During an outing to the beach recently, my nearly three-year-old was assisting with the packing up and I noticed him collecting a bucket full of periwinkle shells. He clearly intended for the collection to be brought home and I envisioned them crushed to pieces, joining the carpeting of crumbs and what all else in my car.
I said to him, “Why do you need to take so many shells home?” And this is when he enlightened me to some profound reasoning, “I need to because I want to.” Fair enough I thought, I can’t really argue with that kind of logic. In fact I would like to give his thinking a try, here is a list of a few things that I need.
1. I need to drive us home in companionable silence without having to answer a barrage of questions about the dinosaurs (which really just reveal how surprisingly little I know about the dinosaurs... other than some ate leaves, some ate meat and then they all died and I’m not entirely sure how). I need to just stare ahead and be lost in my own thoughts as I drive, because I want to.
2. I need to go to Woolies and browse the winter fashion options without someone tugging on my arm or screaming at me because they are hungry. I need to take with me a handbag with nothing in it but my wallet, phone, car keys and maybe a bit of makeup. I want to, I just want to do that.
3. I need to go to the loo on my own, I need to sit there and do what I need to do and then just remain in quiet solitude for a few minutes because I want to.
4. I need to sleep an entire eight hours because I really want to.
5. I need to spend time in the morning making my hair look nice instead of fighting with someone about whether they need to wear a jacket or not. I need my hair to look nice because I want my hair to look nice.
6. I need to cut sandwiches into any shape that I choose without the fear of inciting a meltdown. I want to just cut them however I want.
I could go on, but oh dear, do you know what I realised? I want to have children and right now, while they are so little, they really really need me and they really really want me and this just happens to be in direct conflict with my list of needs.
And so I find myself sitting on the loo chatting about the dinosaurs to an audience of two more often than I would like to, but I guess I want to. I want to look back on these years one day and say, “We had a lot of fun.”