Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Have you got a Little Friend?

A few years ago, I had a doctor’s appointment and took Mr B along with me, who was four at the time. We headed into the consulting room and he sat contentedly next to me, swinging his legs and waiting to see what would happen next. The doctor looked at us and remarked, ‘Oh look, you’ve got a Little Friend. I love that age.’
I realised that she was spot on. He was my Little Friend: happy to go anywhere with me and find interest in even the most mundane errands. He was at that age where I could finally rely on him to behave a certain way: less of the toilet emergencies and more of the interested questions and cute conversation. He was a pleasure to have tag along. 
Cut to last weekend:  I was eager to get out and run some boring but necessary errands on Saturday morning, so I  sneakily got myself ready in the bathroom, hoping to duck out while Mr Laney looked after the kids. My plan was to head out early, get petrol, get coffee and buy fruit, ready for the birthday party we were going to that afternoon. I estimated that doing this on my own would be a simple and straightforward 40-minute endeavour: pure efficiency, and no one would even know I was gone. God I love those errands.
However, being a wily minx, Miss P tracked me down in the bathroom and questioned where I was going. I faltered slightly and braced myself, knowing she could smell weakness.
‘I’m just popping out very quickly!’ I said, desperately
‘Please can I come mummy, please?’
‘Darling we’ll be going to a party when I get back, you can stay here and pick what you want to wear!’ I put on my most optimistic, excited face, but I knew what was coming.
‘Please can I come mummy, please oh please?!’ Her little face crumpled and she started to cry, clasping her hands together, giving it the begging position. I don’t know where she learnt this, but it’s very effective.
I tried a couple more persuasions before caving pathetically. Who I am to say no to a begging three year old?
So we made a deal: she had to let me pick her outfit and dress her without any fuss and we had to do it fast. She nodded tearfully and away we went. We scurried out the door together, Miss P practically skipping with excitement, holding her little bag. And as the morning progressed, I noticed with relief that everything went smoothly. She didn’t cry or ask for things and there were no toilet emergencies because she’d gone before we left. 

It was...straightforward. And kind of pleasant. 
Then it hit me. Miss P had become my Little Friend:  perfectly content to follow me around, find fun and interest in whatever we do, and able to converse with me like a miniature adult, only with much more cute-factor. In fact, it was like walking around with my biggest fan.  It didn’t matter what we did because she was out with me and that was the best thing ever in her book. 

So next time I want to get errands done, I'll be taking along my Little Friend. Not only was it a lovely way to spend time with her, but she got us a couple of free biscuits at the cafe while we waited for my coffee. This Little Friend comes with perks. I highly recommend you get one.

Do you dread taking the kids out when you've got stuff to do?? Have you got a Little Friend? Or a younger one still in training? Does yours help you get free stuff??With Some Grace

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