Kids Gone Wild

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!

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16 Responses to Kids Gone Wild

  1. allieksmith says:

    Ah.. kids. You know what I think? I think you are only seeing the kids who are spoiled.. whose parents have no control over them. I think you and Nate will make EXCELLENT parents. You are a very understanding person (or so it seems to me from reading your blog) and you are both patient .. look out for the little kids who snuggle their parents in the mean time 😉

    (“Blaming it on my brother who didn’t yet know his A,B,C’s was not the smartest solution).”
    -HAHAHA sooo funny

    • Nicole says:

      “Look out for the little kids who snuggle with their parents in the mean time.” Excellent advise! 🙂 A friend of mine is coming over this weekend, and she has the most adorable, well-behaved little girl ever. Thank goodness there is still hope. Hee, hee. Have a great one and thanks for stopping by!

  2. Reading your post, I am assured that you are more ready to have children than the parents that you describe– you have really thought about your values, the potentially negative consequences of common parenting practices, and what you think makes for a valuable positive childhood. I have two kids, and I admit that I sometimes hand them a cellphone to lay with or plop them in front of the television so that I can have a few moments of peace. But I also try to focus on encouraging imagination and creativity as much as possible and I am sure that you will too. Just because there are tons of parents out there creating spectacles of their ill-behaved children doesn’t mean you have to join the pack. For every loud child screaming it’s way through the grocery store, is one quietly telling himself a story as his parent pushes him around in the shopping cart.
    Your children will be lucky to have such a thoughtful mom!

  3. theclambroll says:

    Hahaha, you sound just like me! The hubs and I agree that there’s no need for cell phones before high school (MAYBE middle school, depending) and TV/video game time is going to be SO limited, especially when they’re young. Also my mom didn’t let me wear makeup until 9th grade, and while I hated her for it then, I am thankful now, and I will probably do the same with any girls we may have! Strict parents, unite 🙂

  4. Homestead Ramblings says:

    Wonderful post, and totally right on with your values. The ONLY thing you can give your children is: a childhood.

  5. Amen!! Kids these days have everything thought out for them…they need to learn have creative play…to learn to use their imaginations!

  6. sarahnsh says:

    I am so not a kid person, or a baby person for that reason either. The screaming of children I think actually makes my tubes tie. The fiancee wants children eventually, but I’m thinking about a 5 year plan for that myself too. And I totally agree with you, kids need to play outside and to use their imagination! They just don’t know how to fun like we used to as kids.

  7. jelillie says:

    …and my mother used to call me a little monster!

  8. Tien says:

    I’m nodding away at this post. Kid’s today have very different realities from ours. When I was a kid I think I was playing with sand most of the time and pretending to cook them in my plastic cups. I didn’t have a cellphone until I was 20. It’s also heartbreaking to see many kids wearing thick glasses because they look at the computer so much.

  9. Megan says:

    I’d triple like this post if I could!!! Working where I do I am surrounding with kids of all ages and it is astonishing to see what goes on! Parents not being parents and allowing the child to have a say in matters that a 3, 5, 8, or 10 year old should have no say in. we’ve actually had parents pull their children out of our center because of our “no electronics” policy. Our teachers plan awesome lessons and activities for our school age program in the summer months and the kids aren’t happy because they wanna play their DS or bring their cell phone to school. They complain when they go outside and the teachers try to organize a game of kickball or wiffle ball because it’s boring. They can’t just pick up and start a game of tag because kids today don’t know how to play tag. They don’t know how to use their imaginations and they are so used to being entertained ALL THE TIME! It makes me so sad… seriously it does. When I was a kid, my sister and I would be out until mom yelled for us to come in for dinner and then back out we went. We had so much fun, finding new ways to entertain ourselves. We never uttered the words, “We’re Bored.” One of my favorite phrases an elementary school teacher would say to us was, “Only boring people get bored.” It is so true 😉

    I’ll be that mean momma too, no worries!

    Ok, sorry. I’ve finished my rant… Can you tell this is a topic I am in full agreement on? Thanks for the post Nicole. You’ll be a great momma someday. Remember, you’ll have a special surprise from me coming your way when the day comes! 😀

  10. Three cheers for some good old-fashioned kid raising! :mrgreen:

    I’m so thankful for the fact that we didn’t watch t.v. on the weeknights growing up. That we helped mom make dinner in the kitchen. That going to the movies or a restaurant was the most special treat in the world. I’m even thankful for being kicked outside in sub zero degree weather because we needed the fresh air. :mrgreen:

    GREAT post! I loved reading it and I think you and Nate will make wonderful parents. And I will make a wonderful aunt. Just thought I’d throw that out there. 😉

    • Megan says:

      Forgive me ladies… Are you two gals sisters? Apologies if I missed this somewhere along the line or am just getting mixed up 🙂

      • Nicole says:

        Ha, ha. Nope, you’re not missing something… 🙂 Sarah and I ARE sisters and live exactly two miles away from each other.

      • Megan says:

        Ok. Now your picture being in Sarah’s post about her dad’s ( welll your dad’s ) birthday makes more sense now! Well you both have a talent wuth words… must run in the family. 🙂 super cool you gals live so close!

  11. botut says:

    We were much more strict with our older two but by the time the third entered our world it was pure survival!

  12. Sheila says:

    I agree, it appears that now we have free range children.

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