Sunday, November 26, 2006

Small Children and Me

I’ll admit it, I’m not a big fan of small children. In fact, they irritate the shit out of me. I’m proud to own and claim the fact that I have no maternal impulse in me whatsoever, and there is no ticking clock to that effect, (it’s been supplanted by a Career Ticking Clock, that continually ticks off write a script that’ll sell. Write a script that’ll sell.) I feel very secure in brushing off the well meaning but underlying simpering folk that say, “Oh, you’ll feel differently in a few years.” No, I WON’T, and you best be thanking your lucky stars that no progeny will be springing forth from me. Seriously, if I’m this warped and messed up, what in the world would any issue of mine look like? Double the blues, double the weirdness? No, I don’t think so.

It basically stems from the fact that small children require extraordinary amounts of patience, which I don’t have for GOD, let alone tiny tots, and the fact that small children think the world revolves around them, when everyone knows it revolves around ME, ha ha ha.

So when sister Agatha announced she was pregnant four years ago, I wasn’t truly thrilled (During that announcement conversation Agatha yelled to Mr. Agatha, “She’s taking this as well as we thought she would!”) Aunt Amy doesn’t sound cool. Aunt Amy makes me sound creaky and spinster-ish. I think Aunt ANYBODY sounds creaky and spinster-ish. Aunts aren’t cool. They just aren’t.

Nevertheless, I tried to do my best, Baby Bug arrived, and we discovered I had somewhat of a knack for picking out small hip children clothes for Christmas presents. I’d visit one or twice a year, and attempt to bond with this little creature that decided not to grow hair until age 2 and a half (I have SOOOOO many great blackmail pictures for later.) But small creature named Bug didn’t want to bond with me, and confirmed my belief that Small Children are great for other people, but not for me.

However, this trip has seen a marked difference in Bug. For one thing, she has conversations with words in halfway complete sentences, and everything. Instead of burying her face into the nearest vertical surface in response to any question posed to her, she will respond in somewhat of a four year old intelligent manner. As they picked me up from the airport, she rattled off every Dancing With The Stars competitor on this past season with a gravitas that one would use in, say, the reading of a family will. Naming the competitors on Dancing With The Stars is SERIOUS stuff, people.

And I get it. It’s how she proves that she knows stuff. Emmet and Cheryl, Mario and Karina, Joey and Edyta I’m Bug, I’m four, this is my world, and these are what the things in my world are called.

She also skips everywhere. From the car to any public place, like a movie theater or a restaurant. It’s quite endearing to watch. How happy and carefree life is when you are a four year old Bug.

Except when you go to see a little movie called Happy Feet . If any of you have small children in your immediate vicinity and want to take them to see this movie, I’m telling you now DON’T. RUN far far from this movie, and don’t be snookered as we were by the marketing campaign that featured the tap dancing penguins, because tap dancing only makes up about 1/3 of the movie, and the rest of it is an ecological message movie featuring scary-for-a-four-year-old chase sequences with a hungry sea lion, killer whales, sinister fish tankers, and strangely inappropriate pop songs that the penguins claim are their “heart songs” to each other. Bug burrowed herself as far as she could into Agatha’s chest, and wasn’t thrilled with ANY of the proceedings. Neither were the rest of us.

I thought it was all my fault. I should’ve checked the ratings more closely (it was PG, not G like you’d think an animated penguin movie would be), I should’ve checked the reviews more closely (though they all said it was great, and they’re all smoking crack.) I should’ve remembered that George Miller is the sadistic twit director who strung a dog upside down, hung it off a bridge with its head underwater, and made us all think the dog was going to drown in Babe, Pig In The City . But no, I didn’t do any of that. Oops.

And as we’re riding in the car to the restaurant for lunch, I’m having a conversation with God. Okay, what do I do here? Do I apologize? It was only a suggestion. I didn’t think everyone would just follow my lead that blindly. How do I handle this? I’ve inadvertently scarred my own niece. How do I handle the soon to be ensuing hate from the rest of the family? Do I welcome it, let them vent it out, and say, "Thank you sir, may I have another"?

I apologize to everyone, and surprisingly, they don’t smack me down, just say yeah, it’s odd that more people haven’t spoken up about how it’s not exactly cute and fuzzy like the previews promised. And at the restaurant, Bug is acting like nothing happened. She’s even saying “Happy Feet!” every now and then, but I think it’s because she likes the way the phrase sounds. But she’s not sad. She’s not scarred. Yet. Har de har har.

So this skipping, resilient talkative Bug is my niece, and I have to admit, she’s not so bad. Hopefully things will only get better from here. Four years old appears to be the hurdle to cross in terms of small children. But Bug is the exception. I’m not a fan of any other kids, and you can get that smirk off your face right now, ha ha ha.

Look, here’s a dress I got for her birthday. Do I know how to pick ‘em or what?


Allison said...

Did you pick the boots, too, 'cause those are a riot!

Yeah, I just stopped trying to fight it. Most kids are just annoying.

But really, I don't think it's them as much as their parents. Like how parents yelling at their kids are always louder than whatever the kids did to get yelled at.

But this is your blog... :)

Richard T said...

You know, I always assumed I would be great with kids, and I have discovered that by and large I'm not. Sad....

Don't forget: George Miller also brought us "The Road Warrior" (if memory serves). Go back and look at the "Babe" sequal from the perspective of an adult film, ignoring the notion that talking animals are only for kids. On an adult level I think it's superb. True fact: the scene where the dog with the rear-leg cart dies and finds himself in a heaven where he has working legs and can chase butterflies in a big field all day long gets me crying every time I see it, describe it or even think of it. Even now.

But then, that's how I feel about the first one, too. Better for open-minded adults than actual kids.

But what do I know. Kids don't seem to like me that much....