The other day I was at the shops, or as you American’s say – the mall, and my three year old boy kept running ahead, jumping, hopping and getting in people’s way. He ignored my repeated, half shouts (caught between demanding a response and being embarrassed) to stop and wait for me. Then it happened, the inevitable, didn’t listen to your mother moment when it goes wrong – he fell over. Oh god the screaming, which attracted the looks of many shoppers, those looks that say, “You are an irresponsible parent with no control over your children and what a naughty boy you have,” you know those looks – they’re the ones you get when you least need them.
It got me to thinking – what if we never changed as we got older, what if we always reacted and acted the same as when we were kids? Can you imagine the shops filled with skipping adults, who fell over and bawled their eyes out? I would think it could make life easier – when we are disappointed we won’t have to hold back – just cry or tell the person they’re a meanie and you won’t play with them anymore. When a friend disappoints you it would be easy – just say, “I’m not your friend anymore, you’re a poohead.”
Being the potentially lazy person I am, I quite like the idea of eating and pooing your nappy at the same time – a new slant on multitasking and it saves wasted time on the toilet. I can also imagine watching a movie late at night, being tired and sticking the thumb in and having a contended suck (no dirty minds please, we are childlike – remember). When I’m frustrated because things aren’t going right I can burst out crying and no one will think it’s strange.
There would be some problems though. Who would be there to wipe our bottoms, we would be eternally itchy, and who would clean up the mess and break up the squabbles? Actually, while it sounds funny in theory, maybe it’s not a good idea after all. I guess I’ll have to watch the kids enjoy their childhood, while I man the responsible post – however I will get mine back when I am an elderly, incontinent, grumpy person. I will make my kids take me to the shops so I can complain in a loud voice and embarrass them, hell I might even make them change my nappy. Hmm, maybe getting old won’t be so bad after all.