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Childhood Is A Foreign Country

Childhood Is A Foreign Country - Expatlog At five I played ‘Ring-O-Ring-O-Roses’ and ‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’. I went to birthday parties, passed the parcel, ate cubes of pineapple and cheese off cocktail sticks without ever wondering why, and danced unabashedly to ‘The Birdie Song.’ At six I devoured Ladybird books, crawling into small spaces to lose myself in tales of beanstalks and giants, pirates and treasure. I counted the interminable minutes before children’s TV started at four pm when I could watch Sesame Street, Bosco and Tales of the Riverbank with Hammy the hamster (which spookily, was a Canadian series*). Most of the time I was outdoors with just my sister and our imaginations, making mud pies and playing cowboys. Here in Canada, my kids read ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ and The Magic Schoolbus. In Kindergarten the teacher says ‘criss-cross applesauce’ and they know she wants them cross-legged and quiet for circle time where they learn to count from books that list, ‘One pine tree, Two bear cubs, Three hockey pucks, Four geese, five peewee players…’ Is childhood universal? My kids are having a completely different one to mine...

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