire engine? Of course I do that ... because, well, some habits are just too hard to break.

I'm trying to give it up though after the awkward realisation that I'm no longer a mother fanning the flames of a small child's Fireman Sam obsession and must, to passers by, look alarmingly like a desperate woman with an uncontrollable uniform fetish.


So if you happen to be a fireman or a policeman or a postman called Pat, please forgive me. I'm not mad, really I'm not, I'm just a mother who hasn't got used to growing up.

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