The killjoy

Ahhh! I am free, free, free. My feet say Clap! Clap! on this hard floor. Clap! This room full of cupboards and handles and finger-places. Treasures treasures, all for me. Spoons and lids and sticks and mashers, all ready and waiting for bangers and crashers. For me, all mine. Ahhh! Here: BANG! BANG! And here: TWANG! TWANG! I open and close and open and close and open and close and CRASH! Ohhh! Wonderful magical Bangs, always finding me. Now over here I pu-

NOOOO! Murder! Bloody! Horrid! Thieves! Torture! Rack! Agony! Anguish! Woe! They take away, always away! So much and they take! No still! Mad! Bad! Nasty! Mean! Away! No more be done to! NOOOO!

He goes as limp as a noodle, throws his head back and wails, screeches, flails.

I’m already tired of The Fight. It’s the blasted freedom that did it: the walking. He has tasted ownership over the world, and there’s no going back. He belongs more to Himself now, swamped with discovery.

Today, thanks to highchair-aversion, he ate the following: one-half Baby Mum-Mum (munched while walking). Four spoonfuls blueberry mush (stuffed in mid-scream, sitting still). Three cups juice (sipped while walking).

The two of us collide and persist, him finding delight and me ruining it, a hundred times a day. It’s only bound to escalate, and I’m already losing.

Once again, calling on the trailblazers: Is the most recently surpassed stage always christened ‘The Easiest’, compared to the throes of today? Or is there one truly easier stage of parent/childhood? I already don’t like what you’re going to say, but I’ll ask just the same.