Would you please lend me your kid? An eight-year-old will do the trick, I think. And if he or she comes as a package-deal with a younger sibling I say, “Yippee!”
I’m good with twins too.
And action figures, plus any and all girl stuff.
Pink? Bring it.
Play-Doh smushed into carpet?
I can deal.
Swings and slides and costume boxes and blanket forts? Yes, yes, yes, yes.
You see, nobody here will play with me.
One minute we were playing Three Billy Goats Gruff for the billionth time at the neighbourhood park. The next minute my kids had hairy legs and gruff voices.
They sleep. They eat. They look good. They pat me on the head once in a while but really? Truly?
I’m obsolete. (Imagine Buzz Lightyear tossed to the back of the closet, covered in dust, batteries dead.)
Mind you, that’s how it’s supposed to work. Faster than the speed of light, parents tumble from being the centre of the universe to being in the dark abyss at the bottom of the used-toy bin.
It’s called child development.
Soon as kids hit puberty, their parents’ IQs skid into the double digits.
And it is the teens’ lot in life to suffer the indignities of association with adult life forms.
My kids? Mostly they’re deferential, benevolent and amused. They are mature.
I’m the one who wants to jump on the beds.
How about a pillow fight? A game of tag?
At least let’s pitch the pup tent in the backyard.
After all, summer vacation is playtime.
Or not. The offspring have sprung up and quite outgrown it.
This was the conversation in the car yesterday:
Me: “C’mon, honey. Where do you want to go this summer?”
Me: “How about a cottage?”
Child: (Smiles. There’s genuine bafflement, with an eensy teensy trace of condescension.) “Why would you want to go to the woods?”
Me: “New Hampshire? New Brunswick? Vermont?”
Child: (Shoots me the bored look, with an added eye-twinkle.)
Me: “New York City? Montreal?” (I’m starting to sound chirpy. Mother as Human Chihuahua.)
Cretin Child: “We’ve been everywhere already.” (There’s an affectionate grin to soften the blow.) “Honestly mom, I’ll go wherever you want, okay.”
This is called being humoured.
It’s the run-up to being pushed in a wheelchair, dentures rattling, at the nursing home.
And I’m not quite ready.
This mom still wants to have fu-un. So if you have a kid to spare? That would be grand.