Several times now Max has asked me, 'What do you want to be when you are grown up?' I like the idea that I'm still young enough to keep growing. Without missing a beat, I tell him I want to be a writer. As for those in this family who really are still growing... When Max was four he decided he wanted to be an airport baggage handler. He was pretty adamant that this was about as exciting a career as he wanted. A few months before, when we checked our bags in at the airport ready to fly, we hadn't factored in Max's emotional attachment to our luggage. He became a bundle of noisy wet tears amid the check-in kiosks as the bags were being taken off our hands for the journey. As the queue backed up, under the glare of the strip lighting, kneeling on the cold polished floor, I found myself consoling a screaming child about the wonders of air travel and explaining that we would be reunited with our bags at our destination. Once this proved true, after much disbelief, he saw things in a different light. He fell in love with the 'escalator' mechanism that took bags out of sight, no doubt he loved the stickers slapped on our oversized luggage and of course the magic of a perforated air ticket. At arrivals, while his parents looked on wearily, he ran circles of excitement round the carousel that would finally dispense our bags. However, 2011 sees a different dream; this time it's a musical one. The boy has always been very particular about what kind of music he listens to - now he wants to make his own. His band, he tells us will be called 'Rocks of Hundreds of Light'. He even has the name of one of his songs. Last night he gave me the 3 beat rhythm - I actually recorded it, but I'll give you the gist here: Bew-nyew [3 beats of silence] B
ew-nyew [3 beats of silence] Bew-nyew [3 beats of silence] Bew-Nyew [3 beats of silence] Bew-nyew-nyew-nyew-nyew-nyew-nyew .
Oli on the other hand definitely wants to be a teenager, the reason being that the Lego catalogue contains all sorts of fun things for teenagers to make but nothing for 3 year olds, who must still make do with Duplo. He is almost astonished when I tell him that he will be a teenager one day. 'Will I? Really?' With regard to being a fully-fledged grown-up, he tells us he wants to be a dinosaur.