Terri Psiakis: Three cheers for teenage dreams

The Sprout turned three last week but – God help me – she’s going on 13. I’ve heard people say that kids mature earlier these days but some of what I’ve seen and heard from my kid over the past month has been (delightfully) ridiculous:

• She happened to see the last 10 minutes of Home And Away one night, and as the credits rolled she turned to me and exclaimed: “That was the best TV show I’ve ever seen in my whole life!” (Note to self: must show her The Sopranos.)

• She rolls her eyes at me. In complete disdain. I didn’t think three-year-olds even had disdain. Situations in which she has disdainfully rolled her eyes at me have included when I suggested we play ‘‘Snap’’ together, when I asked her what she thought of my new shoes, and when I told her that dipping bits of roast chicken into gravy was fun.*

• For the purpose of fostering the best manners possible in The Sprout, The Bloke and I have been using the term “fluff” whenever anyone passes wind. Our giant beagle, Eddie, is ageing and therefore a veritable fluff factory (as we will no doubt all be when we reach his innings). After a particularly pungent display of fluff force one evening, The Bloke remarked “Wow, Eddie, that was a terrible fluff,” to which The Sprout replied “No, dad, it was a very dirty fart.” Manners? Tick.

• I recently bought a cookbook called Merle’s Kitchen. Merle is Merle Parrish, MasterChef alumni, grandmother of many and Aussie baking sensation. There’s a lovely photo of 78-year-old Merle on the cover of her cookbook, and when The Sprout saw it she pointed and said “That’s daddy’s special friend.” (And yes, when The Bloke returned home from work that night I was waiting with arms folded and a couple of very specific questions despite the fact that – allegedly – they’ve “never even met”.)

• We had family members and some of The Sprout’s little friends over for afternoon tea to celebrate her birthday, and as the weather was fine we set up outside. At one point I realised my kid was absent from the backyard so I went inside to investigate. I found her sitting on the couch beside her four-year-old friend, Josh. Between them they had managed to find a Wiggles DVD and get it playing and they were quietly watching together – while holding hands. When I asked what they were up to, Josh smiled sweetly while my kid looked slightly miffed and responded: “Mum, we’re being private.” Quite.

Happy third birthday, Sprout: you eye-rolling, mischievous, verbally advanced delight. Here’s to another precious year…now how about that game of ‘‘Snap’’?

*It’s fun, right? And my new shoes are definitely cool.

■ You can follow Terri on Twitter @terripsiakis

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