When I grow up I want to be just like you…
It was a glorious sunny day and I was walking hand in hand through the bustling streets of London with my five year old daughter, Meri...
She had just come out of an eye appointment at University College Hospital London and now we were on our way to meet my wife Clare at her office for lunch.
“When I grow up I’m going to work at the BBC,” said Meri happily as she skipped alongside me.
“Just like mummy?” I asked.
“Yes, I’m going to be just like mummy,” she said happily.
I grinned to myself. Kids often want to be just like mum and dad when they’re at that formative age and they don’t know any better.
Thinking about my son, a lot of his play and his behaviour comes from watching me. At school, they reported last week that Arun was wandering around looking for some “important documents.” A phrase that he had heard and lifted from me as he overhead a phone call I had with a client. Arun’s big obsession is with guitars – perhaps that has something to do with the fact that his dad has four electrics (three Gibsons and a Fender, as you ask) and two acoustic guitars (a Yamaha and a Fender). Arun can name the different makes and models of guitar despite the fact that he can’t name the letters of the alphabet (goes to show that children like him aren’t so much disabled as differently abled). At home the toys Arun loves playing with more than anything else is his kitchen and cooking in it. This comes from something his father is often heard to remark: “Food is too important to leave to anyone else.”
We arrived at Clare’s offices at the BBC and after navigating the bureaucracy at reception were taken up to her office. In there was a big whiteboard with the months and weeks of the year marked out. On it were plastered tens of post it notes in yellow, pink and orange. On the stickies were written the big events, deadlines and activities scheduled for the whole year. Meri was fascinated. Seeing this, one of Clare’s team went to the stationary cupboard and gave Meri three packets of different coloured post it notes. She was delighted.
When we got home that afternoon, Meri was buzzing around me in my office as I finished a little admin.
“Where can I put these?” she asked holding her precious post it notes in her hand.
I looked around and found a whiteboard above my desk that I rarely use. I gave it to her and marked out the different days of the week. Meri was delighted. She started putting stickies on it feverishly and writing her important appointments on them. The fact that she could only think of two (a play date and P.E. at school) was immaterial – she just scribbled nonsense on the rest.
When she had finished she sat back and looked at it with pride. I too was tickled. I took a photo of it and texted it to Clare. “Look what Meri did when she came home.”
“Wow” was the one word reply.
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