- Monkey Bars
The other day, I decided to show off for my kid at the playground. I had visions of sailing across the monkey bars like it ain’t no thang. Instead I sank to the ground like a wet quilt on a clothesline.
As I lay under the monkey bars massaging my dignity and my armpits, a kid piped up, “Hey Lady? Can you move?” I rolled out of the way and watched as her bird bones flew across the bars and back again. She completed the show with a flip at the end.
“I remember when I used to be able to do that,” I reminisced.
“But now you’re too fat,” the kid called out as she did a back handspring over to the slide.
Kids are better at monkey bars.
- Entertaining Toddlers
Every time we go to the park, my toddler spends a great deal of time playing in the gravel under the equipment. “Mommy, rocks, play,” he insists as he forces me to engage. So I sit down in the gravel with all the dog pee and cigarette butts like a good mom. The trouble is I don’t know how to play rocks. I shovel them into the bucket and dump them out and try to act like it’s a fun game. Then I run out of ideas and the toddler loses interest.
The other day, a girl came along and introduced herself. “Hi, do you want to build rock castles with me?” she asked. The toddler took her hand and ran away. (Clearly we need to have the stranger danger chat soon…but not before she saves me from having to play rocks.) I watched from a picnic table as they made mountains of rock castles all over the ground. The toddler was enchanted. I went over to join in. “Mommy. Go away,” the toddler demanded.
“He likes me better than you!” the cheeky little girl said as the toddler shimmied up her back for a piggy back ride.
Kids are better at entertaining toddlers.
- Remembering Gross Stuff
I was out for a walk with my niece the other day when out of nowhere she said, “Remember when you wore the same dress every day for the WHOLE summer?”
I had to think about it, and then it came to me.
“You mean last summer when I was super pregnant?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she responded with tweenage disgust.
“You mean the dress I’m wearing RIGHT NOW even though I’m not pregnant,” I said fondly.
“Gross,” she replied.
“Gross that I wore it every day last summer or gross that I’m wearing it right now?” I asked.
“Both,” she said.
“And gross that you were pregnant,” she added.
Kids are better at remembering gross stuff.
4. Making Friends
We took the toddler to a Canada Day party full of strangers and acquaintances, so I did what I always do when I don’t know anyone. I stood at the snack table and made friends with the Cheetos. WHAT? Cheetos make perfectly acceptable companions. Plus, they’re tasty and they never interrupt.
The toddler had a different friend-making tactic. After staring at everyone for an uncomfortably long time (and from an inappropriately close distance), he went around and gave everyone high fives, knuckles and bear hugs. Within minutes he had someone pushing him on the swing, while someone else brought him snacks. When it was time to leave, everyone waved and smiled, “Bye, Toddler! Nice to meet you, Toddler!”
(Want to know how many Cheetos waved to me? None. Stupid fickle Cheetos. )
As we walked away, I heard one kid yell, “Hey, who ate all the Cheetos?!”
Kids are better at making (and keeping) friends.
- Calling It Like It Is
As is evident by items 1-4, kids are great at calling it like it is. But we grownups still have a bit of fight left in us. So, on behalf of adults everywhere, let me reclaim item number 5.
Here goes (just let me climb up on my soapbox…there we go…):
There will come a time, little children, in about 20 years, when you decide to pop a few babies out yourselves. And then, when your ovaries are laden with the sludge of motherhood, let’s see how good you are at the monkey bars. Hmm?
AND after playing “ROCKS” with your toddler for the forty millionth time in the pee soaked gravel—when it takes all your internal fortitude not to roll over in said gravel and light one of the cigarette butts left behind by some careless teenager, you too, will unload your offspring onto the first seemingly sweet kid who wants to play with him.
AND speaking of ROCKS, despite how GROSS you think it is that your (favourite) aunt still wears her favourite maternity dress even though she is NOT pregnant, ONE DAY, YOU TOO, will rock YOUR favourite maternity dress even though YOU are no longer pregnant. EVEN THOUGH YOU THINK YOU’LL NEVER stoop that low. You will…
Oh you will….
And that favourite aunt will be lurking behind the snack table at some party where you know NO ONE and she’ll unassumingly pop out behind you and whisper, “I told you so…” into your ear just as your hand reaches into that chip bowl.
Just make sure those chosen chips aren’t Cheetos, because those are MINE. ALLLL MINE.
There. How’s that for telling it like it is?
Now you’re only better at four things.