My son came to work with me recently, and I must admit, I was a little nervous.
What if he whinges too much? Or accidentally uses toilet humour on my boss? Or even worse…what if he leaves an, erm, little something in the office toilets?
It turns out I didn’t give my five year old nearly enough credit. As the day went on, I was filled with immense pride looking at the little man that sat before me. He was like a little boss man, confidently saying hello to all the grown-ups and sitting and listening diligently to me and my work friends. Who is this guy?
As a parent you never really know if you’re doing a good job and always doubt whether you are fostering good habits in your children, but moments like this remind me that I’m doing something right. Yes, I know who this guy is.
He’s the same little person that is naturally organised and responsible in how he goes about his daily life. Every morning when I go to work I am farewelled with our ritual kiss-n-cuddle combo. And without fail, he always takes his shoes off before we enter the house. And when I see him in the playground, I see his innate sense of social justice – he makes sure everyone gets a fair turn on the slide.
Because he's such a sensible little man, he also keeps my adulting in check. I mean, here I am thinking I’m the adult - I make the rules. But over the years, as my son starts to resemble a mini adult more and more, he notices when my adulting isn't quite on the ball.
Like when he recounts my "promises" word for word: "Mum, you said I can have computer time on Saturday afternoon after I ate my healthy food!"
How does he remember something I said on Monday morning just so he would eat his oats? So much happens during the week, you'd think he would casually forget.
Yes, sometimes I feel like he's got the adulting thing more down than I do. But the truth is, my main goal as a parent is to ensure he thrives into an independent self-assured adult - and by indulging him in a few little adulting ways, I feel I am empowering him to have a voice and that his voice matters, even as a little person.