When our kids are babies and unable to do anything for themselves, we look forward to those major milestones with more than a passing interest, and then wish when they finally do crawl that they were still immobile so great disaster can once more be averted.
Then they progress and we clap and smile at their achievements, and then they break something else.
And so it continues, in my case to just under five years of age, although I know things will continue to add to my consternation as a doting, but sometimes frustrated parent into the tweens, teens, boyfriends and peer pressure that leads to smoking, drinking and boys. And boys.....
While I am not sure of the peer pressure a four year old faces at preschool, Julia is certainly well aware of fashion.
“I don't like ugly clothes,” she said the other day when we were fighting about dressing (although she does dress herself mostly). “You must throw away all the boy clothes.”
What about the Haka shirt? I asked of the All Black T-shirt I got her in New Zealand. “No, only if I go to rugby!” What about this one with 'Just Nuisance' that granny bought you in Cape Town? “No, only if I go to a dog show.” Or this one from Australia with koala bears on it? “No, I'll only wear it if I see koala bears..”
And so the argument continues.
And the questions! Oh man, I have to explain everything.
“Daddy, do only rich people have tattoos? Are you rich daddy?” I replied that, in some ways I am, I'm all the richer for having you and Mia as my little girls. “Oh, are all people who have kids rich?”
Um no, you kids make us poor, but then I'm going to have to explain irony to you and that will have to wait until you're five!
Talking of riches, the other day, my wife SMS'd me to say Baby City were having a special on pampers nappies. I SMSd back to say that they were cheaper at Dischem. I said that I follow the prices of Pampers like Warren Buffet (the world's richest investor) tracks share prices on the stock exchange (R139 as opposed to R159. Dischem won hands down).
Along with dress sense, there is a huge social class system going down that I only recently became aware of.
We were in the waiting room at the doctor when Julia picked up a piece of paper and there were scribbles all over it. “Oh, that child must be 2 because he only scribbles.”
Apparently there are a few boys in her class who scribble and are very much looked down upon. Apparently there is quite a correlation between drawing inside the lines and general success at 4 years old.
“Tatum can actually ride a bike because she doesn't scribble.”
I think one day she is destined to be a great researcher. That or a politician.
Michael Marnewick is the author of the soon-to-be published (November 2010) sports book: "Quest for Glory: Successes in South African Sport" which examines sporting success through the eyes of sporting personalities. Various themes are covered, and input, anecdotes and sage advice from a number of sports’ stars enlighten and entertain the reader. The foreword is delivered by Springbok and Sharks captain John Smit.
MomsMatter will be giving away a signed copy when the book is launched in November 2010. This will make a wonderful Christmas gift idea for anyone even remotely interested in sport!