Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dear Cute Little Kid: Please Get Lost

Here's the part where I reveal that I'm a bit of a jerk. I love my own kids. I love my nieces. I like the rest of the world's kids. Kinda.

I like joking with them sometimes, and hearing the goofy things they have to say--for about a minute. No, that's not true. It's probably more like 5 minutes.

I love babies! I love the newborn baby now that I'm no longer terrified of them, and I absolutely adore the sunshiny 1 year old, who is happy, very curious and sweet, and has not yet learned the magic of the word "NO," how fun it is to make Mommies and Daddies burst a blood vessel, or to fire toys at unsuspecting heads and ankle bones.

I think kids are great. I'm not uptight, so I'm not all over a kid with rules and regulations, and punishments. I'm firm about stuff, but not anal like that mean, yucky mom at the Early Year's centre this week who was on her kid's A$$ the entire time:

"Chase, that little girl is playing with that toy."
"No Chase, you can't play with those children."
"Chase. Put the Thomas the Train back where you found it."
"Chase, PUT the train back."
"Chase, "PUT the train back."
"Chase, WE'RE not playing with the car right now. The little girl is."

The kid was like 2 and a half! Every time he tried to plunk his quiet self down next to another kid, the lines on his mother's chin would deepen, and she'd haul him out of there. Chill the f*ck out, woman!

Yeah, so kids--nice, great, blah, blah, blah. I have zero interest in playing with them. If I ever give in and play with my daughter, there's this inner voice in my head whining, and complaining and dying the entire time. You know: I'm hunkered down on the floor holding a princess doll, while my girlie is holding another princess doll, and our dolls are supposed to be having some fantasy conversation? Oh, I can't do it. I can't bear it. Not even for five minutes.

Also, if the kids are given some super fantabulous activity set for a present, which is filled with markers and paints and stencils and stickers and glue sticks, and glitter glue tubes--I nearly want to cry. I hate that crap! My daughter got a kit for Christmas to make her own paper puppet show, and let me tell you--I hope she never remembers she has it.

I told you--I'M A JERK!

I'm not proud of this.

In fact, I feel a certain amount of guilt over it. My sister is wonderful. She's kind, patient, and most importantly: FUN. Here's what I've learned though: if you are fun, little kids will sense it. They'll hone in on you and EAT YOU ALIVE. Do little kids ever get tired of the same joke? Do they ever get tired of tickle fests? Do they ever get tired of playing games? Do they ever get tired of that goofy voice you just did for a laugh, even though after the 50'th time you've repeated it, and your throat is SORE, they still clamor for MORE, MORE MORE???

Yeah, if some adorable toddler waddles up to me at these Early Year's centres and offers me a toy, I won't ignore the kid. I'll even talk to him/her about it, and make that approrpriate "OH!" face of surprise and delight. And then I'll send them on their merry way.

Even as a kid, if I was left to watch my baby cousins for more than a MINUTE, I would feel the life force draining out of me. I never wanted to hold the baby. WHAT DOES THIS MEAN???

I do take a little comfort in knowing the following:

* my kids burn me out. Because I am burnt out, I am now less than fun.

* There is always more house work to be done than any idiot can get done in one day. This stay-at-home-mom biz is exhausting. I spent all that money on toys, so you would have something to do, kids. I will try my best to take you out to fun places, and do special things with each of you, and I will always spend time listening to your woes, worries, hilarious anecdotes and concerns, but for crap's sake--don't make me play with you.

* My friend told me that she once said the following to her daughter: "I used to play with toys when I was a kid. I'm a grownup now though, and I don't do that any longer."

It's hard. It's cold. It's soooo comforting.

So, today my son and a few other classes at his school had their monthly morning ice skating trip. I love tagging along. I love to see the kids having a great time, and how cute they are as they slip and slide around on the ice. I also go to help tie as many skate laces as I can get to (freaking exhausting, tying up skates, by the way). And then, as the kids are on the ice, I love to watch, enjoy, and sip my coffee from the travel mug in near-perfect peace.

But today, this kid in Jack's class started yapping at me.

kid: "I know which MOM you are."
Me (smiling): "you do?"
kid: "you're Jack's mom!"
Me: "that's right! How come you're not skating, honey?"
kid: "my Mom doesn't have enough money for skates."
Me: *PANG* "oooh...I know: skates are expensive."
kid: "blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah

blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah....I can do a somersault you know, and my brother can do a somersault too, and he's only three. I'm good at math you know. I can count really high. My dad's going to paint our house. Yeah, he's going to paint the walls as soon as he gets some money. One time I got in trouble in school. Blahblah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah..."

Oh, but really when I type blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah, I should actually type "meee meee meee meee meee," like if a squeaky little mouse was suddenly talking, that's what he would sound like. Oh, and I could barely hear the kid, so every time he spoke, I had to say; "Pardon?" or "sorry, what?"

15 minutes of solid, breathless babble later, I began to feel a little panicky. I wanted to say; "look kid, I'm here to relax, enjoy my coffee, and hope that some confused, hot hockey guy accidentally wanders in to this rink, instead of rink 3 where the other yummy, testosterone-laden men are skating around. That's why my hair looks unusually fabulous for a week day, and why I'm wearing all this makeup and perfume. So you're a cute kid, but please--BEAT IT."

Instead I pulled the old oblivious Mom trick, and just turned my ears off. Eventually the poor little soul went off to play with some peers HIS OWN AGE.

Like I said, I'm a jerk. I'm not proud of it, but that's how it be's sometimes.


  1. I am happy to know the chatty kid wasnt Ben! However, I am sure he would talk your ear off too!
    I am sure you just LOVED babysitting me when I was kid...You probly wanted to beat me as I am suer I talked your ear off or whined for you to play with me? Is this teh reason Beam got come over when you would babysit me?? To distract me from bugging you?? HAHAHA
    So, now, the grown up Steph will say...
    I am sorry Karen, I know I wasnt a very good kid. I am sure I drove you nuts, for that i am really sorry. I hope my parents paid you well!

  2. you & me, karen? we're on the same page. i told brooke i don't like to play with little toys. i told her i did my time in toy town & now i will only visit on rare ocassions. and i kinda hesitate to do fun stuff sometimes because i know the children who witness it will never cease to harass me for an encore endlessly. rraar!
    btw, the word verification is "haterc". i'm pretty sure that's accusing me of being a hater of children. damn.

  3. oh Karen this was a great post because THAT is exactly what I think and did. My kids turned out great.

    if they were following me around with my friends when i had company ,, i told them to beat it, I did get on the floor and play with their friends.

    Kids NEED to know you are an adult and not a playmate..and we don't have to dote on every word like they were some educated adult.

    I had a friend that would interrupt OUR conversation so her stupid kids could interrupt and hava whole five minute conversation on dolphins....that used to piss me off so bad.

    Tell your kid to shut up, this is adult time and when I leave then he can talk to his mom about dolphins.

    I hated those toys too and let the lose and wreck them right away so we could magically have to throw them out.

    Seriously we dont have to be haning on every word they say, that is why God gave kids such a great imagination that they can play two hours with a stick.

  4. Oh and that same mom I was telling you about wanted me to go play on the floor with her kids...what the hell is that about?

  5. You know I was not surprised to hear that Aimee is that kind of mom! Good for her!
    Karen you are so brutally honest I love it!
    Sam always says I'm a silly mom ...I get that from my dad thank goodness.
    I don't take to all children though especially those who were mean to my son lol !

  6. actually i am way more patient with other peoples kids,probably because i get to leave them there at the end of the visit!i think kids are like cats,if they sense you don't like them, they want to sit on your lap!as for toys,i just could not pretend to be a transformer,but i love to play legos or do crafts.i can hardly wait for the doll houses and barbies,they are more for me than for kieran,i am a jerk about neetness,i can not stand a naked doll,and i want the doll house to stay nicely decorated and clean,good luck!

  7. matt just told me about my dream job,"summer camp co ordinator" he said the first day i would give them a pep talk of"o.k. kids i can barely tolerate my own kids so don't bug me with any problems" i'm almost that bad but not quite!

  8. Ya, I think that is why some people have like 5 or 6 kids, so that there is an instant and constant 'early years centre' at the home. That way the parents NEVER have to play with their kids, or simply play with them on the parent's terms.

    As for us, I try to pick things that I like to do, not just Gabe liking it. But now if there are peers around, I'm typically not needed for playing. And with Kieran, play is simple enough that I can almost go into a stress-reducing, self-induced coma while playing along. For example: stack the blocks. Knock the blocks down. Repeat. My brain? A miiiilliion miles away...

  9. Oh, for the record, Paula is great with kids...

    Karen, you were being short sighted. If you let the kid stick around long enough, he would have eventually become one of those strapping hunks you were wishing for. Aren't I right, Mrs. Robinson?

  10. No Steph, it wasn't Ben :) He is always way too busy having fun till the last second. Actually, I had no problem babysitting you, or Jen for that matter. I was kinda still a kid too, so we all had a decent time. Besides--I think you usually had to go to bed not too long after I got there because you were still widdle. You were a good kid--you just used to get super angry at times, but that was usually after your sister did something horrid to you.

  11. haterc. Well there you are Sherilin, we aren't out of reach of the hands of karma! Damn it! I knew it! Oh well, whatever. I'm still not going to have a Fisher Price festival.

  12. Melissa--hilarious story about your friend and her kids. I don't know--I just have no patience for kid stuff any longer. Truly the inner child has been burnt out of me.

  13. Pam, Aimee is a wonderful mom--she's even energetic. She schedules her girls' days very well. I'm more like; "Mommy's not doing ANYTHING till she has her coffee. Now go away until I finish drinking it." Sigh. It's all very sad.

  14. Oh Melissa--I almost forgot to mention that your comment about imagination enabling a kid to play with a stick for two hours made me laugh out loud.

  15. Paula, dogs are like that too--they also gravitate to the person who likes them the least. Always funny to witness...

    Anyhow, speaking of dollhouses...Ella has this Calico Critters house and it has LOVELY furniture. It's hidden in my closet until she's old enough to not lose the tiny, darling accessories!!!

  16. ...but yet, isn't that an ironic dream vocation if you can "barely tolerate your own kids???"

  17. Oh Man--Matt, I remember those days well of playing with babies and toddlers: yawning until tears streamed down my face, and my jaw cracked, as I shake a jingling toy over a wriggling baby.

  18. thanks for your words karen and for being real because that is why I come back to read your blog.....and your are so funny...thanks, *hugs*

  19. Well, you're very welcome, Melissa. Thanks to you too.

  20. calico critters is the one i want! are there tiny bunnies or bears dressed in cute little pink dresses,all wood house and furniture!sigh.

  21. who are you kidding Karen! Steph was HORRID to babysit... hehehe... all arms swinging in rage and hair growing more red by the minute. ;)

  22. well Anonymous, the house may look like it's wood, but it's pure plastic. however, it does have all the cute little bears and bunnies and the most winsome accessories (logs for the fire place, magazines for the magazine rack, etc), that I don't know if I can let her play with it until she signs a waiver promising not to wreck it.

  23. Aim, I don't remember that as a babysitting occurrence...more like a back yard playing thing. Hee hee...I'd forgotten about the swinging arms.

  24. Love your title of blog...just wrote a poem "My Angst Has Died...check it out on blog...if you as a busy mom...(I totally get that! I'm one myself...) Thanks for revealing your heart.

  25. I have thought of a book....but who would want to read it...

  26. Thankyou for stopping by, Lorely! I used to write a lot of poetry myself, so I'll check out your site when I get a moment :)

  27. Berries, that is exactly the kind of thing that would become an Oprah's book club book. Besides--it's a good, lurid title that grabs people, and then the story keeps them reading.


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