Toddler Wisdom…

Our film-maker son’s birthday is today.

Born a few days before our first wedding anniversary there were no knowing looks from family members (back then they watched the first few months of a new marriage like hawks).

Today there’s no more pretending we’re still thirty somethings with a son knocking on twenty something!

On bringing him home from the hospital, a while ago now, we left him on the floor (in his brand new car seat),  while we ate our lunch courtesy of Presbyterian Hospital, complete with a bottle of champagne!  It was a long time ago!

We soaked in his slumbering face and wondered who he would be?

As the months progressed we tried to imagine what his voice would sound like?

We were eager to learn what went on in his mind?

Then he began to smile and casually put his little Flinstone foot up on the kitchen table while I fed him.

A personality was emerging.  He exuded charisma with his twinkling brown eyes and milky grin!

By the time he started Montessori School he was quite the conversationalist having spent his formative years in the company of two articulate adults.

We learned about life from a toddler as he experimented with ideas.

Death was a hot topic with banters back and forth that went thus:

“Will I always have to go to school?”

“Yes, so that when you grow up you will be able to have a nice home and a good job.”

“Will I be able to live with you?  I always want to live with you!”

“You can live with me as long as you want to,” his father promised.

“I’ll live with you until you die…and then I’ll be sad.” Thinks a moment, “Where do we go when we die?”

“We go to heaven where God lives…we’re buried underground, our souls go to heaven and we live with God.”

At tea he told his three year old brother,

“Look Simon, up there in the sky…” Simon looked up.

That’s where God lives.  He looks after us.  We go there when we die…”  Simon nodded enthusiastically.

More wise words for his younger brother when the crucifixion came up around Holy Week,

“I don’t want to be on a cross to die,” Simon said.

“No, you won’t, you’ll just die,” Ian said with all the confidence of a six year old

How will I die?” Simon asked.

“You’ll just fall down,” this was inspirational stuff.

“How will I be lifted up to heaven?”  remembering the ‘God in the sky’ lesson.

“I don’t know..” said Ian not afraid to admit defeat!

Death was part of healthy living for our youngsters.  Just another thing we do!

Words were precious and repetition was unnecessary as I found out during one morning exchange.

At school the children took it in turns to be the host,

“What does the host do?”  I asked.

“We have to wait for him to eat, then we can all eat.”  He further explained, “We watch and when he takes a bite we can take a bite too.”

“Have you ever been host?”

“No.  I think I’m going to be host today…”

“Good, you can tell me all about it this afternoon, when I pick you up,” I said.

“I’ve already told you all about it.”

He also had some interesting ideas about the kind of job he wanted,

“I don’t want to go to work in an office, I just want to work at home like Papa.”

“And when Papa has to go out on tour for a long time what is he doing then?” I asked.

“Working and travelling.”

“What about a doctor?” I suggested

“I’m not talking about doctors…I’m talking about working!”

Stay with it Mama!

He set me right one morning while we were getting ready to leave the house,

“I’m tired aren’t you tired Mama?”


“Why not?”

“I suppose I’m ready to start the day.”

“No, Mama, you don’t start the day, the sun starts the day!”

I stood corrected.

We were talking about ages and I had told him how I cried when I was six because I wanted to stay five.

“You know what age I wish I could be?” he asked.

“No, what age?”

“I wish I was still two…”

“Why two?” I asked.

“So that Papa can always pick me up and not say I’m getting too big or too heavy.”

Profound stuff!

I hope you’ve been inspired by some lovely sage comments from a pretty amazing toddler who has grown up to be a handsomely, amazing, young man whom I’m proud to claim as my son!

Happy Birthday Ian!

First published on October 3rd 2012


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