You know those women in movies who the audience laughs at because they're extremely prissy and follow their kids around with a dustbuster in case a crumb spills on the floor and they have heart attacks if there are fingerprints on the fridge? How distressing to learn I am that fussy, prissy, dustbuster touting woman.
My 3-year old nephew was here for less than 24 hours with his mom and I spent most of those hours trying not to scream. And it's not him. He was very good. He just had the energy and disposition of...a 3 year old.
I tried not to cringe when he ate potato chips on my oriental rug. Or when he flung his fork on the unscratched surface of my dining room table. Or when he liked the whap sound his belt buckle made on my hardwood floor. Or when told to eat his green beans he shouted "No!"
What's really interesting is I don't have kids, I have no plans to have kids, I don't enjoy spending time with kids, yet I'm confident I know just what each of you need to do to raise your own kids.
I'm not backing down on this. I don't need Dr. Phil to tell me not to give kids sugar past 5 pm at night. Both my niece and one of my nephews have been allowed to indulge in candy, cookies, sweet cereal, and Mountain Dew only minutes before their supposed bedtime. The best part is their parents then don't give a thought turning to us and sighing, "We have such a hard time getting her to go to bed at night."
Are you people insane?
I'm sort of shocked to discover that if I had kids that I would be a bit of a hard-ass. Food would be eaten at the table and you're going to eat what I serve you and you're not going to get up from the table and roam around and bother those of us who are still eating and I will wipe that smirky pout off your face faster than you can say "early bedtime."
Whew. It needed to be said.
The sort of sad thing though, is that I admire homes where kids can be kids. If you're more worried about your sofa remaining unstained than your kid having a happy childhood, something's out of whack. Which is why I should not have kids, because I really, really like my sofa.
I love visiting kid friendly houses where 18 children who may or may not belong to said parents are running in and out, the dog is barking, the cat is stalking, and a bird or two may be flying about. There's a jovial sense of barely controlled chaos.
I admire these people.
I am not one of these people.
I like everything in it's place. I like no yelling. I like order. I like clean floors. I like being able to sit down and read a book whenever I feel like it. I like not having to keep someone else entertained. I like not having to answer the question "why" ever 5 seconds. (I started to get creative toward the end. "I'm doing laundry." "Why?" "Because hippos are orange.")
I've always said, "I love kids. I just love other people's kids." Now I'm not so sure. Apparently I only love kids if they are drugged or in a drugged-like state.
There is some hope. I read my nephew several stories and he laughed at the funny voices I did, and kept asking me to read more. That made me feel good.
But I still can't wait to vacuum my rug.