Born That Way

I have a theory. It’s that people go through life in the manner in which they were born.

I’ve come to this theory through exhaustive research. Which means through watching my three kids. Who are, you know, exhausting.

Child Number One arrived a week late and has been running late ever since. His birth was steady and predictable and that’s pretty much how he approaches each day. He gets there when he needs to with a minimum of fuss.

He goes through life like this:



Child Number Two arrived early and quick and has been in a hurry to do everything ever since. He just got up and walked when he was ready, he toilet-trained in one day and we’ve had to put him in a school with a vertical curriculum so he can zoom through the subjects he’s interested in before he gets bored.

He goes through life like this:



Child Number Three. Sigh. Child Number Three took his sweet time arriving. First he was coming, then he wasn’t. Then he was, then he wasn’t. This went on for 29 hours. Then he decided he was coming and arrived in a rush. So how does that translate into his life? He will show all signs of having caught onto something (sleeping through the night, for example) but then some time later decide he hasn’t (driving his parents mad waking several times a night, for example). He’s got it. No, he hasn’t. He’s got it. No, he hasn’t. And then one day, we’ll realise that he got it permanently some time ago when we weren’t looking. This is also the child who one day will get himself up, dressed, breakfasted, make his lunch and be sitting on the couch ready for school by 7.30am. The next morning he’ll get yelled out of bed at 8am and even then he will stand staring into the pantry wondering what to do next.

He goes through life like this:



Me? Yes, well, I’ll admit that writing this post did prompt me to contact my mother and ask about my own birth. Apparently it was pretty straightforward and boring. I was disappointed. I think I was hoping it was a bit radical or at least interesting. However, it turns out that while my birth was uneventful, the pregnancy was memorable. My mother suffered from contractions on and off through most of the pregnancy. That’s definitely me. As a wanderer and Jack of All Trades, I am always looking out for the next new thing, always wondering what lies around the next corner. I can imagine myself, having been in the womb a few months already, thinking “Okay, I’ve done this womb thing. What’s next? I want out. What’s next?” 

I go through life like this:



But, you know, it’s just a theory.


(Final Image – Creative Commons:



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Don’t Wish It Away

Don’t wish it away
Don’t look at it like it’s forever

– I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John

I’m at the sort of middle stage of having children. By the end of this year, my eldest will be old enough to drink, drive and vote (preferably not all at once) and will have finished school while my youngest will be embarking on his high school years and I will have three teenagers in the house.

But while my body and my family clearly indicate that I am well on my way to a half century of life, in my head I’m still in my 20’s and so I have a habit of hanging around with like-minded people.

That means I’m hanging out with those yet to begin any sort of parenting journey and those in the early stages.

Am I ever tempted to say, “Let me tell you….” and dispense my carefully-gathered-over-the-years parenting advice? You bet.

But if recent events (see my previous post) have taught me anything it is that every stage of parenting is hard and every stage is easy (but only in hindsight). And none of us really knows what we’re doing.

When your children are tiny, it’s all about sleep and self-identity. When they are toddlers, it’s about safety and having enough eyes in your head. When they get to school, it’s about friendships (or the lack thereof) and peer pressure. When they’re teenagers, it’s about drugs, alcohol and employment. That’s as far as I’ve got but I’ve no doubt the next stage will have its own challenges and I will think wistfully of the days when my greatest worry was whether they were crying because they had wind or a nappy pin sticking into them.

Don't Wish It Away

But as the great Reggie has said, it’s important not to wish it away because it’s hard. It won’t last forever and you will miss it once it’s gone.

Live for each second
Without hesitation

– I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues, Elton John



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