A few nights ago, we were walking the dogs, when Bumble walked up to an adorable little boy with glasses and a mop of curly hair on his head. The boy reminded me of Manny from Modern Family. You could tell he was anxious about the pup being next to him, but he was very polite as he patted Bumble on the head and smiled. As he walked away, he told us to have a nice evening. Naturally, his politeness mixed with his nerdy exterior made me want to hug him, squish his little cheeks and make him my new little pal. But The Husband always reminds me that I can’t just walk around, squishing other people’s children, so we continued on our way.
Last night, around 7:30, there was a knock on the door. It was Eldon (I just named the little boy Eldon. He looks like an Eldon.) He informed Jay that he was 12 years old and inquired as to whether or not we had any children, because he was looking for some friends to play with. Unfortunately, Jay had to let him down easy because, alas, no children can yet be found in our humble abode.
I was in awe of his brazenness, his ability to walk up to a stranger’s door (all potential bad-things-that-could-happen aside), looking for kids to play with. I was also jealous that it is totally acceptable for a kid to knock on a door, looking to make a friend. That got me thinking of other things that are totally acceptable for a child to do but completely frowned upon if an adult performs the same act.
1) Asking people to be their friend. (See above)
2) Wearing costumes, masks and other assorted props into stores and restaurants. I was once babysitting an adorable five-year-old. As we were getting out of my car to make our daily trip into Target, he told me to hold on a second. He then put on a Batman mask and cape, looked at me and just nodded. We walked into the store, with him in superhero attire. All the adults smiled and laughed at him. I kept thinking that if I were the one in the mask, security would be immediately called.
3) Be a picky eater. I’m notoriously picky. I don’t eat seafood, I’m not crazy about red meat and there aren’t many vegetables outside of lettuce that I choose to chow down on. If a kid refuses the peas and pork chops and opts for more mashed potatoes and chicken nuggets, it’s usually accepted by adults that that’s just the way it is. When I don’t gobble up the lobster or filet, I am reprimanded and immediately interrogated. There’s no political stance I’m taking. No allergies. I just don’t like it. Now pass me the bread and worry about your own plate!
4) Get paid for losing teeth. If an adult loses a tooth, not only are you judged by other adults, but then you have to pay someone else to fix it.
5) Stating the obvious. I was a pre-k teacher for a few years. During this time, I realized that children under ten haven’t yet learned how to sugar coat things. So, if a little kids tells you that you look pretty, then you are definitely having a good hair day. On the flip side, if a little kid asks you why you are fat, then you should probably lay off the cookies. Other gems include “Why does your face look like that?” “Why is that man so short?” “You have a big, red dot on your nose.” “You smell bad.” (A cute aside – When Jason and I first started dating, we worked together and kept it quiet. Nobody knew. One day, one of my students came up to me and said I smelled weird. I asked what I smelled like and he said “Hmm .. you smell like cookies .. and “in love”. It’s because of Mr. Jason, huh?”)
6) Fall asleep anywhere. If you see a little kid sleeping on a park bench, you can’t help but smile and think about how precious it is. His playing must have really worn him out! If you see an adult sleeping on a park bench, you think that hobo should really take a shower and get a job.
7) Go trick-or-treating. There’s one special night a year where all a child has to do is wear something awesome, knock on a door and demand a treat. Sometimes, “shy” kids don’t even have to say ANYTHING and Kit-Kats and Twix bars magically end up in their bag. Why can’t adults go trick or treating? Sure, I CAN buy my own candy, but if you’re giving it out for free, why can’t I have some?
8) Talk to themselves and imaginary friends. I don’t think this one needs any commentary.
9) Go to bed early. Why is there such a stigma on adults who go to bed early? I’m always embarrassed to admit when I go to bed before 10:00 (which is every weeknight). What do children do that makes them so tired that it justifies an 8:00 bedtime without judgment? Yeah, your day of waking up at your own leisure, watching Good Luck Charlie, swinging and eating goldfish crackers is real tough. Get back to me when an alarm disrupts your sleep at 5:30 am, followed by a traffic-filled morning commute, 8+ hours of work, a traffic-jammed afternoon commute, pet-care, cleaning, dinner-making, exercising and DVR watching (there is a lot of pressure to stay up to date on shows without them being ruined by spoilers or recaps)
10) Have someone clean for them, cook for them, bathe them and basically cater to their every whim and fancy. Unless your last name is Hilton or Kardashian, you probably have to wash your own dirty socks (and walk down to your dirty, old basement to do it!) and clean the watered-down ketchup out of the sink yourself.
These reasons, along with a thousand others (including the obvious of summer vacations and no employment obligations) are why I’m super jealous of kids. Sure, I can buy my own toys, whenever I want. But then I’m the one who has to deal with ripping apart the 14 layers of plastic to get to it.
What else can you add to my awesome list?