Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Baby I Love The Most

My older sister has a son...he's delightful. We used to be quite a cynical group of mares (my sisters and me) and then my older sister had this little chap. I must stress, it wasn't a solo effort, she married a bloke and I think he helped a bit but I'm hazy on the details.

Now we have this child in our midst. And we're not entirely sure whether he is as great as we think he is or if we've turned into those awful people who dote and fool and fawn (yes eagle eyes that was a quote from Ursula of Little Mermaid fame) on a child that is pretty average but too close to us for us to see the bigger picture.

Frankly, if there is a bigger picture - I don't want to see it. At the moment the picture involves our hero who, at the age of about 19 months, can -

* Count to three,
* Point out animals and do their sounds,
* Tell you the colour of things,
* Dance like MJ
* Tell you he loves you, tell the dog she's a good girl, tell you when he's pooed. Incidentally, what's more amusing is when he lies about having pooed so you'll check. Child's a genius.

These are just a selection of his glorious attributed. Of course, he has some weird things but then who doesn't? He freaks out about bubbles, he doesn't like mushrooms and he will throw the most almighty tantrum if he doesn't get his own way. But then so do I. And he only has to say my name afterwards and all is forgiven. When you have only a limited repertoire, it seems like learning a few choice names is like having a 'get out of jinx' ability no matter what you've done.

Children can be really great at putting things into perspective. Granted, not when you've only had 2 hours sleep because the damn thing was putting lego up your nose and screaming, but usually they can be a pretty good device for simplifying things.

Could you honestly look at the little pot belly of a baby in the bath and not realise that a body is a body and calories don't matter?
Can you seriously watch a baby pissing himself laughing at making fart noises and saying poo and stick to your guns that only political comedy is funny?
Could you seriously say that the art in the Tate is better than the spittle covered "bonfire" finger painting you've just been presented with? Isn't all art subjective? (Ok, so that last point is ridiculous - as is most of the art in the Tate. But you get my point right?)

It worries me a little than I really like this kid and I can't really see a better one being produced this side of the next millenium. It either means I don't bother with my own or we just all accept from the start that I'm probably not going to like them as much as I should and we're all ok with that.

If you really think about it, it's actually a very economical way of reproducing - for one sibling to have a child and then all the others to dote on that one. It's less food, less money, less clothing, less pollution and a whole heap less emotional aggro when they reach 14. Perhaps we should start some kind of cult where lots of nervous adults just help out raising someone else's kid because it's less daunting than attempting to make a whole one yourself.

The problem with children is that they're permanent...once you've got that little seed inside you, there's no way of getting out of it until you're in a lot of pain and facing at least 18 years of ungrateful payments for stuff. I have trouble committing to one jumper for an entire day or for a TV programme beyond the first ad break. How on earth do you reconcile yourself to the fact that this child is now your sidekick for good? Batman could have told Robin things weren't working out - with offspring, you're scuppered. And, I know you're supposed to have all those maternal instincts which just mean you adore the child because genetically it's just like you, but I annoy the crap out of myself! I don't want a physical version of me wandering around to be more annoying than the voices in my head!

At best my child is going to be energetic, small, witty and determined to succeed. Much like an ADHD Mark Zuckerberg. At worst it's going to be dismally self-involved with a tendency to over analyse and a passion for wine...Dylan Moran in Black Books. Fantastic. Perhaps I'll have twins and they can deal with each other?

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