The nerdphew is getting a baby sister for Christmas and his parents were attending an all-day baby class on Saturday, so I offered to wrangle Short Stuff for the day.
It was mostly fine, V and I have been good buds for almost four years now. I found the best way to cheer him up in the morning when he was asking for his parents was to take him to a park underneath the Sydney Airport flight path so he could swing and watch planes, as well as mercilessly mocking his whispered, “I want my mum and dad”. Whispering back, “What? Who do you want? Mum and Dad? Oh well, too bad. Oh no, life is terrible!” soon had him laughing and ordering me around the playground like some kind of hired entertainer. Quick Julia! Come here and steer the spaceship to another planet! No Julia, get off my spaceship! Push my higher, Julia! Why are you too big for the slides, Julia?
*narrows eyes* Trolled by an almost four-year-old.
Afterwards we went to B’s place, which as it turns out, works well as a bachelor pad and a toddler day care! Strange that. We ate giant pancakes and played with trains and watched videos of planes taking off. Four-year-olds and 30-something-year-olds have very similar interests.
After some time at the park shooting hoops and racing around on a flying fox, we thought V might like a swim, but the week before he had an accident with a door, a toenail and a tantrum and so was very precious about getting his foot wet and even more precious about getting his tender, pale baby skin in the sun, so B constructed him a sun hut, in which he could sit and order us around:
Look at that face. That’s a face that knows it can get exactly what it wants, when it wants it.
B had to leave and hang out with people his own age, so V and I settled in to watch a Thomas the Tank Engine movie staring Alec Baldwin and eat the chippies B cooked for us. I have similar interests to a four-year-old in that regard.
All too soon it was time to pick Mary and Drew up, which I thought would be incentive enough for V to make yet another pleasant car ride with me, listening to Playschool. Instead he decided to be a right Mucklebird (Mucklebird!) and undo his seatbelt while we were driving, constantly howl about how far away his parents were and at one heartbreaking stage, scrunch his nose up and fold his arms and tell me we were no longer friends. “I never even wanted to be your friend! I’m so telling your mum on you anyway, so shut up!” I yelled, before bursting into tears and handing him the wheel.
After handing him back to those who spawned him, we all gathered to have some dinner, during which V displayed no interest in eating, yet immediately after which I found him outside trying to eat a bowl of lamb … printed on a poster:
What a Chucklebird!
So would I do it again? Sure … in about 8 years when my energy levels have recovered!