I have as yet, no children. I am however a godparent to four and the majority of my friends have at least one.
I have as yet, no children. I am however a godparent to four and the majority of my friends have at least one. I can therefore enter the weird, wonderful and completely non sensical world of kids and leave at my leisure, whilst retaining some kind of neutral, non parent objectivity. Here then, are some important life lessons I have learnt from children:
- It’s more fun to colour outside the lines. Kids have got this bang on right. In fact, why the lines themselves even exist in the first place is beyond me. Of course it’s more fun. Lines are dark, straight, boring and restrictive which is the virtual opposite of what kids are. Kids must think we’re crazy: why direct them to stay within the lines for years, and then suddenly start telling them to think “outside the box?”
- Ask “why” until you understand. Example: “Uncle Paris, why is the sun so yellow?...Because it’s very hot….Why is it hot?....Because it’s got hot bits of space in it….Why has it got hot bits of space in it?....Let’s do some more colouring.”
- Make up the rules as you go along. I have no idea when I’m “It” or not. I just do what I’m told and pretend to feel no pain when I’m being used as a human trampoline.
- If you want a kitten, start out asking for a horse. Keep asking until Mum has aged by ten years and wants to give you up for adoption, then she’ll cut a deal for the cat thinking she’s won. I have seen this in action and it’s pure kid genius: one of the greatest tactical negotiating techniques in history - ask for more, and you’ll get what you actually want.
- There is no good reason why clothes have to match.
- There are any number of reasons why a kid might freak out so there’s no point trying to second guess them. Here are some I’ve witnessed. The car seat is weird. The yoghurt won’t stay on the spoon. Everything’s too hot. He suddenly wants the red balloon from 4 months ago. She’s not allowed in the washing machine. Everything’s too cold. The shoe should fit either foot. She looked at me funny. She didn’t look at me.
- Kids have re-written property laws. If I like it, it’s mine. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine. If I see it first, it’s mine. (Aren’t these the fundamentals of capitalism...?) However,
- If it’s broken, it’s yours.