I’ve been thinking recently about adulting and how much it, well … blows. Paying bills, scheduling and attending appointments, household maintenance, making food, having responsibilities; ugh. It can all go jump. Now, when I look at my youngest daughter as she is displaying typical preschooler-appropriate behaviour (ie: stomping her feet and shouting protests) I can’t help but wish I could get away with that now, at age 31.
I’m talking about situations like …
1. When she doesn’t want to go to the supermarket
Everyone knows running errands and doing groceries is up there as one of the most boring and tedious parts of being an adult. But still, they need to be done and we have to do them. So we do. My four-year-old has the right idea. though. “But I HATE doing them,” she’ll shout at me, with an exasperated sigh. “Can’t someone else do them and we go and play?” she’ll say. Yeah. I’m feeling you kid.
2. When she doesn’t want to leave her favourite place
One of my daughter’s favourite things to do is hang out inside a cupboard in our study. In there, she’s squeezed a little, soft fold-out couch and she’ll bundle up underneath a blanket and play contentedly for ages – whether it’s doing a drawing, or just chilling out with some soft toys. It’s her quiet, safe space. When (for whatever reason) I ask her to come out of her favourite space, because we have to leave the house to do something else, she’ll often respond by chucking her pillow at me, shutting the door and refusing to budge. I can’t help but wish I could do exactly that when my alarm beeps at me in the morning, indicating that it’s time to get up. Go away world, I’m hiding in my blanket-cupboard-fort. I reckon my daughter has got the right idea.
When she doesn’t want to share
If you try telling my four-year-old that she has to share her crêpes in the morning, you’ll be met not only with a look of utter disgust but also a very blunt, “NO! They’re MINE! DO NOT TOUCH THEM!”. I kinda wish I was able to behave this way when any of my four daughters decide I should “share” my snacks. Despite my best efforts to hide them, they always find (and eat) them.
3. When she says things I can only think
The other week, I was lining up at the busy post office with my four-year-old. It became apparent that someone had, erm … passed wind, and so my darling, unfiltered preschooler whispered (very loudly) to me, “It smells like poo in here! That is SO GROSS!”. Yes, darling, it is gross. And yes, it does smell like sh!t. Honestly, I wanted to turn around and say the same at that point. But I can’t, because, #adulting.
4. When she doesn’t want to get out of her pyjamas
Trying to get my determined four-year-old out of her pyjamas on days when she doesn’t have kindergarten isn’t easy. She’s a real pro at delaying the removal of her snuggly sleeping clothes, and some days she’ll even trick me by putting a jumper over them so I *think* she’s gotten changed – but actually she hasn’t. Man, I can’t tell you how many days I wish I could have stayed in my PJs all day. But I can’t. Because again … #adulting.
Read more about raising toddlers:
- Why you should never force your child to hug someone
- Pick a winner? How to stop your child picking their nose (and eating it!)
- ‘Essential for development’: How to gently discipline your toddler
5. When she’s stripped off and running naked in the rain
There is nothing more exhilarating and liberating than being one with nature … in the nude … in the rain. Or, at least, that’s what my preschooler thinks, stripping off and running outside when she hears it start to rain. And I admit that I’m pretty jealous of her ability to do so. Maybe one day I’ll find a space I can do that in, but for the time being, I don’t think my neighbours would find it quite as exhilarating.
It seems that “behaving like a child” often gets a bad rap. I think we could all take a leaf out of the younger generation’s book and try and grasp the same simple joys that they do. They really do have the right idea. Maybe just without the tantrums.