A photographer is producing a book about me! Little Davy gets more fame and glory 😉 The idea is to show the adult baby lifestyle in an honest an non-sensational way. She asked me to write an essay to appear in the book about what is truly important in life. I reproduce the essay below.
Because I think 1,400 words is quite a lot to wade through without some breaks I’ve put a number of galleries of pictures taken during the last photo shoot. These are not photos that will appear in the book, rather pictures daddy took whilst I was being photographed. As usual, I’m afraid email and Tumblr (and maybe RSS, I cannot recall) readers will have to come to the main Toddlerism.com site to see the galleries.
Here is the essay:
What is truly important in life? For some it is holding what they think is the right job, having the right car or wearing the right clothes. A lot of people try to live up to the standards they think other people expect of them in any or more of the above. I have learned that what is important to me is truly being myself, loving myself and loving those who are important to me.
I did not always think like this. I had the idea that I should be doing some things and should not be doing other things. As psychotherapists say “Should is one of those words, isn’t it?” Who determines the should and should not? Are they what you really want or are you trying to please someone who may not even exist in the form in which you imagine them.
For most of my life I thought the best thing I was taught as a child was that you can only rely on yourself. So I had to be universally competent and asking for help was certainly not allowed as that showed I was not self-reliant. It is a hard ideal to live up to, being perfect. I may be quite clever, I’ve got four degrees from Oxford University, but like everyone I’m not perfect.
Consequently, I was in a constant state of agitation. I failed in so many things, according to my inner censor. I wanted to do things that simply were not allowed because they would have required me to rely on others. That was a terrible sign of weakness and failure. I did not want to wear a perfectly ironed, designer shirt every day. I did not want to wear a suit as I went to a job that I thought I should be doing. I did not want to keep my partner at arm’s length in case he found out that I had weaknesses and was not always totally competent.
Then I fractured me heel. Not a major injury but one that generated a lot of pain when I tried to do everyday tasks. I could not open a door by myself without the cat escaping. I could not navigate past the washing dryer on landing. Getting up stairs was a major problem which was extremely difficult to manage with a lot of screaming. So I started asking for help.
Asking for help turned out to be good. So many things were easier if people helped me. My partner suddenly became much closer and more important to me because he helped with so many little things I could not do by myself. From carry shopping to holding my crutches as I went up stairs on my bum he was there and always willing to help. The fact that I could ask for help, and it was given freely, was amazing.
So it began to dawn on me that if I could ask for help I did not have to be universally competent. Moreover, I did not have to do the only the things that my inner censor approved of, because they were sufficiently grand for a perfect person to do. I could do what I liked and get help doing it.
So it dawned on me that if I could do what I liked, I could be the person that I liked. I could be me!
The transformation was quite fast. I went from an angst-ridden wreck to a relaxed lover of life. Whereas sleep has always been a problem for me I found I could drop off as soon as my head hit the pillow. I realised I could concentrate on my writing projects, which were not well paid and of high status, rather than try and do jobs I was incapable of managing. And I could be little.
For as long as I could remember, I’d wanted to embrace and let free my inner child, but my censor told me to keep him locked up in a box. Now I was me I was free to be little. I was free to wear nappies and walk around in childish clothes. I was free to ask for the help that little children need to get on in life.
If I could ask for help I needed someone to ask. That person would obviously be my partner. So I made the intellectually enormous leap of my partner becoming, at least part of the time, daddy.
My real father largely disappeared out of my life when I was three and I never had a male role model, a big, trustworthy man I could ask for help, in the family environment. I had no one I could trust to look after me, I had no one to show me the how to behave and what was important in life. So it was a big change to suddenly find myself not only little, but with a real daddy in my life.
Obviously, having a daddy meant that, if I was going to have his help, I also needed to give up control to him in some regards. Not Davy could never have done this, but I, Davy, knew that is daddy was going to look after me I had to trust him and that meant everything from him changing my nappies carefully and tenderly to him punishing me if I was bad.
Daddy turned out to be very good at changing nappies, and he is far better at doing it that when I tried, in angst-ridden awkwardness of the past, to do it myself. I feel loved as cared for as he changes me, as I do when he dresses me or gives me a bath. These are forms of help I have gratefully accepted.
I have also accepted that sometimes he will put me in the corner, or even spank me, when I do something that a good little three year old should not do. This is not about playing kinky games, it is all about accepting help to be myself – to be little.
Being little is a great state to be beyond the happiness of being myself. If you are happy, friendly and enthusiastic when you meet people they instantly warm to you. Why would anybody want to be nasty to someone who’s being friendly and funny. I find myself known and loved in all the shops I regularly shop in and that is a better impression to make than no impression at all. That is simply by being myself.
I’ve also found that being more myself has been successful in my professional life. On my wine and food website I said, before my last birthday, that I was sick of being old with health problems so I intended to be three on my next birthday. I put in a link to an online wish list that I only expected my family members to read, but much to my surprise fans of my wine arcana sent me onesies, Lego toys and plastic pants as gifts.
It is not just in receiving gifts that my professional work has benefited. By being myself, by letting my little side sneak into tasting notes, they have improved immensely. They are funnier, more engaging and, perhaps best of all, my writing is more infused with happiness. The readership of my professional site exploded once I let me write, rather than letting the cynical, misanthropic not Davy produce my articles.
So by learning to accept help and then realising I could let the real me, the little me, out of the box where not me had locked away me for three decades of my life I’m happier, more loving and more loved. I admit that my life is not entirely conventional, but no one I’ve met and been myself with face to face has ever reacted badly to that unconventional nature. Even with teddy bears, toddler clothes, nappies and all, I’m great just as I am. That is what is important in my life, being myself and accepting me as I am.
Thank you, and good afternoon!