We went to our first local Twins Club of the year this morning. Unusually there were only a handful of parents & twins there; usually the place is heaving. Jallie seemed to enjoy themselves anyway
I don’t know why there weren’t as many there as usual. It seemed to result in there being a lot fewer toys out for the little darlings to play with. The room is always divided between a baby area & a toddlers area: mostly so the little ones don’t get squished by over-excited kids running around. The baby area’s toys are usually the soft colourful mat with cute dangly things hanging off arches kind, designed for babies to lie underneath on their backs. There are also things like spinning tops for the more mobile baby. Probably due to fewer babies there were a lot fewer toys too. Ellie seemed quite happy just socialising, but Jake was different. He’d decided that he was bored with little baby stuff: he wanted to play with the Big Boys.
So off he sped, crawling at top speed into the toddlers’ area. There were identical twin boys, aged 2 1/2, playing on a mini slide, throwing themselves / cars / bricks / anything they could find down it. Jake wanted a piece of this action! I gently slid him down the slide & he enjoyed it. There was a big plastic rocking horse there, which he enjoyed even more.
Trouble is, we didn’t realise we’d crossed some sort of child picket line. The toddler equivalent of “scab!” began ringing out (the odd muttered “Shoo”, & “our toys!”) , & a fair bit of stick waving took place. A baby with the big boys?! There are rules about this sort of thing!
It looked like the demo was about to turn ugly; the “Out Babies Out!” signs were up & there were rumours of a group of hardcore bike-riding kids heading here fast, complete with an arsenal of very sticky puddings. Postman Pat in his van was looking nervous.
So for the sake of Peace I removed Jake back over the Line of Demarcation. I’d smuggled some Big Boys’ Bricks back though!” Which, to be honest, Jake didn’t really know what to do with.
Well, it was too late; we’d caused Anarchy. The lines between the realities had become blurred! The kiddie cosmos was crumbling! I can see now why these rules exist. The Big Boys followed us over!
They’d decided that I was some sort of brick expert, & that we had to build towers & constructions, shapes so unconventional that they’d be worthy of Gaudi. I found myself backed into a corner. There was at least 1 muttering (I think) of “Dad”, which always makes me nervous, & often results in a quick & heartfelt explanation to my wife.
Fortunately they quickly concluded that I’m actually very dull – & not ‘Dad’ – & went back to their Zone. Not before I’d built a mean tower though!
As it did at Baby Sensory, it’s further dawning on me that in many ways our babies aren’t really babies any more. Too old & mobile for the little ones’ toys, too young & immobile for toddlers’ toys. As someone said of them there: they’re Middle-Aged Babies!
And they’re growing up – fast.
- Viva La Difference: I Get Around (whiskeyforaftershave.wordpress.com)