It could, to be fair, be related to the fact that it will be my birthday soon and I will be turning twenty-three years old. Twenty three. 23. XXIII. Whichever way you look at it, I am getting a lot older. (And personally, I am choosing to look at it in Roman numerals from now until I turn 30, because not only does it look fancy, but also I will be able to write my age as XXX and my blog will get hits from people searching for porn. It's not particularly how I want people finding my blog, but at the end of the day, traffic is traffic, and I'm in no position to turn it down.)
Whenever I have these Oh My God, I'm Old! panics, I have to take a quiet moment to contemplate all the impressive things I have done over my many years. It tends to start off relatively well - I list my degree and the various places around the world that I've travelled, but when I get to number three my impressive achievements start to dwindle somewhat, and by the time we're at number seven I am clutching at straws and wondering whether or not being able to rap every line to Sir Mix-a-Lot's classic song Baby Got Back is worthy of note and whether being able to name every US state and its capital counts as 'impressive' when it could just as easily fall into the category of 'party tricks of the sad and lonely 20-something'. It's a tough one to call, I'm sure you'll agree.
I know that I am not the most well rounded adult, but given the type of child I was, I think I've turned out pretty well. Here is a self-portrait that bears an uncanny likeness to how I looked as a five year old:
Apparently, I thought of myself as a very colourful and flamboyant child, with oddly proportioned limbs and extremities that are not dissimilar to those of a bear. However, you will notice that, despite these physical defects, there is a huge, self satisfied smile on my face. I was very destructive as a child - my sister has various scars from times I thought it acceptable to run up to her in the playground, sink my teeth into her shoulder as hard as I could, and then trot away calmly as though nothing had happened. My favourite destructive memory (although I'm sure my sister probably doesn't remember the event as fondly as I do) is the time she willingly put her fingers near a mangle and I, seeing a chance to destroy, sped over and turned the handle, effectively flattening her fingers and causing them to appear slightly two dimensional for the following three weeks.
Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't a disturbed child or anything - I wasn't one of those kids who killed the class pet and then laughed about it whilst every other child wept (after what happened to my cat Shelley, God rest his soul, how could I have been?) - I think the main issue was that I just got bored very easily. (A sign of intelligence, I've heard...) Evidently, now that I am older, my intelligence has dwindled somewhat and I can happily spend an entire day walking around with my mother and sister and not resort to a) biting anyone, or b) causing a scene, attracting unwanted attention, and giving off the impression that I am the spawn of Satan and should never be let out of the house, accompanied or otherwise. I do still get bored whilst shopping though and I usually just tend to spend most of the time huffing and sighing and generally expressing sounds of distress until I am either given the car keys so I can sulk in the car, or bought a treat to shut me up.
Knowing that at 23 years old I am still inclined to occasionally act like a child is one of the many reasons that I feel I should never reproduce - they'd be exactly like me. I know that if I were to grace this world with my spawn, I would be creating a litter of the most annoying, destructive, self-appreciating, misbehaving little shits in the entire world. My maternal instincts (which are fairly thin on the ground anyway) would be tested in ways I never imagined. I also think I may be incapable of differentiating between offspring and animals - I know for a fact that I would accidentally whistle for my child when I wanted it to come, then reward it with a pat on the head, a scratch behind the ears, and a suspiciously bone-shaped treat. Still, there's at least one thing I can be certain of - if my child looks anything like I looked as a child (see above), then I can rest assured that it will be the most adorable, perfectly proportioned bambino in the world, and should I fail to remember to feed it, it can fend for itself by foraging for food with its magnificent bear-like claws. Motherhood, I am ready for you.
(Not really. That was a joke. I am not, nor will I ever be, ready to birth a human, despite possibly already being past my child-bearing peak.)