As grown ups, we often make snarky remarks about how we wish our kids realized how lucky they have it. We bathe them, cook for them, feed them, clothe them, play with them, push them around in shopping carts and strollers. Hell, we even wipe their asses. And more often than not, they just don’t seem to get how awesome that is of us.
But, seriously, they’re kids. They don’t know it any other way. I consider myself lucky that my three year old is an all around happy girl, and I hear her say “thank you” all the time without being prompted. Makes my heart swell with pride every time I hear it. She bounces with excitement any time she receives a gift, and seems genuinely grateful, no matter what it is.
But, anytime we do have a frustrating day, I try and make myself think about how hard kids really can have it. They have next to no control over their daily lives. How confusing it must be to them when we encourage every new milestone, every new word, every first step, when they are babies, only to be met with “don’t run!”, “don’t touch that!”, “not so loud!” as soon as they reach toddlerhood.
I try to keep all this in mind, and give my girl as many choices as I can. Within reason, of course.
I also try to make sure she has an outlet for things. Now that she has a seven month old sister, she hears me telling her on a daily basis that we have to be quiet so that we don’t wake up Stella. No doubt she gets tired of hearing it. Sometimes as soon as Stella is up, I ask Sofia to give me the biggest dinosaur roar she can muster.
A big grin will spread across her face as she yawps out a mighty “RRRrroooaaaaarrrrrrrRRR!!!!”
If it’s bedtime and I can’t seem to get her pajamas on because she has so much nervous energy she may as well be tapping out a Fred Astaire routine, sometimes I’ll just stop, take a deep breath, and give her a minute. I’ll tell her I need her to wiggle as much as she can. Hubs and I will clap and yell “wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle!” as she shimmies around. When she’s finally done we give getting dressed another go. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t.
And, while keeping an empathetic mind on the frustrations of our children, let us also keep in check our attitudes toward adulthood.
I know. I know. Waking up to an alarm every day to go to a frustrating job, or to deal with all the ups and downs of being a homemaker, can be a real killjoy sometimes. Paying bills sucks. Dealing with traffic sucks. Hell, just having to be a responsible adult is often quite a downer. We worry about our present. We worry about our future. Sometimes we worry about our past.
And, it’s all valid. There’s a lot of shit to worry about, stress about, and obsess about as a grown up.
To soften the blow of that reality, here’s a couple of things that make adulthood not so shitty.
1. Wine. Or beer. Or rum. Whatever your flavor. Having a nice, relaxing drink. Damn, it’s good.
2. Sex. Doesnt really seem like that needs more explanation.
3. You can eat what you want. And, you don’t have to eat what you don’t want to. Generally, there’s no one haggling over how many bites of broccoli you’ve taken. If you’re feeling particularly sassy, you can even have dessert for dinner. Or breakfast!
4. You can drive. Sure. Sometimes it’s a pain in the ass. But, you can do it. You don’t have to negotiate with your mom over chores so that she’ll give you a ride to hang out with your friends.
5. You can watch (and read) whatever the hell you want. (Granted, you often have to wait until the nuggets are asleep.) You can have a Rambo marathon, or watch twenty hours of Battlestar Galactica, or watch Showgirls. You can spend weeks doing nothing but reading your favorite trade paperbacks. No one gives a shit. You don’t need anyone’s permission.
6. You pick what you wear. Most days I’ll let Sofia pick from two things to wear. If she gets no choice, she may complain and try to refuse to get dressed. If she has too many options she can’t focus or make up her mind. Then when Mommy decides on an outfit it will inevitably be the one thing she refuses to wear.
Within the unavoidable limit of budget, grown ups dress themselves however the hell they want to. I get in a rut sometimes and don’t think about that. When you’re a grown up, every day can be dress up day. I can wear a fancy dress, or live in yoga pants for days on end.
Now I just need to figure out who to talk to about making some of the kids clothes I find in adult sizes;)
7. In addition to what you wear, you’re In charge of you’re own appearance. I can wear red lipstick if I’m feeling sassy. I can highlight my hair. I can pierce my nose. I can get a tattoo. I can shave my head, or dye my hair green. I can wear flip flops in January, or knee high boots in June. I can do whatever the hell I want. It’s pretty sweet.
The list could go on and on. But, in short, grown ups can do what they want, eat what they want, drink what they want, wear what they want, have a dog if they want, take a vacation to Paris, or ComicCon. Whatever the hell they want. Not too shabby.
Of course, this is not to minimize the frustrations we feel. Or the circumstances that can limit us. But, we should all try and remember the good stuff on the days when we’re being little bitches, and take it all in stride;)