Monday, November 13, 2006

Toddlin' Town

You couldn’t make real life up.

There are days that are terrible. Days when I wake up with a sense of dread that has been growing within me for weeks and seems on the verge of imploding. Days when all my worries collide, becoming like a combination of meteor and avalanche, as all the tiny anxieties combine and attach themselves to the spiralling mass of confusion at the centre of my self.

There are days that are wonderful. When I wake with a sense of freedom that seems so complete, so obvious that it makes me laugh to think I didn’t notice it sooner. Days when everyone seems to shine with the essence of themselves, days when good things happen. Days where even the bad things appear inevitable, useful and above all, manageable.

I love that days can be so different. I hate it too. Sometimes I want every day to be a good day. Some days I don’t want to get out of bed because I know it is a bad day and it feels bigger than me and I don’t want to get up and fight it.

Today was a toddler day for me. I love toddler days. They’re my favourite. You know when little kids wake up and they’re in a good mood and everything is funny, and they toddle around with this content little expression on their face?. You know the toddler’s secret? I think I might. The toddler just accepts the world. They’re too young and all their false expectations didn’t get made yet and in accepting things as they are, toddlers get to enjoy what’s actually there; what I often miss on my bad days because I am fighting the big badness.

This morning I sang when I couldn’t find my cardigan. I made up a song in the style of Terry Pratchett’s ‘Where’s My Cow?’ (if you don’t know, go and buy a copy right now, buy me one at the same time, thanks – I don’t care if you don’t understand Discworld and you don’t want to, if you want a Toddler Day, go and buy this book. OK, or another one that reminds you of childhood – Where the Wild Things Are is another favourite of mine) all about where the cardigan wasn’t. And I laughed after every verse. I even danced.

Kit Kat Kate dropped me at work, and she was not having a toddler day (I think she was having a murderous au pair day by the time we left the flat, but that’s anot-her story), so I tap-danced for her on the side of the road while she queued in the traffic after dropping me off. I like to share the magic, and who needs public credibility anyway. Too many adult things are over-rated (blows large raspberry to prove it and spends a couple of minutes wiping at keyboard with a napkin).

Work was fabulous. The Chief frowned at me good-naturedly, even though I know my toddler days annoy him a little bit (although he has them – last week he drew a red nose and a moustache on my swipe card) and Miss Sally sparkled her way to the Management Meeting to take the minutes, even though it bores the bahooleys out of her.

The height of my day though, was a letter from a city resident who has corresponded with the culture office many times. I won’t bore with too much detail, but suffice to say that this person’s letter made my day. There isn’t anything toddler about the letter really, quite the opposite, but the spirit of innate positivity and creativity shone out of his letter and the fact that he enclosed an example of his own hobbies really made my morning shine.

Michael, who you might remember for his 'blind dog in the new house' haiku, told me a gem of a motto this afternoon to perfect my day:

"If you can't see the bright side, polish the dark side and look at it."

Today's Beautiful Things

1. My tap dance, obviously.

2. Michael's joke

3. The sound of the wind when I'm snug in the rented sector Heights

Joke of the Day

A man comes hone and his wife greets him and says, " There's something different about me darling, can you guess what it is?"

"Have you done your hair differently?" He asks.


"Are you wearing a new dress?"


"Surely those are new shoes?" He asks.

"No, darling, they're not."

"Then," he announces, "I don't know, what is it?"

"Darling, I'm wearing a gas mask."

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