When I was four, I remember throwing a ball around the dining room. Something I knew was wrong.

Dining table

Hiding place? PICTURE: Elliott Stallion/Unsplash

Well, I knocked over a vase in the middle of the table and it broke.

"Oh no! What was I going to do?" Being an exceptionally intelligent and wily four-year-old, I hid where no one would ever find me - under the dining room table!

My mum soon walked in. I can remember seeing her legs stop as she registered the vase, and then, a moment later, bent down to see me.

Caught! How did she know!?

I must have been such a pathetic sight - guilt written all over me, tears running down my cheeks - that she put me on her lap and soothed me, instead of smacking me.  

Some people have been so gentle with me, I’m trying to be gentle with others.

Paul Clark’s musings can be heard on radio across Australia and at atthetop.org.au.