Two friends of mine I haven't seen in a few years invited me to their son's 5th birthday today. Lured by the promise of daiquiris and catching up with two awesome people, how could I say no?
I felt weird showing up to a party full of toddlers and parents, but I invoked the Dunkirk spirit and had a fun time chatting with people. The party didn't last long so I stuck around to help clean up and have a couple of beers.
While we were talking, their 2 year old daughter scooped up the iPad, clambered onto the couch and curled up against me before expertly unlocking the tablet and firing up an educational game where she had to drag animals to their corresponding first letter. Unconsciously, I started petting her and telling her what a clever girl she was and...wait, this is how I talk to my cat! I have no idea how to talk to children. I immediately felt awkward and totally unprepared for adult life, even though I turn 33 tomorrow.
Still, I survived and no longer regard kids the same way I would, say, live munitions. Progress? Their kids are so adorable. They went from being bratty and screaming about some toy to sitting down and quietly playing five minutes later!
Still don't want any of my own. They said I could borrow them if I felt the paternal urge to spend time with them, to which I asked if they were litter trained.