Being the ‘hip’, ‘happening,’ ‘with-it,’ extremely cool parents we are, we enjoy life to the fullest and want to have fun. Indeed we purposefully seek out good times for us and for our children, although when this happens it’s usually our children who have the fun while we have… something else entirely. The fact of the matter is, kids and parents tend to have wildly differing opinions on just what ‘fun’ is, and it’s been this way at least since the 70’s when we were born. (Anthropologists contend even longer than that, but we can’t independently verify it.) So, in honor of the start of summer vacation, that magical time when ALL the kids are home ALL the time, we’d like to post a list of a few things kids love but parents hate. These are from our perspective, of course. If you have a different view or haven’t experienced these like we have, you are indeed one of the lucky ones.
1.) Getting up early – What is it with kids and rising at sunup? I’m all about honoring the ways of the past, but really, we don’t have a rooster crowing or cows to milk, so why do we hear whispers and the pitter patter of little feet out and about at 7AM on a SATURDAY MORNING!?!? No matter how much we try to explain it to them, little people can’t seem to grasp how precious sleep truly is. Someday they will, but by then we’ll be getting up at sunup ourselves because, well, that’s what old people do too.
2.) Mud puddles and places where water gathers – What is it with children and their fascination with water? Whether it’s a lake or a two inch mud puddle, they attract munchkins like a freshly mopped kitchen floor attracts crumbs. No WONDER so many of them drown! Go to any park with a creek, lake, or pond and, despite the fact that they could be playing in a grassy field with a ball of some sort, or a playground with slides and swings, they will instead gravitate to right beside the water and parents will stay wide-eyed and paranoid the entire time praying their kids don’t drown. And where a semi-normal, functioning adult would step OVER a puddle of water on pavement, or a puddle of mud on the grass, kids will alter their steps to step INTO said obstacle. It’s all some sort of sick game to them.
(There are no pictures of our kids in mud puddles because we’re too busy cleaning them up to take pictures!)
3.) Band-Aids – This might just be a Morefield thing – I don’t know – but our kids love Band-Aids. If they get a cut, scratch, or slight reddish mark anywhere on their skin our kids ask for a Band-Aid. When we give them one (nay, we don’t always give in to their cries of ‘wolf’), it’s a real bear getting it off again. They would keep it on forever. They get upset when it slips off in the bath or sink only to reveal perfectly healed skin – except they need another Band-Aid to cover their boo boo that’s not even a boo boo anymore. Blame it on Scooby Doo, Tinkerbell, and all the other cartoon characters that grace kids’ Band-Aids these days, but if I had a dime for every time I’ve told our kids they get Band-Aids for BLOOD and only for BLOOD, I would be able to afford the co-pay on a trip to the ER.
4.) Junk food – You don’t have to teach kids to like junk food any more than you have to teach them to lie, cheat, or fight with their siblings –it just comes natural. The manufacturers make sure of that. It’s a great business model that’s sure to please shareholders – load some processed chemicals up with sugar, slap a cartoon character on the label, and laugh all the way to the bank. Kids beg their parents for it and parents usually know it’s bad but they give in anyway. It’s convenient, quick, and much easier than training kids to appreciate and like things that their bodies actually need. Hey, we’ve been just as guilty as the next family – but it’s certainly something we’ve determined to change.
5.) Amusement parks – Don’t get me wrong, amusement parks are great and normally have something for everybody. But when you are a parent with small kids (it gets better as they get older), like a prisoner being publicly perp-walked in shackles by places he’d like to go but can’t at that moment because he’s ‘tied-up,’ it’s really best not to even look at the cool stuff you could be doing because you can’t do it anyway. We endure hours at amusement parks in the hot sun waiting in line for kiddie rides, going to kiddie shows, getting kiddie treats, and otherwise doing kiddie things – all so we can see our kids laugh and smile and have a nice time. Often we end up having a good time as well, but ‘fun’ is normally not for us. We understand this. It’s par for the course, the price you pay to (hopefully) not have to waste away in some nursing home when you’re old.
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