Growing pains

Height chart

Tree of life

OUR CHILDREN are both experiencing growing pains.

Last week, Boy Wonder woke up in the early hours howling like a little wolf. My legs, my legs, he screamed at me. After soothing him, I rubbed his limbs up and down, as if I was a physio tending to a football player heading into extra-time. We went through the same agony for another two nights and during the day he complained that his arms hurt.

He’s a tall boy for his age, fuelled by growth spurts that can turn his trousers and t-shirts into hotpants and crop-tops. He turns five in September but I usually buy clothes designed for six and seven year-olds.

Meanwhile, Little Buddha is apparently small for her age but she also seems to have been undergoing a growth spurt. A fortnight ago, she started to lose her balance, crashing into furniture or just falling to the floor in an ungainly heap. Then one evening, she tripped and head-butted the hallway skirting board.

After the hospital paediatricians had quit their CSI-style cross-examination of the Duchess – ‘there’s a child hurt here, there must be something we can pin on you dear parent’ – one of them explained that her centre of gravity was shifting as she gains height. This had caused what was probably a broken nose.

In the space of a few days, both of our children had experienced their own version of growing pains.

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‘It wasn’t my fault’

Boy Wonder: ‘Is that our new toaster?’
Me: ‘It is, yes son. Our old one blew up.’
Ten seconds later…
Boy Wonder: ‘Daddy, the toaster wasn’t my fault.’
Me: ‘No, it wasn’t.’
Boy Wonder: ‘It wasn’t Baby Sister’s fault.’
Me: ‘No.’
Boy Wonder: ‘It wasn’t Daddy’s fault.’
Me: ‘That’s right.’
Boy Wonder: ‘It was Mammy’s fault. She’s very naughty.’
Me: Smiling. Good to see he’s already learnt the Blame Game.