Little kids are so fascinating. Adults just seem boring to hang out with when you are at social functions, but look at those kids! They run around, mispronounce things and try to make you smile. How can you not love them? (At least when they are not making you mad by pulling your hair or crying because you tried to teach them a new way to high five) Kids can be exhausting too. Especially if there are a lot of them.
One day, I would like to have kids. I just have a need to impart some of my wisdom. To be able to teach my kid(s) the value of something. To teach them self-worth and hard work. To teach them the difference between rules and gut-feelings. I want to be truthful to them. I want to be sincere and also fun. I want them to be able to come to me for advice and actually take it sometimes. I want a close relationship when they get older that fall under them wanting to spend time with me rather than having to spend time with me.
But I am skipping ahead. Kids. They are unruly, messy and sometimes, attracted to danger. I am a worry-wart. I can be overprotective. I try to trust people, only to have it backfire on me. I can’t imagine the moment my kid will first have to shower on their own. How does that even happen? (Do people think about this or is it just me?) How will they walk to school by themselves? They are only a baby! What about the first time they will hold a knife on their own and not cut themselves? I remember what it was like to do all those things. The first time I was in any danger and then got over it. I remember being overly confident and rolled my eyes on how my mother got so over protective.
When I look at kids, I feel an overwhelming feeling to educate them. Like I want them to learn something from me and only me. Selfish, but awesome thought. I try to teach them a high-five/fist pound/ pretend cutting/tickling hand game that my brother taught all our little cousins. It’s so adorable to watch them laugh and want to do it again and again. I never want to stop playing with them. It’s a fun feeling. Even the smallest babies catch on. (In fact, the kids who don’t like this game tend to not really like me. It weeds out the less fun kids. Mean but true.) I remember walking my little cousin in the hospital while his mom was tending to his little sister in the NICU. I started saying my name over and over again until this one-year old started to repeat it. I taught this baby my name! It was a proud moment in my teenage life.
Then there are the moments that just happen and make you feel happy. Like one time I got my little cousin (same cousin) to sleep in my arms while his mom was out running errands. It was an interesting feeling to have such a small child fall asleep in your arms. One that calms you and aches you at the same time. Your arm is tired from gently swinging the baby side to side and you also feel happy that it happened because of you. (Baby that has the stomach flu and falls asleep in your arms is a relief/terrifying feeling)
It’s fun to read to kids too. They ask a million questions and make a bunch of observant comments about the book. Who is that? Is that his mommy? Look at his funny shirt! Wait, go back, I didn’t see it. What word are you on? Ribbit, ribbit! What is that? Oh! It’s like the one we have!
There are the not so great moments. Like the time I held one of my little cousins into a candy store and he totally scratched up my face because he wanted to go down and grab some candy. Or the time I had to time-out another one of my cousins who kept yelling “RAWR!” every thirty seconds when I was trying to get her stomach flu burdened, baby brother to fall asleep. She and her older brother thought it was funny. I did not. I explained why I did it and thought that I did a good job. But it shook me up because I didn’t want to do it. We can’t always be the good guy…
I won’t say anything about tantrums. It’s just the WORST.
Cleaning with little kids is a nightmare. They make messes like it’s their job. Is that chocolate all over my brand new chair? You better believe it. Did that sticky lollipop fall into my hair? Yep. What did you do with the cheerios?! Yeeeeah, all over the carpet. Did you need to go potty? It wasn’t pretty what happened to that kid. I don’t think I would want a second kid until the first one knows how to clean up their toys and who also is potty-trained. Totally reasonable.
The logic that kids sometimes have is magical. They can be so incredibly ignorant that all you want to do is give them a lesson. Why is this blue? Why is a fiya engine wed? What does a wemote contwol do? What is a fwuit? Kids can also be extremely racist and not know that that’s what they are doing. One of my little cousins wanted to “buy” a kid one time. He was an only child when he said it. He wanted to play with a friend and since you go to the store to buy things, why not a friend too? The kid he pointed to was around his age and he was black. (I will say that we are not black, because that’s where the racism applies) I was so shocked. Oh God! What did this little child just say to me?! I gave this little kid a lecture about why you can’t buy people. He was sad because he just wanted a friend. (Also, does this make him not racist because he wanted a black friend? Who the hell knows… all I know was that if he walked up to the kid himself and said, “Can I buy you?” the kid’s parents would be quite upset)
I’m looking forward to the hugs. I’m look forward to the nightly tuck ins. I’m looking forward to making their favorite dishes and their least favorite dishes. I’m looking forward to the play dates and the stuffed animals. I’m looking forward to the baths, potty-training and eating etiquette. I’m looking forward to a little human calling me mommy and saying that they love me.
P.S. Have you ever seen a kid with access to a chocolate fountain and strawberries? No? Then prepare for that awesome experience.