Hello. I’m Mel, and I’m new around here. I live by the coast with my husband and our small monster, Alex, who turned 2 last November. Those 2 years seem to have zipped by, and as Alex grows, I spend more time thinking about what he’ll be like as he gets bigger: what his real passions will be, where he’ll live and what he’ll do. But I suppose there’s a danger that too much looking forward could stop me appreciating the here and now. Every parent has been told “enjoy every second; they grow up so fast”. So, in the spirit of not wishing the time away, I’ve identified 5 careers that Alex is ready for right now. No more speculating about the future – we could put him to work straight away…
Obviously. He’s 2. No further explanation necessary.
My fashionista child rocks a hat like nobody else and can walk in heels better than I can. He has very definite ideas about what he wants to wear each morning, and I have to say that although I wouldn’t have considered pairing that turquoise t shirt with those green stripy socks and the red slippers, and I probably would have added some trousers, he does look pretty good this morning. Last week, he won the nursery Easter bonnet competition because he insisted on decorating it with a large Christmas tree and baubles. They said they “could tell it was his own design”. He uses his skills to help me too: “not that dress Mummy – too warm; not that one – yuck; ooh this one – beautiful!”. Move over, Karl Lagerfeld.
Alex is one of life’s singers. He sings everywhere. Loudly. I could set him up outside Haymarket, go for a coffee, and by the time I got back he’d have £100 in his hat and an adoring audience. He’s also pretty clear about his musical preferences. Early this year, and sadly a couple of days too late, he discovered David Bowie, and fell instantly in love. Last weekend, he heard Taylor Swift on the radio. Resourceful toddler immediately took to his toy drum, banging it as loudly as possible and yelling “GROUND CONTROL TO MAJOR TOM!!!” until he drowned her out. I was a little bit proud.
4. Extra special toilet attendant
I’m not sure that this job actually exists. But it would certainly be perfect for Alex. He’s wandering slowly towards potty training at the moment; carrying the potty around, sitting on it, putting teddies on it. Every time I wee it’s like being subjected to a gynaecological examination. Poor husband is still traumatised from the time he was in the bathroom and a small head suddenly appeared between his legs. This very special level of personal attention came to a glorious peak in a public toilet. Of course; why do something embarrassing at home, when you can do it in front of an audience? It was fairly busy in there. Alex was in the cubicle with me. Without warning, he advanced towards me, brandishing toilet paper and shouting “I WIPE MUMMY!” at the top of his voice. Several other conversations instantly died out. Thanks, son.
This is where Alex truly comes into his own. He has a special, spectacular skill: he can get free stuff out of anybody, anywhere. I know of two greengrocers in Whitley Bay and Alex has wangled free bananas out of both of them on multiple occasions. There’s a barista in a certain cafe who’s incapable of making me a cappuccino without giving him a saucer heaped with biscuits. He once got a book from a woman at Tynemouth market because he looked a bit sad when he walked past. I don’t know where he got this ability from, but it’s a wonder to behold. He’s recently befriended the couple who work in our local chip shop; they know what time we walk past each week, and they’re there waving every time. I’m taking him in next week: there had better be free chips.
So forget mining and chimney sweeping; the 21st Century still has plenty of job opportunities for the economically-savvy toddler. As the years pass, Alex will grow and change, and I’ll still wonder what he’ll be like as an adult. He may end up adoring Taylor Swift and not understanding Bowie. I’m pretty hopeful that he won’t keep “helping” me go to the toilet for too much longer. But right now, he’s independent, he’s strong minded, he has a personality all of his own – and I reckon he’ll be keeping me in free biscuits for a good couple of years yet.