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As featured in The Huffington Post
It’s funny how as you get older you complain about growing up. The bills, the responsibilities… it makes you long to be a kid again. But a recent tale of woe about a tiny tot who tantrums over getting her hair wet made me think this adulting thing… it’s not so bad. I love having my hair washed. I can happily fall asleep on any hairdresser who gives me a good head massage. So don’t be grim. Just like a fine wine, some things really do get better with age.
Bathtime: Ok, it sucked as a kid because it usually signalled the end of the day’s play and an imminent bedtime. But now, you can’t keep me out of a bubble-filled tub. Give me a good book, glass of wine and leave me to it thank you very much!
Bedtime: It was always too early. I always begged to stay up later. Now sleep is a sweet, sweet thing. Aways 8 hours wherever possible, getting up as few times as possible, and yes in my own bed. Early bedtime? Even better. No-one likes being an exhausted, cranky little troll the next day. No-one likes dealing with you when you’re like that. Now I’m at the opposite end of the bedtime spectrum. You mess with my 8 hours, you are dead to me.
Being sent to my room: As a kid it felt like FOREVER, and usually meant I had misbehaved. Now… well… guess it depends on who’s doing the sending!
Naps: I really am sorry I messed you around as a kid. Whether it’s a cozy winter afternoon nap or a summer siesta in the air-conditioning, adult me loves you.
Fruit and vegetables: Who didn’t screw up their nose at pumpkin, peas, broccoli or brussell sprouts. It seems to be a rite of passage. As an adult veggies are my staple – for feeling good, staying healthy and they’re just delicious. Seriously. I don’t know why we waste years pretending that they’re not and smearing them on high-chairs, walls, siblings… Believe it or not kids, there will come a time, usually after a lengthy business trip or no home-cooked food, when you will crave them.
Long car-trips: As a kid long trips meant excruciating hours of being trapped in an enclosed space playing endless games of I(eye)-spy, I-hate-that-song, I-want-to-stop-and-pee, I-think-my-brother-has-eaten-all-the-car-lollies, and I-want-to-throw-up. And thanks to my folks spending two years travelling around Australia with two kids and a caravan, I feel I handled this better than most. Now I love the freedom, the peace, the thinking time, the scenery. And being the boss of my own car-lollies and stereo.
Staying clean: With the exception of the odd mud-run for charity, these days I’m more than happy to not look like I’ve been dragged through a hedge. I’m perfectly happy to dig about in the yard or camp or do chores… and then head straight for a hot shower before I lie on the sofa or streak through the house. Also, I will now go to great lengths to keep my best party dresses looking pristine.
Chores: What felt like punishment as a kid is strangely therapeutic now. I’ll always have a hate-hate relationship with ironing, but having a tidy place is strangely satisfying and lets me switch my brain off to concentrate on other things without running through my mental ‘to-do’ list. Yes, now I do know what it’s like to work hard and pay for things myself and look after them.
Being grounded: No TV, no talking to your friends, and definitely no going out young lady! Back in the day it was the end of the world. But now please confiscate my tv, take my phone, give me a weekend where I don’t need to leave the house. Give me time and peace to write or garden or craft. Serenity now. Checkmate parents! Your punishment is now my idea of perfection on occasion. Or maybe you were right… a little down-time is the best way to stop bad behaviour.
The author notes some things from childhood still rock regardless of age, namely ‘little lunch’ and ‘big lunch’. However, going to the doctor for needles is still cause of a major melt-down. And any sleepwear that involves built-in feet or needs more than half of it removed to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night is just plain dumb. Onesies, I’m looking at you.