Future moments

Childhood is a time when obliviousness is allowed and cherished. Our boys don’t know anything about politics and religion, don’t understand about gender, have no interest that they have a giant bogey hanging off the end of their nose. Consequences are looked at as things to be avoided or skipped over a fast as possible, but only because they’d rather spend their time eating carpet fluff or wrestling each other. They (generally) have no ulterior motives. Nine times out of ten, Noah will do something wrong and in the end I’ll end up comforting him.

I love the stage they’re both at right now.

But I can’t help looking to the future with some excitement and a great big dollop of apprehension, too. Because as you get older (if I remember correctly from my childhood) you learn how to evade, or at least try to evade, consequences for your actions. In other words, you learn how to lie. Of course, Noah does tell the odd porky here & there already (he says he’s eaten his toast, but he’s really given it to Babu; he says he needs a wee but he really just wants to climb the stairs), something he’s learnt to do because he wants to escape time outs and get sweeties.

I had a friend who loved animals. Let’s call her Claire for her own protection. She had dogs, rabbits, ferrets, cats – you name it, she had it. Her favourite when she was a little girl was her hamsters. Small and furry, they were the perfect pets for little hands.

For her birthday one year, her parents got her a new hamster. She was beautiful and fluffy and had the sweetest disposition (the hamster, not the girl.) Around a week after Claire got the hamster (we’ll call her Crumble for her own protection) Claire took Crumble out of her cage and sat on the sofa with her to play. Her sister joined her and after a while they decided to watch a movie. Their parents were still in bed. It took a while, but Claire suddenly realised that Crumble was nowhere to be found. They looked around in panic, then after a few minutes they lifted the cushion Claire had been sitting on (I’m sure you can see there this is going …) There they found poor little Crumble, seemingly asleep, but not really. Movement was heard upstairs and quickly the two shocked sisters hatched a plan – Crumble went back in her cage, the girls went back to their movie (silently heartsick) and when their parents emerged and found a ‘hibernating’ Crumble in her cage the girls denied all knowledge of the incident. A new hamster was gifted, disaster was averted (well, expect for poor Crumble) and they went on with their lives. Claire (and her sister) had left their state of innocence and had manipulated the situation to suit them. (Can you imagine the worry involved in having to tell your parents you’d accidentally suffocated your hamster? Yikes.)

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m planning on enjoying this blissful, blameless confusion for as long as possible, because it’s after this that the real trouble – I mean fun – begins.

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