As the latest chorus of “There’s an awful lot of loopers in this house” rings out this Sunday morning, Jenna runs in with a plastic set of toy grapes and pretends that they are a trumpet followed by Jake with a giant cuddly Spider-Man and I do question our parenting techniques and whether their eventual incarceration in a padded cell will be our fault.
Jake has taken to singing random songs about everything – bit like I do. You know the “washing up” song? No? “Washing up, I do the washing up – you do glass first, followed by the cup.” Or there’s the going to the toilet song -“going to the toilet, gonna have myself a wee wee.” And also on this collection “I don’t want to get up, I don’t want to move, I wanna stay in my jammies ’til the afternoon.” Remember Songs by my Dad is not available in the shops…anyway. He also mimics characters on TV and does silly voices of which his current favourite is Doofenshmirtz from “Phineas and Ferb” – “Ah! Perry the Platypus”. Not unlike me who started off with impressions of Roland Rat when I was Jake’s age. He is gradually becoming my very own Mini Me. Poor Kid.
Jenna on the other hand is a much more complex case. Her nakedness and need for world domination are not from my side of the family (apart from Great Uncle Adolf of course but we don’t speak about him). She is very good at making up words that don’t exist, cries when she doesn’t get her own way, tantrums that are as funny as they are terrifying and general ability to sleep wherever she is. There’s also the complete inability to make a decision. When it’s bedtime and she wants a story you usually have to read about three because she can’t choose, a process which is then repeated when you put her audio book on for here and to’s and fro’s between Peppa Pig and Charlie Bear. So I suppose she’s a Mini Jill then.
The thing is I’d rather have kids with personality and a sense of humour than some of these silent Stephen King-esque kids that you meet. You know the ones who cling to their parents and don’t speak even after he pretend “I’m shy” routine all kids have, but will follow you round a room and just stare blankly. I see lots of those types of kids at school, they don’t change they still just sit and look at you as if they are wondering which bit they’d eat first when they kill you. They are the ones with no sense of humour that have to explain the joke to everyone even after they have laughed but cannot see when someone is taking the mickey out of them.
Mind you there is a fine line between quirky and down right weird, a line that has been largely ignored by myself over the last thirty-five years, so hopefully the kids will find a good balance between randomly jumping and dancing Gangnam Style in the middle of the living room and doing the same thing on Jury Service. I thought there was a lull and people needed and energy booster – contempt my arse. Random sing and dancing is good for you, so is making strange noises and mimicking people – and if you don’t agree you were probably a child in The Shining.