Kid World

When you look after kids you end up doing things that you haven’t done for years, and you never realised you lost the ability to do. I was a pretty active kid, really, when I think about it. I didn’t like sports, but I loved climbing trees, dancing, going on hiking adventures, swinging on swings, going down slides, jumping on trampolines, doing cartwheels, doing somersaults etc. etc. etc. Also, being an actor, you spend a lot of time doing strange things, like pretending to be animals, or attempting to express nothingness through movement and all that sort of bizarre stuff. But, since I’ve been out of acting school for a while, and I’m now 27, which is ridiculously old-sounding (and must be old-being as well, because I’m not longer considered a youth by many funding bodies and programs. Pooh to you, I say), my body got creaky without me even realising.
This came to my attention today when the little one decided she wanted to somersaults. That was ok, but then she wanted me to do them too. I said I couldn’t do them. She told me (cheeky monkey) that I need to practice. As I always tell her this when she gets into a strop over the fact that she can’t do something, I decided I couldn’t get out of it now. So, I attempted to do a somersault. I was worried about my neck. I was worried about my spine. I was worried about my tailbone. The little one wouldn’t have a bar of it. ‘Practice! Practice!’ So, I ended up putting down two sofa cushions and doing somersaults on those.
It was a lot of fun once I got going. It reminded me of a yoga class I took last year, in which our teacher took us through a variety of balancing poses. She told us this was a good thing to do, because most of us (unless we are trapeze artists) always look at the world from the same perspective and along the same lines, giving us a stagnant view of things. But, through yoga and these balancing poses, we would be able to look at our world anew again. I liked that idea, and I thought it was probably an important exercise for someone who wants to be involved in the arts (it also gave me a new perspective on yoga, which I have previously found difficult to enjoy).
Anyway, the point of all this is, that looking after kids, and doing somersaults, for example, offers the same thing, this different perspective on the world. When I write it down like that it seems like a very boring and pedestrian observation. Something that I’ve spoken about many times on this blog before. I think the difference I’m trying to remark on here is that different physical perspective. I’m crawling around the ground a lot more than I have in years, I’m squeezing into tight spaces, I’m doing crazy things my body hasn’t been asked to do for many moons. Its complaining a little. Its outright refusing in some instances, but it is enjoying the change. I’ve found that if you quit worrying, and just go along with it and see what happens, generally the body will warm up to it. It might even enjoy it. It might find it a welcome change from all the boring gym work it usually gets put through.
On another side, but still related note, it does also make me wonder how much harder it would be as an ‘older’ parent. I know its something that older parents vehemently deny (that they are in any way less able or capable than their younger counterparts), and I certainly don’t want to draw huge assumptions and make sweeping statements, but I’m wrecked after 3 days with one little girl (not even both of them together), and I’m only 27. I’m not as fit and healthy as I have been, admittedly, but I’m no weakling either.
Despite my concerns that perhaps adulthood in the later 30’s, early 40’s would be, in many ways, more difficult and more exhausting, I still have no plans to have children myself any earlier than 35. My host mother told me last week she couldn’t see me without children. This does seem to be a common theme amongst most of the people who know me. Its odd that everyone else feels so certain about the fact, when I’m not convinced myself. Anyway, enough babbling. That’s my post for the day. Its not very funny or coherent, but, as I said, I’m wrecked.

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