Seventeen little suggestions:
- First up, look the part: dress with flair. Layer. Pair patterns with patterns, red with pink. Spice up your winter look with a dash of something summery. (Bikini bottoms over those jeans? Do it.) How would that skirt look on you upside down? Don’t be discouraged by people telling you it’s too big or too small for you: have fun trying.
- Eat what you want, when you want. Make every meal a feast of the senses: touch, especially. Request – no, demand – that toast cut into triangles. Always eat jam with your cheese. Be adventurous. Cucumber pieces with your muesli? Do it.
- Refuse to share the good stuff: food, toys, clothes, cuddles.
- Don’t let anyone try to tell you when you’re tired and when you’re not.
- Be naked. Often.
- Set out to achieve your daily tasks with a pair of socks on your hands. Not making your life interesting enough? Replace socks with shoes; repeat.
- Fight, every step of the way, for justice. They’re having chocolate? You need chocolate. He’s drinking a beer now? Demand a swig of that beer. Don’t let the quickest application of deodorant go unshared.
- Refer to most things (well, things … pets … people: get creative) as ‘mine’.
- Kiss a cat. Go on – give that fella a big smacker.
- Poo when you need to, even if it’s an inconvenient time or place for pooing, in someone else’s opinion. Take your time.
- Find art media everywhere: the garden, the bathroom, your highchair. Dip your fingers in it; make marks with it. Tip it out and smear it, as far as it will go. You can express yourself on most horizontal surfaces, but a good, big white wall is what you’re really looking for.
- Eat moisturiser.
- Moisturise with jam, mayonnaise or toothpaste.
- Love books. Hold them, squeeze them, make towers out of them. Stroke your favourite characters. Turn a book’s pages one at a time, or five at a time, and see what it does to the story. Turn the page either reeeally slowly or really QUICK when you know there’s a good part on the other side. Try reading a book upside down.
- Be ticklish.
- Only ask for help if something’s about to fall on you, if you’re about to fall from something, or if you’re irreversibly stuck halfway in, halfway out of a tshirt that was too small for you last summer.
- Be, uncompromisingly, true to yourself. No exceptions. You are wonderful. You are entitled. You are loved: above all, you are loved. Go live this glorious life: the good times are good and the hard times always end in cuddles (and, if you’re lucky, a swig of beer).