Children and adults in role reversal this Christmas

Hey Shoe!
Hey Shoe!

On Saturday night in the Seagoe hotel I sung ‘Hey Jude’ into a high heel shoe belonging to one of my work colleagues.

I’m not denying I was under the influence of alcohol - it was the work Christmas party and the mood was one of exuberance, but what I will say is this sort of behaviour isn’t out of character for me, sober or otherwise.

I’ve always had a childish streak about me and now that I’ve got a couple of kids of my own I’ve the perfect excuse to roll back the years. I take great pleasure in making my children giggle, which often means resorting to acting the silly billy.

Occasionally I’m told by people to ‘grow up’ and ‘act my age’ which serves only to make me behave more childishly. I don’t plan on changing any time soon.

My life is one big tribute to my childhood. I had a memorable upbringing and hope that my children will also look back fondly on their formative years. An important lesson I’ll be trying to instill in Lucy and Ben is to never take themselves too seriously.

I love seeing grown ups behaving like children.

That’s why the Christmas do in the Seagoe was such a success.

It was refreshing to watch the people I see in work day and daily, shedding their inhibitions and letting their hair down (some, including myself, only in the metaphorical sense). Childlike instincts came to the fore, with adults dancing like no one was watching and singing without knowing the words. By the end of the night, some of the grown ups were making as much sense as my eight-month-old son Ben and it’s fair to say the majority of the party animals slept like babies that same evening.

What I don’t like seeing is children behaving like grown ups.

My daughter Lucy is currently experiencing the terrible twos. The thing I hate most about the terrible twos is that some phrase-coiner in their wisdom has labelled them the terrible twos.

It suggests that only the twos are terrible and by the time they reach three, they become little angels again.

Since turning two Lucy has started behaving like an adult in sporadic bursts.

For no apparent reason she’ll breakdown in tears then two minutes later she’s right as rain.

On other occasions she’ll decide she wants a particular item, usually something completely unsuitable like the hooked stick used to open the attic hatch, and then throw a strop until she gets it in her hand. It used to be you could just tell her ‘no’ and distract her with a brightly coloured toy or a funny noise. But since reaching two she’s been galvanised with a steely determination to not settle for anything less than her original demands.

I’m told it happens with every infant. They reach an age where they start to test boundaries and use the power of tears and tantrums to try and get what they want.

And it’s only set to get worse. Huffing is a habit that’s hard to shake off. You’ll do well to find a person beyond the age of two who doesn’t go into a mood if things don’t go their way.

With young children, their huffs are all about noise and actions. Adult huffs on the other hand are silent but deadly.

When I’m pitted against temperamental children and adults, my motto is to face the music and dance.

And sing.

The shoe-microphone is an optional extra.