Infancy and Childhood were two units we had this semester in our Developmental Psychology portions.
Sadly, our teachers didnt have the time, poor things to teach these chapters in class.
So, of course, we ended up having to leaf desperately through our fat text books the night before the exam- in the hope of mugging up the first eleven years of life.
It was quite entertaining.
Did you know that only 20% of 4 year olds can throw well, and only 30% of them can catch?
I laughed out loud when I read that because I remembered the time when I was around that age, maybe a little younger.
I can sort out when memories are from, by the length of my hair at the time they happened.
If I remember having almost waist length hair at the time, then it was before I was four, before we moved out of Bellsize Park to the house on Foxlees.
Short, shoulder length hair, and it was just after we'd moved. (I still cant believe how my mum and the Chinese hairdresser tricked me into that.)
Shorter hair still, and an irritating fringe that got into my eyes, was my fifth birthday and beyond.
And two inches below the shoulder again was when I was late seven-ish.
End of sidetrack.
So anyway my dad over the weekend would suddenly say, "Come on MM, lets play some Catch!"
I didnt want to hurt his feelings or anything, but quite frankly, I preferred my stuffed toys. And my dolls, Laura and Minnie (on account of the embroidered mouse on her dress).
According to my books, children begin pretend play in Middle Childhood (6 to 11 yrs), but I seemed to have gotten a headstart.
Since my mum had been regaling me with stories from the Ramayana (it was a big fat yellow book she read from), I was quite transfixed with the idea of living in a forest.
So I'd decided Minnie and I were going to be exiled, and we'd picked up our imaginary bows and stridden off into the forest.
Laura was Sita, I thought her too incapable to be saddled with a weapon. And the stuffed monkey I had (well actually it was a Monchichi, darling things, anyone heard of them?) was Hanuman, but he didnt come ino the picture until the end when we all said "Jai Bolo Hanuman ki!", my favourite part of the whole charade. Chicka was his name actually. Chickaboo, to be precise (no stress on any of the syllables). Adventures that monkey's had, ask Snum to tell you about them sometime.
So anyway, the golden deer had just arrived and it was all very exciting and adventurous, and it was about to be the time where we'd all bow down and shout in praise of Chicka.
And suddenly, here was my dad, wanting to play Catch.
These adults must be humoured, god bless them, I'd thought and tottered off in his direction.
Thing is, I was never able to catch the ball. It makes me laugh now when I remember it. Everytime he threw it at me, I'd wildly clamp my arms together like a crocodile, head turned away, eyes screwed shut.
And whenever I threw it, it landed 2 feet away from me, no matter how hard I tried or how angry I was.
My dad kept encouraging me, hoping for the best. But I couldnt do it.
Naturally, being three and all.
I was telling him about it yesterday and we'd a good laugh about those futile attempts we'd made to fine tune my motor skills.
Sooner or later though, he'd let me get back to my imaginary weapons and the gazelle, and I'd gladly scamper off to greener forests.