When Nate and I got married, we had a five year plan. We had certain goals we wanted to accomplish, like paying off my car and buying our first house, before we began to have kids and start a family of our own. We’re not at the end of those five years yet, but we are around halfway. So we’ve begun to occasionally talk about what we still absolutely need to accomplish in order to make this work (mostly financially) and what we could let slide if we needed to.
But even if our conversations are occasional, the thought of having children running around our house is hard to forget… especially when every red-faced, screaming, snotty-nosed, whining, crying toddler within a fifty mile radius has suddenly decided to take a vacation in our town. I kid you not. We’re being surrounded.
At first, I thought that I was just noticing the misbehaving children a little more, due to our preparing to have some of our own. But now, I’m beginning to think that our considering children has drawn them to us. Everywhere we go, there is a little boy screaming at his mom. A little girl running through the produce aisles and falling on a cabbage leaf, only to scream at every passerby as though they had put the slippery vegetable there on purpose. One time, there was a carriage of triplets. All screaming. I felt like having a panic attack.
Now don’t get me wrong, I understand that kids will be kids. I was a kid once myself and had my share of moments. Like the time I drew my alphabets all over my little brother’s bedroom wall. That was fun! (I just should have thought of a better escape plan. Blaming it on my brother who didn’t yet know his A,B,C’s was not the smartest solution). And as a little girl, I loved nothing more than to scatter my little plastic people and houses all over the basement floor and to leave them there for days on end. Honestly, it’s amazing how much those little toys could scatter. Dad loved that stage of my childhood, let me tell you. 😉
But kids these days? They’re kind of scary smart. They’re all running the electronics at home better than their parents, and they go over to their friends houses and discuss the quality of the latest video game… in Spanish! And if you tell them that they can’t have the chocolate bar because it costs too much money, they’re bound to tell you just what percentage of your salary that chocolate bar costs. There’s at least an app to help them figure it out.
Which brings me to another point…
Cell phones. Little kids are driving around in their carriages and talking on cell phones! Shouldn’t there be some kind of law against this? Just the other day, I was watching two kids who were probably around six years old. I’m guessing they were twins… One of them was singing Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream and the other was chatting away on a cell phone. The one with the phone hissed at his sister to be quiet because he couldn’t hear his friend on the other line. I’m not sure what freaked me out more. That a six year old was singing about ‘doing it’ with a guy in a hotel room or that a six year old had his very own cell phone.
When I was that age, I was running around in the woods behind my house and pretending to be an Indian. And I wasn’t even allowed to answer the phone yet, never mind own one. (Although, I found this really great wooden block on which I painted some dots and a square face, and I had some great conversations with my imaginary friend Sally).
Sigh. Miss that phone. It had great coverage.
Imagination. Do kids even have to use it anymore, or am I showing my ripe ol’ age of 27 by even using that word? It’s all about being entertained now. We want to be amused and we want it now. We want it in high-definition, in surround-sound, and we want to be blown away! It’s really not the kid’s fault, and I understand this. And so….
I’ve decided that I’m going to be one of those mean parents who doesn’t allow television during the week, who forces the kids outside for some good old-fashioned vitamin D, and who won’t allow cell phones until their sixteenth birthday. Makeup? So unnecessary when you’re not even a teenager yet. Ipads? You can have as many as you can imagine!
Yep, my future kids will thank me someday. But until then, when they’re whining about how mean I am, I’ll bring them to this post and to the five year plan. And I’ll tell them that it’s fortunate for them that Nate and I didn’t decide to wait six years. Oh, the crazy rules I could come up with if I had but another year to plan!