Sturm und Mom

The Storm & Stress (& Joy) of Motherhood

Why Your Kid is Happy and You’re Not

A kid's dream kitchen

We were enjoying dinner when my husband asked, “Has anyone seen the Earbuds?”

I looked at Tall Girl.  “I think they spent the night under your backside, Sweetie.”

“Oh, my gosh!” she said laughing.  “You totally have to blog about all the weird things I’ve slept on!”

So, in honour of my biggest girls request:

The Weird Things My Daughter Soundly Sleeps On

  • Ear Buds
  • Nintendo DS
  • Nintendo DS Charger
  • Books
  • Dirty Laundry
  • Folded Laundry
  • Folded Sheets That Should Have Gone on the Bed
  • Copper Wire
  • Transistor
  • Mini Fan That You Find in a Computer
  • Nintendo DS Manual
  • Hair Brush
  • Barbie Dolls
  • Her Diary and Pen
  • Those Plug Protector Thingees that you use for Child-proofing

That’s quite a list of very uncomfortable items.  No lambs wool mattress protectors, or feather bed sans pea here.  Nope, just a bunch of things that to an adult would be completely sleep preventing.  But not a kid.  And that’t why your kid is happy and you’re not.

See, adults have certain expectations of the world.  Bump-free beds, lump-free orange juice, pancakes make with the ingredients that actually go into pancakes — these are the type of things that us grown-ups want.  Maybe it’s too much Martha Stewart, too much higher education, but the days of knocking the toothbrush on the floor inches from the toilet, picking it up, and non go back to brushing our teeth are long gone.  No, we have standards.  And these standards are making us miserable.

Here’s another example:  Sweetie Pie, age 8, wanted to make Truffles out of her kid’s cookbook.  I went out and bought all the ingredients.  Sweetie Pie got all her homework done.  She asked if she could proceed, and I assented.  Sounds fine, right?

“I was just going to step around it.”

I walked into the kitchen to see how her progress was, and found none.  Why?  About 30 minutes before, I had steamed cleaned the kitchen floor, and left the steamer right beside the counter to cool before putting it away.  I thought (Ha!) that when my darling child saw it in her way, she would have put it back in the closet where it belonged.  (Ha, ha!)  Instead, my rather diminutive girl pushed every kitchen chair up to the counter in an effort to maneuver around the steamer machine in her way.  When I asked how she planned to make anything in a kitchen like this, she just stared at me blankly.  “I was just going to step around it,” she said.

And there you go.  An adult would say “Hey Liz!  I can’t cook in this kitchen.  There’s, like, 8 chairs in some kind of Stonehenge tribute in front of the stove!  Mise en place baby, mise en place.  Unacceptable!”  Not a kid.  They see all that mess and say “Let’s Roll!”

Kids just deal.  They just take what they get and run with it.  Cake served on the table itself?  Still tastes good.  -15° outside and mitts can’t be found?  Just pump the swings higher.  Bed covered in junk and you’re tired?  Maybe if I sleep on tomorrow’s outfit, it will be like heat-free ironing.  You never know unless you try.  Isn’t that how Newton invented the light bulb, Mom?

And that’s why they can sit on a couch repaired with duct tape, drinking flat Cream Soda and call it “The Best Lunch Ever.”  They’re happy.  And you can be too — just lose every last standard you have.


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6 thoughts on “Why Your Kid is Happy and You’re Not

  1. Some powerful ideas there! Think I’m going to start looking at life a little differently now, thanks to you and Sweetie Pie!

  2. Pingback: Of Virtues and Adulthood « Antigone's Clamor

  3. Pingback: I Think I’m Normal, But I’m Not « Sturm und Mom

  4. David Williams on said:

    You are absolutely correct, your outlook changes when you look through the eyes of a child. Unfortunately we forget how unimportant some details may be when we drop the veil of adulthood over our eyes when we “grow up”. It takes the view from a child’s perspective to reset our perspective.

    By the way, tall girl is not the only person I’ve heard of that fell asleep on a doll.

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