As children make their journey through life, it is sometimes easy to overlook the milestones that really matter.
In the blink of an eye, their formative years appear to go from 0-18 in what seems like seconds.
Before you know it, that tiny bundle of joy that melted everyone’s hearts the moment it entered the world is suddenly wearing bigger shoes than you, sporting the latest fashionable haircut and clothes and baffling their out-of-touch parents on the complexities of Minecraft.
But amid all the chaos, tears and tantrums of this transition, it is worth recording the many lighter moments which make parenting so worthwhile.
Our nine-year-old son has already left us with plenty of material which is being compiled for his book which we have lovingly called ‘Jordan-isms’.
It includes key moments such as first words – “Cank you much” and wishing people “a very Christmas” as well as those probing questions that only toddlers ask (when you die, does your body fall into bits and parts?) as well as those comments that make you want the ground to open up and swallow you whole there and then.
He asked the library assistant if there were any books on how to impress girls.Duncan Atkins
One such moment took place in a shop; in York. There were only the three of us present – myself, Jordan and the shopkeeper, who looked like he hadn’t found anything amusing for several years. As we casually browsed the contents of the shelves, Jordan broke the ice by saying “Dad, that man has a really big nose.”
Cue slightly awkward silence, which was then broken once more by the even more bruising follow-up: “I think he might be Pinocchio.”
Needless to say, we made a fairly sharp exit before Concorde nose could take any further offence. My wife once told a three-year-old Jordan that “my favourite things in the world are cuddles and kisses with you, Jordan. What are your favourite things?”
“Sweets,” came the reply. Guessing it wasn’t quite what his mum was waiting to hear.
Another pearler: “mum, if you are from Whitby, do you have Whitby boobies?”
“If you are from New York, do you have black snot?”
One day, Jordan put a black marker from his Thomas the Tank Engine board game to imaginative use, having drawn on himself a comedy-style beard and moustache. Not content with that, he’d also coloured in his brand new trousers, t-shirt and socks too.
These escapades are not just confined to pre-school age either. Take this trip to the library, as a more street-wise boy of eight, he asked the assistant if there were any books on how to impress girls. When you think about it, this childhood innocence gives all of us food for thought – toddlers exist in a world where they don’t have to worry about the sky-high gas bill, mortgage payments or tiles falling off the roof.
Perhaps joining in the banter and making your elders cringe in embarrassment is the way forward after all.
As for Jordan-isms ... I’m hoping it could be a best-seller.