One of the benefits of having kids is that it becomes totally legit to act like a kid. You can go down the slippery dips (otherwise termed “slides”), get on the swings, indulge in children’s books, build whole cities with Lego (and suffer at night when you inevitably step on a piece that attempted to elope), nap in the afternoons, animate stuffed toys with all manner of characteristics, watch cartoons, play ball and sing silly songs at daunting decibels- to name just a few of our indulgences. With two boys under two and with an ardent fascination for making toys talk and playing silly games, hubby and I are indulging in this phase. I’m so used to being on kid control that I’ve been unable to switch it off sans les enfants. I’m the woman in the grocery aisle, picking tomatoes while singing Wheels on the Bus which song has pierced my sentiment as if it were a song indoctrinating me to interpellate the word in the service of some supreme dictator (in this instance public transport, not a bad beast to raise a banner for). Understandably this has been received by the general public at best with bemusement at worst with avid concern for what must be viewed as the shatter of my sanity. This dichotomy of reception usually follows the parental divide. People with kids (or rather people around kids, running on the same kid control) don’t even tilt an eyebrow in response as I continue to sway my hips during a conversation without a baby in my arms as if I am incessantly training for a hula hoop competition or rock a stroller whose occupant has long departed as if I adopted an orphaned ghost. For those that do not spend much time with toddlers and babes and don’t have the Alphabet Song reigning 24-7 in their head and hips and arms locked into the automatic movements of rocking a baby to sleep, it must seem as if the parent is one step away from compulsory commitment. To some extent, particularly when we account for the continual lack of sleep and the tightrope of walking the “work/life balance”, they are probably right... but what a beautiful madness it is.
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