I attended my 4 year old nephew’s birthday party over the weekend, and it was an eye opening experience. I was standing at the time machine wound forward by 10 years. It was like receiving a visit from the Ghost of Domestic Future, where people are ruled by a midget race of dirty-faced toddlers. Truly, they are the masters of the universe. An alien examining the human race would note that the first class citizens are the ones who’ve recently passed toilet training – everyone else is busy racing behind them with a wash cloth and a handful of lollies.
My housemates Jim and Mick came along. Because that’s what fully grown, adult men in their mid-20’s do right? We concocted a backstory that would make their lingering presence less creepy:
Me: Oh, hi Blah blah (of the Manly Blah blah’s), these are some gay lovers who are negotiating with me to be the surrogate for their child.
Retrospectively I’m not entirely sure how this justified their presence, but at least it created a talking point. In the heads of those around us I’m sure it also managed to make me the edgy, bohemian younger sister who makes interesting life choices and lives in a squat
Thankfully, as with all family gatherings, there was booze. Mum was working the room with a pair of giant wings on her back, and a cocktail jug in hand (for the kids and the adults respectively). There was also a jumping castle (see, children are gods these days), which was 3 times bigger than my sister thought it would be (her spatial reasoning is… absent when online). Oh, and Indiana Jones was there (though his accent was sloppy and his whip skills needed work).
Hold the above scene firmly in your head, then add a soundtrack featuring Flo-Rida singing Low (“shorty got low, low, low, low”).
Around the edges, furtive parents sipped wine (I imagine hot topics included ‘Nanny-cam: friend or foe’, stain removal technique, and the approximate deadline until all of them could reclaim their lives). Then on cue the witching hour came, and en masse children proceeded to lose their shit collectively. It was a beautiful thing. There was screaming, there was howling, there was even an Iron Man costume that took 5 minutes to remove during a full-on bathroom emergency.
I can only imagine how all those tiny people coped with coming down from their epic sugar high. I certainly wasn’t there for it – I had a wine sodden dinner party to attend, with not a child in sight.
They are lovely little things – easily taunted, hilariously moody, devious beyond measure – but seeing as my maturity level has me sharing several of their features (a penchant for lollies, the need to nap and filled with stupid questions) I think they can wait. Contraception has never been so amusing.