You know, I am very fond of my friends son. He is 6. He has such a big personality.

I used to think I wasn’t good with kids. But as I’ve gotten older, I seem to have this funny little thing going on.

Because I see them as little people rather than children, I give them the respect they deserve.

I talk to them. I take an interest in what interests them. And they talk back. They are pleased that someone is taking an interest in them. That they can be heard. Isn’t that what we all want? To be heard?

I always sit down and have a little chat with them about everything. I am fascinated with the way they operate.

But my downfall is I laugh all the time when they play up. Often times they are like little drunk people. I guess because I’m not the one that needs to deal with the consequences enable me to be this way.

They laugh at inappropriate times, they cry and yell when they don’t get their own way. They spill food on themselves. They knock over their drink. They throw up all the time. They fall over. They bust into song and dance randomly. And I think it’s hilarious.

The other night at dinner, my friends son in the middle of dinner at the restaurant we were at, stands up and announces loudly “Mum, guess what? I need to do a poo”. I laughed. This made him ham it up even more.

Upon them returning, he said he wants to get up and refill his drink. As he gets up he says with a mischievous look in his eye “hey Amy! Watch this!” He knows he’s going to make me laugh.

He proceeds to walk backwards through the restaurant singing loudly, smiling cheekily at us, and being quite theatrical. Bumping into the tables and he makes his way in reverse to the drink machine. I couldn’t help but laugh. It’s such a stupid thing to do.

My girlfriend shakes her head and can’t also help but laugh. It’s embarrassing and he’s misbehaving, but what can either of us do? Yes, we are encouraging this behaviour, but what do you do?

The time before that when we were out to dinner, he gets up and starts singing the Coles song.

“Down, down, prices are down!” He yells. Complete with his finger pointing down to mimic the ad on TV.

And then I had a thought. This little boy already knows how to deal with women. All it really takes to win a woman over is to make her laugh. And he has the pair of us wrapped around his little finger.

And he is incredibly perceptive too. Because I’m rarely in makeup, I decided to put some on for a change the other day. And that was the first thing he noticed. “You’re wearing makeup” he noted.

It’s nice when the opposite sex notices these things. Even if he’s near three decades my junior. It’s funny how children are instinctively hard-wired to be this way from such a young age.

So I guess today’s blog is about the importance of mutual respect. I respect this little buddy of mine, and he in turn respects me. This is all any of us are after.

And I also think it’s important to not take life so seriously. Learn to embrace your childish innocence. Never lose it. Keep laughing, and learn to accept each person, young or old, for the individual and free spirit they are.

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