My youngest prospective brother-in-law is just two, and it is such a fun age! He is learning to talk now, something that hasn't been all that easy for him but he's getting there now. He can more or less assert what he wants now, and in other areas he is quite advanced. He can name various body parts now, which I think is pretty impressive.
It struck me recently how unselfconscious young children are. I remember being like that, larking around in front of my parents' friends without any embarrassment whatsoever when I was little. I forget what age I was when all that changed. Perhaps it was a gradual, but constant process that took place throughout my childhood. I think this happens for everyone but only to a certain extent.
For example, I remember a time when I loved participating in class assemblies and school plays. These days I rarely even contribute verbally in a seminar, simply because I am too shy and hesitant. I know others though who don't seem to feel self-conscious at all, participating regularly in class discussions, and marching boldly onto a stage without a fear in the world.
One day my brother-in-law might change too, but for the moment he remains innocent and fun loving, oblivious to the attention he draws to himself when out in the public, whether he is throwing a rare tantrum or simply smiling sweetly and chattering away on the bus. I find he takes away some of my feelings of self-consciousness too, when I am with him. Like the other day when I was sitting in the back of the car beside him I was entertaining him by chatting with him, playing 'peekaboo' which he loves, and teaching him how to high-five!
I don't know why but I devised a new game which involved dancing to the music playing on the radio - well, I suppose you'd call it hand-jiving as there's limited dancing space in most cars, let alone a car as tiny as my in-law's! He is at the mimicking stage and he joined in as best as he could. It was good fun, and I stopped caring what Spud and my father-in-law must have thought! To be honest, I'm not sure that they noticed, but even if they did, I didn't care. My brother-in-law and I were boogying away, and we were loving it!