I’m stuck in the present tense!

A present.

Youngest’s latest obsession is a contender to be the most annoying one yet. She’s constantly talking about presents.

Now, I’ll preface this by pointing out that she’s not a greedy child at all. Nor is she spoilt. It’s simply down to the way things have panned out in the last few months.

It started in early November when I began descending the slippery slope to 40. Her birthday came next and was just about a month before Christmas.

Then there was my dad’s, Christmas itself, followed by family get-togethers with relatives we didn’t see on the big day.

Next came the birthday party of one of her friends from nursery. Last week, she gave up her dummy and got a present as a reward for doing so. It was nothing big. In fact, it was something I got in a goody bag at an event two years ago.

Then yesterday was my wife’s birthday. As a result of all this, gifts have been a common sight of late.

So it’s easy to see why she has come to think in what I’ll refer to as the present tense. Sorry, not sorry.

There’s no blame to be apportioned to anyone. We haven’t been frivolous – and we couldn’t afford to be even if we wanted to! – and her response is entirely normal for someone who only recently turned three.

It’s just that she won’t stop talking about presents! For the most part, she asks for them as they have become the norm to her.

She also holds birthday parties for her toys. By my reckoning, some of them are now at least 700 years old as a result.

In addition, she offers to get us presents when she accidentally hurts us. This sounds quite specific, I know, but it happens more often than you’d think.

She still gets in our bed every night, so my morning alarm call is usually a headbutt followed by the promise of something to do with Peppa Pig.

Talk about adding insult to injury!

Yesterday, she pounced on the wrapping paper from my wife’s presents, stuffed her toys in it and ‘opened’ it again. She even feigned surprise at what each one was.

Thankfully, the next birthday in our family isn’t until March. So, hopefully, the absence of gifts will result in her forgetting about the present tense.

It’s a good job that I didn’t go to the Toy Fair this week and speak to loads of PR folk about organising reviews for the months ahead. Oh, hang on…

A London Toy Fair media badge.

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