A little while ago I saw a discussion on TV about people’s mental age and after giving it the once over to ensure it wasn’t simply more garbage plumping out daytime TV, the thought crossed my mind that I could well have an explanation here for ongoing sillyness that those around me have to endure.
When I mentioned this to my father he too indicated in familial fashion that he thought it was rubbish, until I pointed out to him that my brother (who is three years my junior) in practice acts fifteen years older than me. At least.
My dear old dad had to concur that it was true; I am still a little girl (my words and not his, but I’m sure the thought ran through his head as he sighed in accepted resignation)
Only yesterday I visited my “older” brother and we took our offspring to the park. During the visit said bro shot me a glance that said he was mildly embarrassed when I got my swing to at least eight feet off the ground at it’s peak. The only thing my biological age has done is instilled a fear in me that now stops me trying to do the 360º.
And then this very morning my five year old boy caught me with my hand in the Maltesers bag at breakfast time. I smiled nervously at him explaining that it was OK for Mummies to have chocolate instead of weetabix, at which point he muttered … “Oh Mummy …. sort yourself out”
I have to say I found his middle-aged approach to my perceived weakness a tad worrying, until I realised that it could actually work well for the both of us. I’ve long since known that I need the voice of reason whispering in my ear on occasion, I just didn’t think it would be coming from a person quite so tiny.
Our teatime dancing sessions that more often than not involve gyrating to Girls Aloud have become legendary. I rarely can wait for the ice cream to have been devoured before I’m up shimmying to Can’t Speak French; we can now perform the cheeky wiggle with such panache that you’d think we’d choreographed it personally for Cheryl and co.
This is all standard parental practice you might think, until I admit to the fact that these dance frenzies take place all the time … even when I’m alone. I’m guessing I’m possibly around the nine year old mark, so perhaps I still have some jurisdiction over a five year old.
I think little Debsy only came out to play about two years after said son was born. I really was a proper grown up until then; you need to be in order to select the drugs you want in the labour ward.
So what drawbacks does this have in practice?
It can make me an incorrigible tease; I’ll push and push until I’m staring over the precipice mouthing “oooops ….”
And coming from a family of “adults” (save for my auntie who is around the same “age” as me), I frequently get cast as the “lost cause”. I do tend to find that dipping my head and flashing my eyes gets me out of most bothersome situations though, along with extra helpings of cake.
Of course, the grown up version of acceptable cheekiness is flirting. Oh, don’t we love that? Once you have the grown-up attributes to drive as fast as you want down the suggestive highway, it’s the most fun you can have that’s legal, calorie-free and non-taxable. And when you add a childish predisposition for high jinks it can add a propulsion that leaves standard interaction stalling on the start line.
Whatever the true reason is for my apparent refusal to grow up, you can be sure of one thing…