As I wrote (excitedly) last week, I’m currently wrapped up in NYC/the concrete jungle. In fact, I’m so busy that I wrote this post days ago in preparation. Please enjoy this mini-sized blast from the past until I’m once again hurricane safe, landlocked, and running through the countryside with all my free time.
At the age of almost eight, my parents informed me a brother was on his way. It wasn’t a question, or an asking for permission; he’d already been cooking for months on end. It was a fact, not an option. They talked about how fun he would be, how much pride I could take in being the oldest (again), and other empty promises. And instead of doing the decent thing, and lying that I was happy, I cried, screamed, and kept crying, citing that, “I like things the way that they are.”*
Now calendars later, I’ve pretty much gotten used to the idea that I come with two siblings. My brother, despite my early protests, still became a thing. Plus my parents seem to kind of like him.
But now that I’m an adult and can make the choice whether or not to be around children (sometimes), I don’t always take advantage of that freedom. Sure I didn’t become a teacher or anything, a job that would have surely scarred my willingness to wake up sober, but I also don’t exactly avoid kids.
A little background here: Manny has two young nephews, both of whom are pretty not bad. And my cousin has a something-month-old (more than 12, less than 24) who makes entertaining faces. I also like knitting them things since they’re small and can’t complain about clothes being “itchy” or “too girly”. (Who doesn’t want a knitted pair of pants? Or jersey? If I received that gift I’d say thank you and model it immediately.)
Anyway, cousin runs a daycare. And like a sucker, every Wednesday morning I help wrangle the munchkins and head to “play”group, which is 90 minutes of screaming uncontrolled-ness. Babies are constantly threatened by toddlers on bikes; Face Maker sometimes escapes through a 1×1 opening into the great outdoors**; and crying is considered the new milk. It’s a time spent containing fighters, identifying shoe kickers, and counting heads that aren’t sophisticated enough to count themselves.
Do the kids listen to me? Yes, but only because I’m a novelty and sometimes have graham crackers.
Do they want me to play? Only if they can’t reach the basketball goal, or are imprisoned in their painting smocks. (Although that’s not so much playing as it is saving their lives.)
Generally they just ask questions. “Whose mom are you?” (no one’s), “Do you work here?” (technically, no), and “What’s with your shirt?” (I tried something new; it won’t happen again).
I do realize I’m a hypocrite. Why would I subject myself to unnecessary headaches and snotted shirts when I could be living my life otherwise child free? And really, I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s to help out cousin, or to get a break from my day of sitting, or maybe it’s just so my dog can sniff me for hours afterward. Then again, maybe it’s just so I have something to complain about online; no dog is that spoiled.
*No offense, brother; it’s just the way it went down.
**Which is to say it happened once.