I'm beginning to realize why I get along with kids so well. I loved being a kid and, well, I pretty much still have all the same interests and habits.
Here's a peek at my Inner Child Checklist:
- Children's Vitamins: I still take one chewable Circus Animal Vitamin each and every morning. Yeah, I tried the whole woman's multivitamin thingy, but I kept forgetting to take them. You just swallow those. There's nothing memorable about that! I grew up on Flintstones vitamins. They were the only drug addiction I've been afflicted with in my lifetime. 80's television marketing had me convinced that, if I took my vitamins, I'd become big, strong, fast and pretty much ripped. I took this concept quite literally and one night I downed about ten Barney Rubbles and then punched my bedroom wall repeatedly, in anticipation for the Popeye strength that was sure to start kicking in soon. Well, the anchor-tattooed biceps never did emerge, but I came to realize one sure thing. That kiddie vitamins taste really good! There's no way I'll forget to take that fruity mini-snack I get to enjoy first thing in the morning. Yum! (And, this applies to all meds. Why take nasty grown-up cold syrup when the kiddie grape option tastes so much better? Read the back of the bottle, there's adult dosages on there as well. It was meant to be!)
- Why untie shoes?: I can't be the only one who still ties shoes loose enough so that they can be easily slipped on and off without the need to sit down. I can probably count on one hand the number of tie-able shoes I own that can't use the slip-on trick. But, I try not to buy shoes with laces anyway, if I can help it.
- Daydream, frequently: Much too frequently. My current fave is still the "Planning for the Publisher's Clearinghouse Win" one. But, hero fantasies can also be exhilarating. I remember after 9-11, having the recurring (day)dream of being on a hijacked plane while everyone around me is panicking. I manage to calm everyone down, lead them in a prayer session and get down to brass tacks. I trip one terrorist as he walks down the aisle way and slit another one's trachea with a Bic pen. (All while yelling bad ass dialogue that I haven't quite scripted yet.) My fellow passengers gag and bind the hijackers with pairs of pantyhose donated from an older woman's carry-on. Then we storm the cockpit! After we commandeer the plane, I announce over the P.A., "Are there any passengers on board who know how to fly a plane? Anybody?" Nope? Well, I guess is up to me to figure out how to land this bird. We restore connectivity with air traffic control and they walk me through a clumsy landing. All the good guys survive and a round of ground-kissing commences. U.S.A.! U.S.A.!
- Remember to still ask "why?" sometimes: I don't like doing dumb things. Especially for no good reason.
- The shopping cart waltz:
Jump to 2:15. Yes, Anderson, I still do it too.
- Take the log instead of the trail: It's not always the shorter route, but it's usually funner!
- Smush the bread: I've always smushed my bread before I could take a bite out of any sandwich or bunned item. It not only condenses things, but it also somehow give bread a better taste. I can't be alone in this either, because now I'm able to purchase pre-smushed bread!
- Pick off the green things: Why ruin a good meal?
- Sometimes animals just are more important: It's easier some days to love the one who always wags its tail and is happy to see you, then to get along with the humans who bicker back. I'm convinced that's why sometimes a pet's loss is harder to cope with than a human's in many ways. Human relationships always contain a certain extent of complications. There's always that harsh word that was once spoken eons ago, forgiven, but never be forgotten. But, our relationships with animals are often the one true sense of unconditional love we've experienced. And, that's why sometimes a purr or nuzzle can feel sweeter to the heart than a spoken word. Kids get this. I hope I'll always continue to as well.
- Sports are more fun with no rules: I was always good at sports as a kid, but never enjoyed playing on teams. I experience more joy when there's a lack of time limits, innings, or scores to keep. And, sometimes made-up games are the best. When my brother's family lived with us, we'd never laugh harder than when playing a improv game of Hit My Nephew With a Nerfball. My brother and I would simply throw Nerf footballs around, trying to bean my nephew (who was around three at the time) while he ran circles around the backyard, cracking up. My seven-year nephew once made an entire afternoon out of Block the Toy Box. He stood in the backyard toy box playing goalie while we tried to toss every sort of ball we could find into it. A ball in the box, we score. A ball blocked, he did. He's now a great defensive lineman on his peewee football team!
- Sing, Sing a Song: Don't worry if it's not good enough for anyone else to hear. It's hard to stifle a song in the heart when it's raging to get out, so why try? Singing is a sign of a joyful heart. Kids make up songs about nothing. I still do too. Run out of lyrics? Just sing about whatever it is you're doing, even if it's just laundry. It's one of the quickest ways to trick yourself into a good mood.
- Sometimes a zerbert is better than a kiss: I heard once that a woman requires somewhere around a dozen touches a day to feel content. That doesn't mean we need men playing grabsie at us all day. Many times a five-year-old's zerbert will do just the trick!
- Avoid the grown-up table: A visit to the kiddie table this holiday season will not only find you much less small talk, but way better silly talk.
- Laugh when something goes wrong instead of screaming about it: Most things we scream about, really are funny when you stop and think about them. Lighten up!
- Pigtails: Any time, any place.
- Go. Out. Side.: Now!
- And, never pass up a silly photo op: