This week I have been able to experience life as a single parent. This has been an eye opening experience which has brought me to a terrifying conclusion. My mom was actually right about a lot of things when I was a kid. This list is an attempt for me to finally say goodbye to my childhood by officially turning into my parents.
1. Eating an Actual Meal
Of course children love candy, but this morning, while I was showering, the little girl I was babysitting decided to have Air Heads for breakfast. This was after a couple days of being spoiled with candy and afterward she even wanted to get more. At this point I was afraid she would turn into Violet from Willie Wonka! I underestimated the value of a good meal, and the way it allows for a child to grow and function properly.
2. Showering Every Day
I’m sure we have all skipped a shower from time to time, but man is it hard to get kids to clean themselves! This is no surprise to any camp counselor, but it seems so much worse when you are at home. Furthermore, it makes it look like I don’t know how to provide a decent home when her hair is a mess. By the way big props to all the parents who get their little girls hair looking presentable on a daily basis!
3. Brush Your Teeth!
I have never had such a hard time getting anyone to do anything as I have had trying to get a nine-year-old girl to brush her teeth. I was fooled into thinking that kid’s toothpaste would help. The apparent process for brushing at nine years’ old is to run the toothbrush under water, apply toothpaste, then rinse the toothpaste off the brush, brush only the front teeth for about five seconds, lastly you need to spit everywhere and then rinse ten times to get all that yucky clean out of your mouth. I have never valued healthy teeth so much in my life!
4. Wear Clean Cloths!
As a “responsible adult” I know how to wear jeans for long stretches of time, but apparently in the eye of a child cloths simply do not get dirty. Cheetos on your pants? CLEAN! Previously white shirt yellow? CLEAN! Underwear standing alone? CLEAN! There has to be some value in smelling ok right? Maybe I should adopt the nine-year-old perspective and use the magic of fabreeze to do the laundry….
5. Go to Bed
This was definitely my weak point when I was a kid, it still kind of is actually, but wow does it seem silly to fight sleep so hard. Even when everyone else is sleeping she fights to stay up so she can be as grumpy as possible the next day. I would pay big to harness some of the energy in children I babysit. One day they will be excited just to see their pillow!
6. Sometimes It Is Ok Not to Be Doing Something
After this week I am exhausted! We have been doing something constantly. Didn’t kids used to go play? Even in the park she needed “something to do”. A movie or conversation are simply fillers for the next activity and I do not think I can take anymore. I wish I would have appreciated the lazy days when I was a child!
7. Wearing Shoes
This is something I never really remember being told, but man has it been a struggle. I am not sure I have said the word shoe so much as this week. Shoes are good, they keep our feet safe right? How hard is it to wear flip flops anyway? Apparently very hard, but it is even harder for the one who knows when it is and isn’t ok to wear shoes.
I hope this article has made some of you reflect on the things your parents were right about. Please leave one in the comments below! Most of all BIG shout out to my mom for putting up with me all those years! Love you mom!