June column for Practical Parenting Magazine
My deepest wish for darling little Teddy is that his future holds happiness with a loving life-partner. But there’s an argument that says that personality is set as early as eighteen months old, and I think his current approach to life might get in the way of his romantic future. Imagine him in twenty years on a date, at a nice restaurant, for example, with a nice normal girl. Oh, he could be terribly misunderstood. (For that matter, so could his three-year-old sister Ivy, who has taken lately to lifting up her shirt in public and shouting ‘Look! I has got nipples!’
At any rate, I have taken it upon myself to write an open letter to Ted’s prospective partners.
Dear Teddy’s Date,
These notes are intended to help you navigate your evening with Teddy; an unusual man, but a loveable one.
Your evening may start strangely if there is music playing. No matter how tinny or badly recorded the tune, Teddy will commence to dance in a jerky circle, flapping one arm like a chicken.
During dinner, he will speak in an incomprehensible babble and cry in frustration when you do not understand what he is saying. You would be best advised to keep to the topics of dragons, cheese and The Wiggles. When your food arrives, he’s likely to finish his own meal in short order, grab your plate and shout ‘MINE!’ If you refuse to relinquish it, he will weep desperately. Once he has signaled to the wine waiter to bring him milk by making a cow-milking gesture above his head, he will probably take his full glass, pour it on your head and cry ‘Rain!’ He will find this very, very funny.
Bodily harm is a possibility. If he has brought along his large rubber hammer he might suddenly hit you on top of the head and then laugh hysterically. He may also unintentionally assault you with his food. (He once gave me a black eye with a chicken drumstick so I speak from experience.)
Physically, Teddy could behave oddly. He will undoubtedly climb on top of the table and survey the room, and he will probably get up at least once and gesture hopefully for you to chase him down the hall. Should he get the chance, he will cram himself into a tiny space, and wherever he finds a door, he will slam it roughly and then giggle behind it until you open it again.
I hate to be indelicate but it’s likely during the course of the evening that he will soil himself. In the process of clean-up, should his hand wander to his own member, he will fondle it unselfconsciously, even violently, wearing an expression of glazed delight. All of this he will do in full public view.
At the end of the night, he will lean in expectantly, place his lips close to yours and murmur ‘mmmmm’ until you kiss him. And should you say the words ‘frogs legs’, he will wrap himself around you in the most affectionate cuddle of your life.
Have a lovely evening,
p.s- See you at Christmas!