Last month I suffered from a little bit of a jealousy issue. As I woke up before the sun and got dressed for another full day of work, the doors to all three kids’ rooms remained shut. My youngest son was already awake, curled up under the covers while he caught up on some videogame playing time. And the two teenagers of the house were sound asleep and would likely stay that way until well-past lunchtime.
All three kids were out of school for spring break. This meant our electricity bill was going to rise substantially, the kitchen sink would be piled high with dishes despite reminders to clean up, every snack in the house would be gone two days in, and there was a good chance at least one of them would remain in their pajamas all day long.
And it killed me that I couldn’t join in on the fun.
It’s times like these when I can’t believe I took for granted all the perks that come with being a kid. I mean, how cool would it be if those cubicle jobs that have you peering over the walls like a meerkat for just a little bit of human interaction could get broken up by recess? Who would pass up the chance to play a no-holds-barred game of dodgeball with their co-workers? How about naptime? What if the boss passed out milk and graham crackers around mid-afternoon? Wouldn’t you be a happier worker bee? And what if the whole office shut down for three months out of the year for summer vacation? Can you think of anything more awesome than three months off of work to do nothing but lounge around in your pajamas being “bored”, just like your kids?
Neither can I.
It was only a few days ago that my daughter looked at me like I was crazy when I strongly suggested she finish her chores before she go out with her friends. The dishwasher was filled with clean dishes that needed to be put away, and her bathroom was looking a little to be desired. But she couldn’t understand how I expected her to do so much work on a Sunday afternoon and take away from her personal time. In the meantime, the Mr and I had cleaned the whole house top to bottom, had a worthy handle on the laundry, and would be preparing a big meal for the family once the kitchen was finished.
“I’ll do it later!” she protested. But when I refused to budge, she stormed into the kitchen and slammed the cabinets and dishes until everything was done, refusing to utter another word to me because I’m such a tyrant of a mother.
How I wish my biggest responsibility were two chores for the weekend.
I fully admit that I would never want to go through being a hormonal, awkward teenager all over again. However, there are so many aspects of childhood that I would love to have a do-over with. And it got me thinking of a “buc-kid” list of things I’d do if I were ever lucky enough to swap places with them for even a day.
First on my list is getting pampered by my mom. I might even wish for a sick day just so I could stay on the couch and be babied with soup and cartoons. Then I’d pull out all my coloring books and go to town with a brand new box of crayons. I may even be inspired enough to stay within the lines. I’d drink chocolate milk with a straw, and blow milk bubbles before I drank it all up. And speaking of food, I’d take advantage of my super-kid metabolism and eat a huge cheeseburger and milkshake, and then drop all my vegetables on the floor so my mom wouldn’t make me eat them. And I wouldn’t ever clean my room, just piling it all on my bedroom floor until my mom got so tired of it she just cleaned it up herself.
I asked a few of the moms at SantaRosaMom.com what they would do if they could swap places with their kid, and a few of the gals couldn’t be more enthusiastic in their answers. Gina Peyer of Santa Rosa admitted to already owning several pairs of feeted pajamas and stated she’d love to “sit around all day, in said feeted jammies, watching Disney movies.” Maya Mitchell Land of Santa Rosa decided that a day as a kid would be best spent if she could “dig in the sand, build sand castles, and play at the beach for hours on end.” And Lisa Celedon of Santa Rosa who is up to her eyeballs in diapers from both her toddler and 5-month-old baby joked that she’d learn to change herself.
What would you do if you could switch places with your child?
*mildly creepy, totally entertaining photography by Paul Ripke