My niece has a birthday coming up; she is way past the point of being a toddler but I guess I am getting misty-eyed because I have been remembering hanging out with her when she was wee and how different she made everything.

For example, Toddlers don’t understand the concept of walking as a function. For them, it is just a chance to amble about staring at bricks and clumps of earth, marvelling at how they came to be on the pavement.

They double back, walk sideways and often simply stop walking altogether before staring attentively up into the sky.

Instead of getting cross and hurrying them along, embrace the way they follow one impulse of curiosity after another.

Toddlers are the masters of instinct.

Once you have rejected your agitated impulses that seem intent on driving you on and on, you will discover what it means to be truly relaxed. At first, this process may seem frustrating for a harried adult, but once you abandon the hope of being somewhere at a specific time, you will find yourself revelling in a state of child-like torpor.

While following this nobler means of perambulation the world around you will begin to morph into a more magical place. Sticks you would have otherwise trodden over turn in to the staffs and swords that swoosh through the air to the echo of brave, long-forgotten heroes.

H’ppy birthday…

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