Meet the Kid

I gave up the gun-toting five decades ago, and these days, all I corral are thoughts and ideas, but this is still pretty much me… pathetic eyebrows, huge soulful eyes, unflattering hair and a pen and notepad surgically attached. I no longer own a plastic horse or look after a herd of cuddly toys, but when I nurture my inner child, this is how she shows up. A loner, bright and bullied, who always felt a bit like a foreigner, at home in her head, in other languages, other lands, making up languages and teaching them to those same, obliging cuddly toys.

Our class at primary school was part of an experiment in teaching kids to read and write using a system called ITA, which was based on the international phonetic alphabet. ita policeman book

Here’s an example of one of our text books. Many of the kids in my class suffered because their families couldn’t help them to read and write, then suffered again when they had to transition back to normal English, which, ironically, was like a second language for us anyway, as we all spoke mining village Scots outside the classroom. Luckily, I not only coped with the language swapping, but thrived and went on to become a linguist, language teacher and translator.

In some ways I became a translator of life, too, as a parent and later, a life coach, helping folk make sense of their own lives and translate their dreams into action.

My favourite TV shows are still made in the USA, I’m still obsessed with clapboard houses and wooden porches and I still spend a ridiculous amount of time in my head or with a notebook, hoping to be a writer when I grow up.Puppies and Kittens (ITA version)

Who were you as a child?

How do you nurture your inner child?

What were the signs back then of your essence, your destinies, the person you are now?

When was the last time you and your inner kid went out to play?

I buy my inner child pens and notebooks, coloured yarn, DVD’s and books as presents. What do you buy yours?


  1. Hi Janice – I’ve just been to an exhibition by the designer, John Napier, who did the sets for numerous theatre, film or events … and bought some postcard sets, and a print of a Cat from Cats! and Equus from a 1970s Equus production.

    As a kid I had no idea what I wanted to do … I didn’t write, nor draw … I was outside climbing trees, playing sport … so this third age of life is interesting to say the least. I doubt I’d have been a linguist, even if I’d be taught via your system ..

    I’d have loved to have had your talents and acquired your knowledge … love your photo – you are a cutie!! Cheers Hilary
    Hilary recently posted…West Country Tour … a Rising Sun lunch and characteristics of a 14th C Inn … part 16 …My Profile

    1. Hi Hilary,
      I think your blog shows that you’re exactly the same as you were as a kid – curious, adventurous, energetic and playful, learning all the time and loving life to the full! I used to play in the forest near our village, but even then, I was living out screenplays in my head, writing myself into every TV series I loved! Bet you didn’t know we had ranches, buffalo herds, forts, time tunnels, International Rescue and Mysterons in Scotland’s forests! 😉

      1. PS Forgot to say… I think that’s the first time in my whole life I’ve ever been called a “cutie”, at any stage – thank you!

  2. Hi Janice,

    What an intriguing question. I have always liked making things: I was sewing and baking at age five, trying to make perfume by squishing up flowers, etc. My mom was encouraging and open to letting me experiment and make a mess. As an adult, I’m more likely to show my affection by making something – a bouquets of flowers, a painting, a batch of muffins – than actually spending time with people!
    Barbra recently posted…How to Write a Professional Bio for a WriterMy Profile

    1. I can imagine you as a kid, maybe because I was always making things, too; my mum once lost all her peony blossoms to one of my perfume adventures and her collection of artificial flowers ended up in the ‘garden’ I made around my rabbit’s hutch. Baking at five?! Amazing! We were a packet sponge mix family, I’m afraid, and I’m still a rubbish baker. Your comment gave me flashbacks: I used to embroider as a tweenager, not with patterns, just using up old yarn to make pictures with thread instead of paint. I guess your painting career must be making your inner child very happy. 🙂 I’m glad you visit here; comments feel like digital gifts.

      1. Well, I should clarify that “baking” involved child boxes of cake mixes – just add water! They were designed to be baked in the very popular “Easy Bake Oven” but I didn’t have one of those so my mom baked them in the regular oven for me 🙂

  3. “A loner, bright and bullied…” – oh, how I identify with this. I felt as if I’d been put down in the wrong world, one that didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. Still doesn’t, often.

    As a child I always said that I wanted to be a writer, live in a cottage in wild and beautiful countryside, keep lots of animals, and I was never going to get married or have children. I gave in on the husband front quite quickly, but the rest still applies even if I haven’t actually managed to achieve much of it. I was always a deep thinker, always reading, spent most of my spare time in my room drawing and painting and writing, and the rest of it out walking in the fields, preferably with a dog. Substitute photography for drawing/painting, and it’s still what I like to do a lot of the time. The deep thinking bit eventually found expression as two philosophy degrees.

    My inner child likes swings, paddling in the sea, blowing bubbles, ice skating, dens and hideaways, funfairs, sparkly things, rocking chairs, vibrant colour, animals, pretty notebooks, bursting bubble-wrap, snakes and ladders, art and craft shops, and books, books, books. I usually do my best to indulge her, but she’s been ignored somewhat of late and many of these things simply haven’t been available.

    When I got married again six years ago, though, all the guests were issued with bubble blowing packs in place of confetti, and we had two bubble blowing machines going so that we walked out as a married couple through a cloud of iridescent bubbles. It seemed like a good way to start things.

    This post is timely for me – I’m realising that it’s way beyond time that I took my inner child out to play again. Thank you for that.
    Gilly recently posted…on developing a personal styleMy Profile

    1. You’re welcome! I am so lucky in these comments boxes – I get to enjoy comments which read like posts in their own right. 🙂

      If you’re ever looking for ideas for posts on your own blog, you could do an extract post linking to all of your own comments on other folks’ blogs – they make really interesting collages and each comment has its own separate URL link.

      This may sound weird, but I’d also love to see you doing a photography project capturing the joyful images in this paragraph:

      My inner child likes swings, paddling in the sea, blowing bubbles, ice skating, dens and hideaways, funfairs, sparkly things, rocking chairs, vibrant colour, animals, pretty notebooks, bursting bubble-wrap, snakes and ladders, art and craft shops, and books, books, books.

      Know what resonated most in your comment, and there were many things our kids had in common? Making dens. Little pockets of security and cosiness.

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