Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Inner Child is a Dishonored Student

Yes, my inner child is a dishonored student at the school of hard knocks.

I used to think that I would be an adult by this point in my life. Now I realize that I can’t grow up. If I did, I would be expected to act like a real grown up. You know, the kind of person who discusses their 401K, politics, and impressionistic art. I still use a piggy bank for retirement, wear my old ‘Pat Paulsen for President’ button, and prefer crayons in primary colors.

How do I know that I can’t grow up? Well, you decide…

  • I read the funny papers first. And then I forget to read the rest of the paper.
  • I’d like to build a tent out of sheets and hide in it.
  • Bodily functions still make me giggle.
  • I want to go to summer camp and make some more of those potholders out of stretchy bands of material.
  • I’m writing this column with a cat on my keyboard.
  • My idea of fine literature includes the word “muggles”.
  • But I think there are many of us who would like to return to the ways of childhood. We want to laugh until milk comes out of our noses and squish a buttercup into somebody’s face. We want to tell that person at work that they’re being a big bully and if they don’t quit it we’re going to have our big brother beat them up.

I’d like to reinstate some of the rules of childhood into our adulthoods. Here are my proposed guidelines:

  • Every afternoon, we should all eat a cookie and take a nap.
  • We must be nice to others or be forced to take a time-out in the corner wearing a silly hat.
  • We should get a gold star stuck on our collar when we do something outstanding.
  • After tough meetings, we should stand and shake hands with everyone in the room and say “Good game.”
  • We should go to recess outside instead of sitting at our desks.
  • We should change staff meetings into “storytime” and tell stories of difficult clients as big bad monsters.
  • Instead of fancy performance appraisals at work, we should get report cards with extra points for good conduct.
  • We should put notes about things we are proud of on our refrigerator doors.
  • And finally, every night, we should kneel by our beds and bless everyone in our lives who has made that day special.


Shauna Roberts said...

My recorder teacher way back when had both adult and children as students. Everyone received a frog sticker on their piece of music if they played it especially well at the lesson. I felt silly the first time I got one, being 26 or 27 at the time, but after that they really made me feel good.

Nowadays, I reward myself with a cat sticker on the days I spend more than half a day writing fiction. And my new dentist put a sticky-backed applique on my shirt after my first appointment. . . . which was much needed after he had just finished telling me I would need to see a periodontist.

Unknown said...

Boy -- I used to live for those gold stars teachers would put on our collars and on our papers in school. I'd probably work just as hard for one nowadays...

Thanks for the comments Shauna! A Gold Star to you for your thoughts!