Tuesday, 30 August 2011

He's My Best Friend

MichaelAngelo's Creation on the Sistine Chapel CeilingI noticed something strange about doing stuff with my toddler. Lately I am actually enjoying doing stuff with him, as in: it's no longer a chore or the fulfillment of my parental duties; it is actually fun to do stuff together with him. It feels less and less like duty and more and more like doing stuff together with a friend you care for.
It goes without saying that anything done with a toddler is still a pain. You are limited in the choice of things you can do, you are limited in the scope of what you do, you are limited in the time you can devote to doing anything, you have to allow for the strain of carrying a 15kg+ person in your hands for significant periods, you have to allow for unexpected toilet related demands, you have to allow for sudden and unexplained changes of heart... In short, you can't enjoy anything the way you used to back in those prehistoric days. You know, the days before you had children.
That, however, does not mean you cannot enjoy yourself. Just the other week I went for a drive with my son to get a certain car charger. Following a successful mission, we spent time together at this huge toy shop (I'm proud to say we went in and out without any toys being purchased and with my son totally happy with that), and then we spent some time together stuck in traffic. Yet because we are good friends it was all fun - even the traffic jam. My son was intrigued by its causes, we were discussing things we saw on the way, and he even held a few green lights for me using his great mental abilities (long enough for me to cross).
It seems as if a certain threshold I was looking forward to since my son was born has been crossed. I am no longer the caretaker of a baby; I am the caretaker and the friend of a boy. We're no longer doing stuff for the baby; we are doing stuff with the boy. The difference is huge.

Image by welshmackem, Creative Commons license


Sarah said...

I can the see that difference between my two as well. I can take Mr 4 to the shops and not be in that crazy mode of having to watch every second that he isn't about to run on the road or open random packets at the supermarket and actually sit down for a hot chocolate without having to put maximum energy into keeping him on the chair. The discussions we have are hilarious too. It's not all perfect as we have a lot of outbursts of frustrations and the whole sibling rivalry thing to work through but I can see the change too. I am looking forward to when the littlest one gets here too as hopefully it will feel more like my old life with the reduction of the intensity of caring involved. However everyone still likes to say just wait until they are teenagers then you will know you're alive. Um no thanks!

And just a side point I think technically your son is a pre-schooler now rather than a toddler. A toddler refers to a child under the age of 3.

wile.e.coyote said...

And I thought that your best friend is owl

Uri said...

Wile, you thought this post was about me right?

sic transit gloria mundi.

At least he didn't call me Snork this time.