Some things are just easy to complain about.
There are some things that nearly everyone has had a bad experience with, like slow internet, telemarketers, or Adam Sandler. Another one of those things is very young children.
People are always complaining about kids. If I only had reports of kids to go on, I would probably believe that everyone under the age of nine was a murderous elf. Common complaints include “They’re selfish,” “They’re dumb,” and “They’re murderous elves,” and even though these things can occasionally be true, people tend to forget how fabulous kids can be.
As grown-ups, jokes have to be “funny” to be laughed at, activities can’t involve imaginary pirates or time travel, and not all drama can be handled with bubbles (thankfully, some drama can still be handled with bubbles, if you just so happen to carry them with you everywhere you go). If you ask me, this greatly limits human interaction.
A four-year-old with whom I was playing house decided that our characters in the game should watch TV. Not allowed to watch any more real TV that day, we set up a fake one and sat down in front of it to stare for about ten minutes. I let him know I was changing the channel to Doctor Who, and then pointed and laughed. “What? What happened?” he asked. I told him that the Doctor had said, “People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear non-subjective viewpoint, it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey… stuff.” He laughed for longer than I did the first time I heard it (that’s a long time).
I’m still not sure if he was being polite or if he genuinely found the words “wibbly wobbly” hilarious, but either way, he was a very good sport.
At my last choir practice, one of the guitar players brought his daughter, so he give his eight-year-old an iPad to entertain herself. After playing with it for about two minutes, she put it down and played the bongos instead. I applaud you, Guitar Dad. You raised a daughter that will put an iPad down without being commanded to.
These instances restored my faith in the next generation. However, while I’m stressing how under-appreciated the minds of children are, I should also probably mention their dark side.
As easy as it is to forget how wonderful a child’s imagination is, we really mustn’t forget how diabolical they can be as well. I mean, think about it. Who’s the scariest person in nearly every horror movie? I’ll give you a hint – it’s no one taller than four feet.
One terrifying instance I recently experienced was while I was helping babysit a class of nine kids. One six-year-old in particular is the rowdiest, and we’ll call him Carson. All of the other children were eating their snack while he stood in the middle of the room spinning in circles, swinging something invisible around. It soon became obvious that it was a weapon. A sword. Two of them, it appeared.
Carson thrust the invisible weapons in a V formation into the air directly in front of him, tensed, struggled, and then threw his arms out to the side with a grunt of effort. My eyes widened in horror. This was one of the occasions where I’m not very proud of my imagination. In that moment, I didn’t see a kid playing pretend. I saw a six-year-old cutting a grown man in half. I saw blood everywhere, and a delighted six year old in my care standing over a dead body.
I was babysitting an early-years version of Deadpool.
This explanation makes way more sense than it should.
A few weeks later, another kid in the class, five or four, was coloring a sheet of a happy boy and girl under an arch of words about God’s love. Little Jonah, smiling, selected a black marker, and proceeded to color both illustrated children head to toe with darkness. “They’re melting!” he told me. “His face is melting, and his eyes are melting, and his brain is melting…” he adopted a high-pitched voice, “Help, I’m meltiiiing!”
Cue the nervous laughter as I slowly back into a corner.
If you take anything away from this post, take this: next time you want to complain about kids, remember – not only are they more wonderful than you are giving them credit for, but they could also plan your untimely demise and they would probably get away with it.
That is all.
Now run along and play nice with the others.