The last letter of the advice series. One never believed one would get here so it may be time to heave a huge sigh of relief.
One. Twelve months. But a lifetime of change has already been set into place. I believed I could do it better the second time around but I hadn't really accounted for the differences. You walked a bit later. You started eating on your own much, much sooner. You screech, which he never did. Already the differences in personalities are too numerous for me to keep up with the comparisons. It is time to let the two tickers and the two critters write their own destinies without my running a constant comparative analysis.
Perhaps part of it has to do with your almost sharing birthdays. That reminds me, I got away with a joint birthday party this time. The theme was supposed to cars and butterflies but the cars ate up the butterflies. The next time, you will be two, kiddo and I have a feeling you will have a lot to say.
I do hope you will like cars though.
This time you were asleep through the proceedings.
Six teeth on the last count. And many, many bite marks on the family.
First book. Good Night Moon. Not terribly imaginative, I know, but come on, it claims it has lulled generations of children to sleep. Not my children, no. MY children have made their parents cry uncle, aunt and assorted relatives before they have deigned to close their eyes.
Weaned at one. Taken to the bottle. Much heartbreak on the part of the mater despite wanting it very much. Confused emotions are part of the game.
You are a climber. No height is too much. Have limbs, will clamber. The sofa bears the evidence of the little feet and the grubby hands.
Unfortunately, there is no interest in TV yet. Bye, bye, Katrina Aunty.
There is a very strong streak of independence and self-reliance. I am quite happy about it, except when I have to scrub mashed bananas and cheese out of the carpet.
Well, the last of the advice then and I am done for good.
- Wrong advice does more harm than no advice.
- False modesty is worse than genuine arrogance. I have found arrogance when justified to be quite attractive. Maybe you will too.
- If you are ever caught in the drudgery of housework, rule number one is to wipe as soon as you spill.
- As a houseguest, don't help yourself to the newspapers before the hosts have taken a go at them.
- You can never have too many towels. There is a Hitchhikers reference in there but that's not the point.
- Fidelity is so rare that it is precious and underrated at the same time.
- Drink milk.
- Being a parent, a good parent requires you to put someone else ahead of you all the time, for the rest of your life. Only if you are ready to make this life-changing adjustment should you consider having babies.
- You can give and take all the advice in the world but there is no substitute for living life and learning from experience.
- If you want a simple life, you will need to cut out the clutter. Don't waste time on envying others their lives, don't fret about what others think of you, don't try to be popular or to please people. All of this is unnecessary noise. Focus on the real stuff that makes you happy and spend all effort on those - work, travel, kids, hobbies, whatever. If you find people to be a waste of time, it is perfectly ok to cut them down to the few who do make you happy. When it comes to friends, quality over quantity.
- Base your opinions of people only on their direct interaction with you. Which is also why it's futile to try to know celebrities.
In the end, I sing to you….(only figuratively, thank god)
I hear babies crying,
I watch them grow
They'll learn much more
Than I will ever know.
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
Happy birthday, my little girl. You rock.
I have said all that I had to in the last twelve months. Any advice that you'd like to offer will find pride of place. Go ahead, offer some wisdom to a tiny young thing. What are the Big Truths that you have learnt in your life?
Well then, this was fun.