I don’t know how many of you, my wonderful readers, will be surprised by this, but, according to my passport, in a little under a month I will be 40 years old. That’s pretty old for a little boy. Quite naturally it has lead me to think quite a lot about advanced age.
But before I talk about those thoughts I should be honest and say I’ve been stupid. At the start of the year, before preschool existed, I decided I would collect the nice wine-loving friends (my occupation is writing about wine and I’ve been interested in it since I was 5) I’ve gathered since I was at Oxford 21 years ago and open a load of my best large format bottles of wine. Just in case you are vaguely intrigued here’s what I’m opening:
How I was stupid is that I didn’t organise a little party for all my little friends. It never occurred to me that such a thing could be done until I went to preschool. That would have been far more fun than drinking extremely fine stinky adult wine-juice. Too late, I suppose.
But could it be too late entirely? At 40 should I really be wearing nappies, running and skipping around Winchester in toddler clothes, sleeping with a pacifier and carrying a teddy bear around with me everywhere? Am I too old to be an adult baby?
As we get older our bodies decay – I cannot play tag for the whole of playtime as once I did. Getting up off the floor after being read a story at preschool often makes me want to grunt and groan. I think my father was being optimistic when he said, “If you are over 50 and wake up and nothing hurts, you must be dead.” Miserable sod.
(That’s not my father, by the way)
Of course, all of this is complete bollocks, . Your body is just the meat that carries the essence of you about. It may get harder to skip a rope (I’ve never been able to do that) or stand on your head (I’ve never been able to do that either), but there is no reason that the nature of your personality or character should change.
I felt like I wanted to be a smaller toddler when I was still a toddler, why should it not work at the other end of the scale? You are who you feel you are, not want condition your body is in. I still get as much simple pleasure colouring in a picture, if not more so, than when I was three the first time. And I feel really proud when daddy tells me they are good and sticks them up on the wall. Oh why not, I’ll show you my latest colouring picture:
My back ached a tiny bit after leaning over concentrating on doing the best job of colouring with crayons that I could, but it was a hoot! I really enjoyed doing it, I did, I don’t care what my back or the rest of my body thinks (not even if I needed a wee, hehehehe!). If you enjoy doing childish things deeply and fundamentally the only thing that is going to stop you, the only thing that’ll stop me anyway, is dying. Until that time comes you are free.
Free to be yourself, of course, which in my case is a three year old toddler (except when I go into wine shops, even though I wear toddler clothes I have to pretend to be big. I had a chat with a winemaker giving a tasting a few weeks back whilst I was wearing shortalls with a dinosaur on the bib pocket and a Sonic the hedgehog t-shirt. Not only didn’t he bat an eye, once he discovered I knew more about wine than him he stopped pouring wine for everyone else there and just chatted and asked for recommendations from daddy and me). You are what is inside and you try to express it as best you can through whatever medium you have available to do so.
It doesn’t matter how or why you became an adult baby, if that’s who you are then that’s who you are. 40, 50 (if I make it that far, I’ve been repeatedly told I won’t), 60 (no chance) will not stop me from being a little three year old boy.
Since it’s my birthday, and such a special one at that, you might like to send me a gift from my wish list or make a contribution toward the crippling costs of my birthday party. Thank you in advance.