Pound Puppies and Crossed-Eye Puzzles… Or, Where Did My Childhood Go?

Posted: January 18, 2009 in Memories
Tags: , , , , , ,

I was staring at the back of a Golden Grahams box this morning. I actually had a purpose this time, I wasn’t just staring off into space, dazed, because my child bounced onto my bed at 7am this morning wanting to watch cartoons. No, I was looking at one of those optical puzzles where you stare at the wavy lines and an image is supposed to appear. Well, after about five minutes, my eyes started to hurt and I was no closer to seeing any image. What happened? I used to be good at those back when they were cool. Remember, for about five minutes when those things were all the rage? Ah, yes, that’s right, I was a kid then. That’s probably why I can’t see them now but I could then. Kind of like in the Polar Express when the adults can’t hear the bell. I’ve grown up and it seems like nothing is fun anymore.

The box I was looking at

They say that when you have children, you can revert back to your childhood with them and relive all the awesomeness of being a kid. Well, here is my confession. Despite the fact that I loved being a kid, my adult brain can’t seem to handle all the kid-ish stuff Sophie loves. When she asks me to play with her, my eyes glaze over after about three minutes. All the toys I know I loved as a kid don’t hold any sway over me now. It’s like my brain is saying, “Been there, done that, move along, people.” It really distresses me. What happened to life being fun? To having curiosity about life and the world? It just seems like I’ve hit a point as an adult where I’ve seen too many ugly things and dealt with too much adult stress to even remember what being childlike was, even though Sophie is right there in the thick of being amazed by the world.

In class, I have one girl who asks me to read her the same book every day. She loves this book and is obviously in the process of committing the whole thing to her 4-year-old memory. Which is awesome. But every day when she asks me I inwardly roll my eyes, while outwardly smiling and saying, “Sure I can read it to you…again!” And so I zip through “There’s a Wocket in My Pocket” without much thought. But the other day, as I was reading it, I began to think about why she likes this book so much. It’s the same reason I loved it as a kid: funny words and illustrations that make you study them. The vug under the rug is scary…because what kid hasn’t thought about what is hiding in unseen places? And who wouldn’t want to go around all day saying “There’s a noothgrush on my toothbrush?” That’s funny, right there! I realized I do the same thing when I read stories to Sophie…I read them and she loves them but I get easily bored when she brings me the same Berenstain book for the 400th time. But for her, it’s fascinating. And I’m starting to remember why, and also starting to think that’s the problem I’m having here at age 30.

I forgot how to have fun with life. Everything is so stressful and we’re broke all the time and we’re forced to be adults every minute of the day. It’s so dreary! And tiring. The thing is, I remember vividly how much I loved being a kid. Everything was awesome…My Little Ponies, building forts in the woods with stuff my mother didn’t know I stole from the house, gumball and M&M machines at the hardware store, stopping at the boat landing for no reason at all to go swimming. There was no purpose in life other than to just be. Even going to the dump was fun…yes, I’m a redneck on this one, I am from Maine after all. My uncle would pick me up and take all our trash, his family’s trash and my two cousins. And every time, we would stop at the corner store on the way to the dump and he would buy us gum and Jolly Rancher sticks and Ice Cream from the little freezer and whatever else our little candy-loving hearts desired. I was in heaven. Going to the Dump. How many times would I say trash makes me that excited today? How about never?

So, all of this deep thinking came from the back of a cereal box. Who says they’re not educational?

Sophie and her pink bouncing ball today

Sophie wanted me to take a picture of the bright sun

Here she is in the sun

Another crazy sun picture

  1. mama2drama says:

    I thought I was a terrible mom because I hate playing with gianna too! It is so boring and she tells me what to do, which makes it less fun!

  2. Jaime Hebert says:

    I know! Phew…I’m not the only one. I guess I can let a little of the “terrible parent” guilt ease, then. I’ll use it somewhere else, like for excessive tv-watching.

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