I spend a great deal of time with my favourite under eighteen in the world, little Miss Lilly. She is four years old and the oldest daughter of my very close friend LouLou, and she is my favourite little lady in the whole wide world. I love her because she is clever and chatty, and comes out with some of the best one liners I have ever heard.
We use her as a man tester. When I lived with ex-boyfriend, Lou bought babygirl round (being a great deal smaller at the time) and she took a shine to him, trying to sit on his lap and give him kisses. She had a bit of a runny nose, but he was appalled and it was later decreed that she should be used to vet all potential suitors early on, to establish their worth. After all, if you don’t like my Lil, you are not right for me.
And I have come to learn that the world is a different place through the eyes of a four year old, and maybe there are some lessons to be learnt here.
1) Say what you see. Don’t try to over complicate it.
When reading a bedtime story the other night, Lilly was pretty well behaved until we got to the letter N, where she got tired and began to act up. I swear she is fit for a career in the West End when she is older. “N is for……” said Lou “say what’s round her neck”.
Lilly looked at her, unimpressed. “bracelet” she said.
Well she wasn’t far wrong. It went on like this, some answers stranger than the others. “O is for…..” said Lou, pointing to the picture of the octopus. Fairly easy, there aren’t many O’s. Until we realised Lilly wasn’t playing.
2) There is always a need for matching socks.
My sister is really bad at matching socks. She just doesn’t care. Lilly came round when she was at our flat one Sunday, and Danielle and Lil chatted for about five minutes before my sister left. Over a month later, in the car on the way to my house she said “are we going to Laura? Is that girl with the different socks going to be there?” Oh the shame.
3) Friendship is very important.
Lilly is particularly fond of her dad’s friend, Lofty. She follows him around adoringly, asking “You are my best friend though, aren’t you Lofty? Aren’t you? AREN’T YOU LOFTY???” The poor man, in his thirties, is slightly perplexed why a four year old princess wants to be his best friend. But agrees nonetheless. He will be beholden to this for life.
4) Take a hold of love, wherever it comes from.
After a particularly bad day at work, I get to Lou’s house. She opens the door. All is fairly quiet until this little whirling dervish of curls and blondness comes hammering through the door and hits my shins. “OhhiLaurailoveyou” she says into my knees. And my day considerably improves. Regardless of her then demanding that I carry her everywhere until bedtime.
5) Picnics can be as imaginative as you require.
One cold day in the supposed British summer, we decided to have a picnic with the girls. Of course it monsooned outside, so we lay the blanket in the lounge and devoured our picnic from there. When discussing the eve before what we would have in our sandwiches, I ventured “how about cheese and pickle Lillypad?” she replied, authoritatively “Yes. And chocolate spread.” She didn’t seem to understand why I felt cheese, pickle AND chocolate spread might be a little odd. “And crispies.”
Do the children in your life crack you up? Have they come out with any great one liners?