Mother’s Day is on Sunday, and I’m not even in the same continent to celebrate with my kids! Keith and I are in the middle of our Australian tour, and we’re having great fun (I’ll post some pictures next week!).
But I recently ran across this column that I wrote about kids a few years ago, and even though mine are grown now, I still have these questions.
So allow me to share today some funny things about kids I don’t understand. And maybe you can enlighten me!
I love children. At least, I love my own.
But as much as I love kids, I really don’t understand them.
For example, why is it so important to know who farted? As soon as the odor becomes obvious, kids immediately start asking the “who did it” question. I’ve witnessed four-year-olds crawling around on their hands and knees smelling each others’ bottoms just to uncover the offending creature. I still fail to comprehend why this is worthy of such detective work. Wouldn’t people’s energies be better spent by opening a window?
I also don’t understand kids’ coordination issues. Why is it that children who can balance on a gymnastics beam or skate on one leg can’t remain in a chair for an entire meal without falling out? I don’t fall out of chairs. Do you? And my kids have better balance than I do. Yet children are forever toppling off of furniture, especially when they are overcome by fits of laughter after somebody farted. Perhaps the two are interrelated, and the balance part of the brain is linked to the olfactory senses. Whatever the case, it would be lovely to enjoy a meal where everyone sat still occasionally.
Relating to the balancing issues, I’m also at a loss as to why preteens fall up stairs. I can understand falling down the stairs, but my daughter is forever landing on her behind as she moves along an upward trajectory in our home. Maybe this is common to this age group; my nephew, who is also thirteen, falls up the stairs quite frequently, too.
Perhaps it’s because children’s nerve endings don’t develop until the age of eighteen. If children did have nerves, wouldn’t they feel cold occasionally? Yet as soon as the snow melts little ones demand to turn on the sprinkler. I’ll be shivering and my 10-year-old will want to wear shorts. On any given winter day, look outside a high school and you’ll see kids who are woefully unprepared for whatever the weather has to dish out. The oddest, to me, are the Catholic schoolgirls wearing their skirts hiked up way higher than regulation in the middle of January. Who wants bare legs when it’s -15 out? Yet fashion takes precedence.
And now that swimming pool weather is upon us, children also reveal their lack of nerve endings by assuring us that 68 degrees is plenty warm enough to frolic underwater. To add further indignity to this aberration of nature, they then insist that we should join them, as if the fun cannot be complete unless Mother’s lips are turning blue as well. I suppose I should be flattered by the attention, but I’d really rather read a book.
Not only do children not mind the cold; they also make the heat worse. Any time I’m feeling miserably hot and sweaty, it’s almost guaranteed there’s a child nearby who has decided that the best way to deal with the heat is to lean up against me. Don’t they realize this just makes them more hot and sweaty?
Perhaps this is also a male failing. When I’m hot and sweaty, I don’t want my husband touching me, either. But heat doesn’t deter him. Come to think of it, very little deters the male gender (and if your husband’s libido is deterred, read this!). My husband is also the one who will gladly jump in a pool when it’s 68 degrees. Actually, he also laughs at the kids when they fall out of chairs, and participates in the conversations about who farted.
So perhaps it really is a male thing. But in the meantime, I’ll sit wrapped up tightly on the edge of the pool. And no one will ever know if I’m the one who farted.