It REALLY couldn’t happen to a nicer…child

It’s my last column for Standard Issue – *sniff* – so I thought I’d do something a little bit different.

During the past six months, I’ve talked to a comedian, an actor, a writer, a PR person, a public speaker, a former commando, a young globetrotter, a teacher, a hipster, a naughty elf  and a political strategist. But today, I’m going to look at something we have ALL been at some point in our lives: a child.

Me grinningI wrote about this subject for the Independent recently, following the final hearing of the joint inquiry into children’s mental health and education. Should we discuss mental health with children? Should it be on the curriculum? Do children even experience mental health problems?

We all know memories are not 100 per cent accurate, but I am going to try to transport myself back to the 80s and 90s when I first experienced panic, anxiety and a massive amount of excitability. Timings are not spot on but you’ll get the gist…

May 1982
It’s my fourth birthday tomorrow. I’m getting a new bike. From the bike shop. It’s red and there is a ball of wool on it. And a basket. And stabilisers. I can’t wait. It’s coming tomorrow! Soon, I won’t need stabilisers. Like that girl with the Raleigh Apple bike across the road.

I’m going to practice and practice and practice. I feel funny. I know they’ve got it in the house.

Can I have it in my room? Why? But why!? I’m not going to bed unless you put it in my room. No! NO! But it’s my birthdaaaaaay. But pleeeeeease.

I love my bike. It’s so pretty. I can’t sleep.

Muuuuum! Muuuuum! I feel sick! Muuuuum quick, it’s coming. Muuuuuu….bleurghhhhhhhhhhh bleurghhhhhhhhhhh

It’s got carrots in it again.

Read the full article on Standard Issue here

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