Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Ages of George

There has been a lot of talk about the 'age of reason' recently and I was wondering when the 'age of naughty' begins – not the capacity to know right from wrong, but the realisation that you're doing something you perhaps shouldn't.

At nearly 10-months-old, I'm often not sure if George knows he's being naughty when he scoots on up to the fridge and turns to give you a little sideways glance before he opens it for the umpteenth time; or when he grabs the cardboard tray on the supermarket shelf and tugs until all the bottles of Johnson's Baby Bath end up on the floor (thank goodness they were plastic); or when he grabs at grandad's glasses or yanks other grandad's beard. At the moment he's getting a bit of leeway until it becomes a little more obvious.

And when is the 'age of Mother's Day' – the age when it's down to George to sort out mummy's gift himself? This last Sunday was the first Mother's Day in our family – a bit of a wait considering I only had to wait about three weeks for my first Father's Day – and in the run-up mummy was certain that daddy, on George's behalf, hadn't done or bought anything. So much so, that on a trip to the supermarket she put her own gift into the trolley (an 'I Love Mummy' mug and an 'I Love My Mum' photo frame). I didn't say a word, so with a bit of a sulk she decided that that was proof enough that I had arranged nothing.

Well... when George was first born, mummy would stay at home while daddy did the shopping and on one particular shopping trip I picked up Melody Gardot's My One and Only Thrill CD as a treat for mummy and George. We used to play it almost every day and still listen to it very regularly. There is a song on it that mummy would sing to George to send him fast asleep. It's called ' If the Stars Were Mine' and the lyrics are beautifully apt for a mother to sing to her baby – it's George's and mummy's special song.

When mummy opened her Mother's Day card out dropped tickets to see Melody Gardot at the Symphony Hall – needless to say, she was a little surprised. And what's more – the concert falls on her birthday weekend – so how's that for killing two birds with one stone? Daddy (and George) were certainly in the good books.

It will be even more special when George reaches the 'age of Mother's Day' and buys or makes a gift himself – in the meantime we've been watching Supernanny – you know, the one where Jo Frost sorts out naughty kids and inept parents – hoping it will give us a clue as to when the 'age of naughty' kicks in, and so that our parenting skills don't slide.

It used to be a programme we avoided like the plague – mainly because we were worried it would put us off trying for a family. Now it's one of the programmes we try to catch every week – both sitting making mental notes; 'oh, we won't do that', and 'we'll have to remember that', etc. As I write, mummy is trying to dress George while he is opening and slamming the bottom drawer that he can just about reach; very soon he'll be in the kitchen dragging the chairs around – and there's only so much of that you can stand... "SUPERNANNY!!"

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