Lessons Learnt

Just been told no...
Just been told no…

I used to read parenting blogs saying things like “I learn as much from my kids as they learn from me” and I would roll my eyes and make the ‘wanker’ sign.

I would put them in the same pigeon hole as ‘people who think homeopathy works’ and ‘people who think they can communicate with the dead’.

I’ve now realised that I was being unduly harsh, there are some genuinely insightful and profound lessons to be learnt from your kids. A parental pedagogy, if you will.

Here are some of the major lessons I feel that I, as an individual, have taken from my son.

Never Giving Up.

The boy has started to walk and is now making attempts to run. He still hasn’t quite got the not-smashing-his-face-on-the-floor thing and he stumbles around with a massive grin and multiple bruises on his face.

Despite the obvious pain he must be in, he still gets up and tries again.

It seems to me that we all give up too easily sometimes. Probably.

Keep Your Goals In Sight.

The boy has developed the habit of, when being held in our arms, pointing at what he deems to be of interest and looking imperiously. If movement in that direction is not forthcoming, he will look quizzically at us before pointing again, jabbing hist stubby little finger for emphasis.

If, this repeated instruction is not acted upon, we will be dealt with either a hearty clip round the ear or an Earth shattering shriek.

Don’t Take No For An Answer. Literally. 

Now the boy is independently mobile, he has access to a raft of potentially dangerous and/or expensive items. As and when he picks up something that can hurt him (like the cat) or jam something unappetising is his gob (again, the cat) we say a stern and no-nonsense ‘no’.

At this point we sit back and congratulate ourselves for being good, boundary-setting parents.

Of course, this is a very short-lived experience as he pays absolutely no attention to us.

In fact, he usually continues what he is doing whilst also locking eye-contact and looking levelly at us, seemingly daring us to actually stop him.

This can include, but is by no means limited to, trying to eat anything within grabbing range, putting fingers in random wall openings, trapping his head in cupboard doors and trying to launch himself off the end of the bed.

First Hand Experience Of Soviet Style Collectivism.

Apparently our house has become some kind of microcosm of Stalinist Russia without me realising. Before, we had simple but rigidly delineated concepts of ownership.

Imagine, if you will, a Venn diagram where one circle represents me. This circle has things like Playstation, guitars, craft beer, that cool fridge magnet that the wife hates, and the like. The other circle, my wife’s, is full of make-up, shoes, hair crap, crushing disappointment at marrying me, and such.

Where these circles overlap are things like cutlery, sofas and jam.

What I didn’t realise was that our cosy Venn diagram was actually only a subset of a bigger, all encompassing diagram simply labeled ‘The Boy’.

What that means is that everything we own, have owned or will possibly ever own, is the boy’s. Apparently.

Yeah, just help yourself to a beer without asking, why don't you!
Yeah, just help yourself to a beer without asking, why don’t you?


I would continue to list the other lessons I have learnt from my son. Things like why getting poo on you isn’t a big deal, how to do everything one handed and how to make several hundred different aeroplane sounds but I have to go and stop him feeding biscuits into the Playstation.

I’ll say no, and explain that it’s mine but I don’t think it’ll do much good.


24 Replies to “Lessons Learnt”

  1. Love the opening lines. Of course, when children get older and really challenge the parents, and I mean REALLY, I wonder if that wonderful optimism and growth seeking will still stay in tact. What a journey, glad I can live vicariously through you…thanks for the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you’re most welcome. And yeah…I might not be making light of it when the boy takes up smoking or drops out of school. Oh well, at least I can look back at my blog and dream of a better future.


      1. It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it? I’m sure you will love him forever though no matter what he does. I think that is the point. Ahhhh, parenting, the highs and lows!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. We discovered a valuable linguistic hack with our girl. A “No” from the English speaking dad was, as you say, more often than not ignored, but if I used the Swedish ( mumspeak ) “Nej!” it worked like a charm. It was like “Voice” from the “Dune” saga – instant but clearly against the will compliance. Brilliant.

    Her speciality was posting coins of various denominations into the video machine. The weird thing is ( this was in pre-Euro times, when we lived in Brussels ), she only ever did it with non-local currency, i.e. everything but Belgian Francs. D-marks, quiddies, guilders, in they went, but never anything with Roi Baudouin on it…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, I could try saying no like the wife but that’s just ‘no’ with a Devon accent. I couldn’t even use Thai because there isn’t an actual word for no (mai chai is the closest…it means ‘not yes’).

      I’ll just have to work on my Paul Atreides impression.


    1. It is a great British tradition. Shape your hand as if you are holding a banana. Move hand up and down. Point at person you think is a wanker with your free hand. Repeat until punched.

      It’s like a cultural lesson this place.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ahh so good! What is it with babies and cool fridge magnets? Our little blighter’s broke all of the best ones.

    You’re right lessons can definitely be learnt from them in dealing calmly with being covered in crap and the grim, twinkly eyed persistence in undertaking the ‘no’ stuff. It’s their motivator word!

    You and your son rock the exact same expression here – fab photo!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. So true — the Venn diagram cracks me up. How many times have I said “Don’t touch anything on the counters, or in the refrigerator, or on the walls, or behind the toilet, or…wait, where are your toys? Do you not have HUNDREDS of toys!? Thanks for the chuckle.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s