I remind my kiddos almost daily that they should cherish their time as a child because, well, when that ship sails… it. has. sailed. (Mid-life crisis notwithstanding.)
For your entertainment, and for the season when my children can read more than Dick and Jane, I’m chronicling a handful of the things I hate the most about being “of an age of maturity.”
1. Laundry. Socks. Who actually loves laundry? I’m all about the fresh laundry smell and pajamas warm from the dryer on a crisp, cold winter day but the day in, day out of clothing maintenance? Bleh. The terror I feel when I accidentally get a white shirt in with the dark colors is an indicator of my own special brand of OCD, but truthfully, I don’t know anyone that says, “Gee whiz, honey, let’s skip the dinner and a movie date night and match socks instead. That’ll really turn me on.”
2. Paying Bills. I remember the day I got my first checking account. I felt so grown up, so responsible! I wrote checks like they were going out of style; I’m pretty sure I paid for a $.69 box of Tic Tacs and two Double Bubble gums with a carbon copy, watermarked scene of frolicking puppies (one of four in the set). Today I wake up on the first day of the month with a sense of dread. Within one hour all those lovely digits in my checking account have been reduced to zero and I’m practicing my cursive handwriting on basic blue. Paying Bills = As Much Fun As A Bout Of Malaria.
3. Making Good Decisions. As an adult there are these expectations you won’t do crazy things, like drink and drive, wear plaids and polka dots together, or dose the kid that’s been screaming for six hours straight with Nyquil so you can hide in a corner punching yourself in the face. Maturity comes with a price, young grasshopper, and an adult making poor decisions usually ends up incarcerated, wearing pink underwear, and getting an online law degree. There are better uses of time.
4. Playgrounds. As a child I saw a grouping of monkey bars and sand pits and squealed with excitement! As an adult I evaluate playgrounds with suspicion: if my child falls from that tall tower, how many ribs might be dislocated? Can they climb along the outside of the hamster tube slide? How high? Is that human feces smeared against that plexiglass view hole or did someone get in there with a chocolate granola bar and play a game of Guesstures?! The worst parts of a playground for me as an adult? Swinging makes me queasy and trampolines endanger bladder control. How did this happen???
5. Sleep. Oh, how I long for the days when there was someone to tuck you into bed at a decent hour and enforce the sleeping policy when necessary. As a kid I got a solid 8-to-9 hours of sleep each night. It was blissful. I did not appreciate the gift I had. Someday I’ll have time to go to sleep at 8:30 p.m. again, but by then I’ll likely be geriatric and get up at 4 a.m. for my potty break and bowl of Muesli.
6. Employment. Remember the excitement of your first job? That little thrill you got as you planned your day so you could get there a bit early and make a good impression on your boss? Now, stop laughing at that thought before you choke on your own spit and let’s have a moment of silence for the years of our lives spent working toward someone/something else’s dreams of successful prosperity. Sigh. Now, get back to work!
7. Oh, My Achin’ Bones! My body does really strange things now that I’m an adult. I remember growing pains in my legs as a kid, but I didn’t ever roll over in bed and throw my back out. When I got up in the morning I didn’t once feel each vertebrae fall into place or have to gingerly walk on my heels until my toes stopped feeling like a bruise. How did this happen? What will go wrong in the next decades? Pretty soon I’m going to be able to do a weather forecast based upon my elbow’s flexibility.
What are the things you hate about being a grown up?