There are definitely a few things my kids despise that I can’t blame them for – ear drops (currently dealing with this debacle), me licking my fingers to wipe their face (which I swore I’d never do), a really @#$! hot seat belt buckle, sun block (I never have liked the feeling of the stuff, either), melted ice cream, and flies, among other things. But there are a few things they balk at and I want to pull my older-wiser-trust-me card and tell them how one day they’ll look back and wish they’d taken advantage of the situation.
Before I list off those things, let it be said I completely recognize that children hate these things for developmental reasons and their need for more autonomy and it’s all good for their self-confidence, blah-blah-blah. Let’s just put the child-rearing psychology aside for a moment and have a chuckle.
Feel free to add to this list if you have things your children hate and you not-so secretly wish you could trade places.
1. Time out
Whenever Luke hears “Do you want to go to the corner?” he promptly says “nuh” (no). Once he’s in the corner he cries as though we just told him he’ll never eat again. Pretty standard reaction from a toddler. But as an adult, let’s think about this: You’re telling me I get to go to the corner, by myself, not talk to anyone, and relax, until I feel like I’m ready to come out and engage reasonably with other people? Pfft! Hell yeah I want to go to the corner! Show. Me. The corner!!! I will stay in the corner all DAY if you want me to! Just slip a little food and water my way once in a while and you won’t have a problem with me again.
2. Nap time
This is a given but I couldn’t skip over it. Although instead of my daughter’s favorite stuffed kitty, just toss me a bottle of wine to snuggle up with.
3. Getting their hair washed
My kids actually love bath time, but when it comes to rinsing the shampoo out they each take a deep breath and wave their hands around as though they’re going into the deep end. I pour cups of water over their head and we do this as quickly as possible so that they’ll start breathing as quickly as possible. I’ve tried being more gentle about it but they’re all business when it comes to getting their hair washed. Not me. I can’t wait for that hair appointment every 6-8 weeks so my wonderful hair dresser will massage my scalp while washing my hair. Having my hair washed is heaven. I would gladly let my mom wash my hair for me again if it wasn’t at all weird now that I’m 32.
4. Having their outfit chosen for them
Luke’s still young enough he could care less what he wears, but Lila – my sweet, opinionated, princessy, giggly, short-fused spaz – has a very clear idea of what she wants to wear that day. I just don’t have a frickin’ clue what it is. Obviously, because when she tells me she wants to wear her pink skirt with the sparkles on it and I grab the pink skirt with the sparkles on it and she tells me that’s not the one, that she wants the other pink one (that’s really purple) with the sparkles on it (which it doesn’t actually have) and she melts into tears because I should know better…I want to grab her by her fairy wings and tell her how one day, ONE DAY, she will wake up in the morning, run to the coffee pot, run back to the bathroom to get ready for work and realize all her laundry is in the washer and she has nothing to wear but has to be out the door 5 minutes ago. Then, THEN, she will wish someone had picked out her clothes for her regardless of the pinkness or the invisible sparkles.
5. Being bored
I know I have only begun to tread into “I’m borrrrrred” territory. My kids don’t actually say it yet but I can tell when they’re bored. Luke starts throwing major appliances into the kiddie pool and Lila starts crying because her cup of milk isn’t in the same spot she left it in. The inside of our house has been toilet papered countless times because of boredom. All hell breaks loose and war is imminent. It’s up to Mom or Dad to think of something fast or no one is having a good day and there will be multiple wine bottle casualties. I only wish I could get bored. If I were bored I would get a lot of things done. Or I would catch up on a bunch of shows I started watching while pregnant the first go-around and haven’t laid eyes on since. Or I would just laugh at everyone else running around doing stuff, not being bored. Being bored would be a hoot.
6. Long, social meals enjoyed anywhere but home
We very seldom go out to eat with the kids. Mostly because we don’t want eye daggers, hate mail, or tire slashing from the restaurant staff. Once Luke has finished his meal and there is no more food left within a 5-mile radius he’s over it and tries to haul off anytime we look away. Lila gets restless, starts asking a bunch of weird questions and talking in what can only be described as baby-talk meets rabbit. The dynamics are a train wreck. I would love a good long sit-down meal with friends at a restaurant where we don’t have to cook or clean. Some day we will hopefully have those kind of outings again but in the meantime we’ll keep enjoying our meals at home so I can inevitably get pulled away mid-bite because Luke pooped.
7. Anything on TV not involving princesses, Mickey/Minnie Mouse, PBS cartoons, or sing-a-long music
Our mornings typically go like this: Lila wakes up, snuggles me for 5 seconds, plods into the living room with her slippers on, plops down on the couch and begins her first sentence with “I wanna watch…” You know what I want to watch? Something funny, or R rated, or something with anyone in it besides Elmo and crew. The entire last season of Dexter and definitely more cooking shows so I can drool over whatever America’s Test Kitchen is onto this week. The list is pretty long because we haven’t really watched anything without falling asleep. As it is, Daniel Tiger has actually appeared in my dreams. I’m pretty sure the only on-screen person who used to appear in my dreams pre-kids was Mark Wahlberg.
8. Saving money on the water bill
In child-rearing, everything is just a phase. Well we’re in this phase where our money gets flushed down the toilet. I mean I think it’s super sweet how Luke likes to be in the bathroom with me as I’m getting ready in the morning. He watches me, talks to me, throws my hair brush in the garbage, and flushes the toilet about 80 times because it’s hilarious. Then he proceeds to the hallway bathroom to climb up on his stool, brush his teeth and make sure the sink faucet runs for 15 minutes. The kid is adorable, really he is. And his adorableness is evident every month our water bill comes due. You know how before you had kids “they” always warned you how expensive kids are and you just smiled and agreed because, yes, obviously, that made sense? You had noooo idea, did you?