Thursday, 28 April 2022

Thinking about small children. And birthdays. And cakes.

Today has been a bit on the cold side again. It didn’t stop our smallest grandchild from running around the garden without a coat, doing his best to organise me into the kind of game his 5 year old sister likes to make us play. “Fish and catfish” involves one person giving or denying all the others permission to run towards him or her. Not bad for 21/2!

We still managed to go for a walk in the late morning, this time with coats on. It was not as fine and sunny as yesterday’s stroll by the canal near our eldest granddaughters house but not at all bad! 

This has been a week of birthdays - not over yet! Sunday was our daughter’s birthday. Yesterday was an old friend’s birthday, which we will celebrate by going out to lunch tomorrow as she was busy yesterday and today. Tomorrow is our oldest grandson’s birthday. He will be seventeen and apparently has been heard to mutter that he hopes there will be a cake for him. Everyone else on the family, even his stepfather, has had one of my cakes on their birthday and he does not want to be left put. Quite so! He may have to wait until Saturday or Sunday though!

His small brother, the little organiser mentioned earlier, refuses to accept that tomorrow is his big brother’s birthday. At 21/2 he managed to get his head round Mummy having a birthday last weekend. Even then, having accepted on Saturday that the next day was Mummy’s birthday, when Sunday came around and someone pointed out the significance of the day he growled, “No, Mummy’s birthday is TOMORROW!” So the idea that someone else could have a birthday within such a short time has led to total denial. It’s hard to get your head around things when you’re only small.

In fact, being a small child is quite hard work all round, with people telling you constantly what you can and can’t do. Our small boy does quite well at holding his own in the bossiness stakes though, especially since he has grown more articulate. 

But he way we treat our children continues to be a matter of debate. Wales has just recently banned smacking children and there are calls for England to follow suit. Whether it’s the old stiff-upper-lip thing or something else remains a mystery to me but a surprisingly large number of people seem to think it’s okay to wallop children. 

Even Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi says it’s okay and expressed his belief that parents should be trusted to decide for themselves whether or not to smack their offspring. “I’ve got a nine-year-old, and I don’t think I’ve ever smacked her but I think her mother, on occasion, has felt a need for a light smack on the arm, if she’s completely naughty and misbehaving.” That’s what he said. Interesting that he “doesn’t think” he’s ever smacked her! 

It’s illegal to hit your partner, a friend, your dog but you can still hit a child, only within reason (whatever that means) and so long as it doesn’t cause bruising or leave a mark! So you can show a child that might is right and that it’s perfectly okay to lash out when you are frustrated about something! Oh boy! 

This is how we end up with politicians who can contemplate moves that might lead us into World War III!

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone! 

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