End of Innocence
I’m a little sad. E will be four at the end of the month and he has changed so much this year. This time last year he didn’t seem much more than a toddler. He was so completely dependant on me and Hubs to make sense of his everyday experiences for him. Explaining how things worked and what things meant so he felt safe during that phase where he realised the scale of the world outside of our house and his nursery.
He believed absolutely every word we said and this of course meant that the world as he saw it was the world that we painted for him which wasn’t strictly accurate. His world is fair and predictable. People are nice and care about each others feelings. If you’re good and do the right thing then you get the things you want.
I’ll never forget taking him for his booster jabs just after his 3rd birthday. He was fine with the injections themselves, just screwed up his face a bit, but afterwards he looked so shocked and when we got back to the car he looked up at me in the rear view mirror with a tear in his eye and sniffled ‘but Mummy, you said we mustn’t hurt people’. He was sure that not only are my rules law for him but that the rest of the world must follow them too.
He also believed that there has to be a happy ending for everyone. We’ve always made sure his TV viewing and books are suitable for his age and they’ve only ever showed him that everyone gets saved and the bad guys say sorry at the end and promise never to do it again. He went white as a sheet at the end of Tangled when (spoiler alert if you haven’t seen it) the horrible old woman falls out of the tower window to, I presume, her death. ‘Mummy, why is no one saving the nasty lady?’ he squeaked with a quivering lip.
It’s not like we’ve raised him in some sort of hippy commune but I did use to worry that maybe we weren’t preparing him properly for real life. Luckily (or maybe unluckily) life seems to have infiltrated his little cocoon anyway recently. Programmes like Ben 10 and Power Rangers along with friends at nursery mean he’s no longer shocked by a bit of violence and will quite happily get round my ban on gun type toys by pretending to shoot me, his little brother and anyone else who happens to be around with a stickle brick or Jupiter’s snorkel. I suppose boys will be boys and all that.
Am I silly to miss my gentle toddler?