Thursday, July 05, 2007

Adults! You strut around like your farts don't stink...

Thoughts spawned by reading these posts over at Scrivener's (which referenced posts at Anastasia's and Twisty's place--and yes, I've read all the comments):

When I was younger, I didn't like children. Yes, even when I was a child myself. On the whole, I thought kids from birth through the teenage years were loud, annoying, discourteous and mean. Unlike other children my age (girls, for the most part), I avoided babysitting like the plague. I didn't care if it meant dollars in my pocket. I would find an excuse to be unavailable. As a child, I much prefered hanging out with adults. Of course, I knew a fair number of children who were not loud, annoying, discourteous or mean. These children were my friends … or were children I was able to ignore. On average, though, the adults that filled my world -- my parents, their close friends, my family members and my teachers -- were all amazing, wonderful, intelligent, caring, vivacious people. Oh, to live in a world where I could be surrounded by THESE people instead of those irritating children.

Flash forward about 20 years.

My world is now composed mostly of adults. These adults are rude. They act as if they are completely unaware of their surroundings, completely unaware of whom they might be affecting by their actions. They drive dangerously. They drive discourteously. They cut in line. They curse loudly (as do I). They toss cigarette butts out the window. They vote for Religious Right conservatives. They don’t wash their hands after they use the bathroom. They drive while intoxicated. They are cruel to animals. They are cruel to children. They can be horrid, horrid people.

I realize now that my perceptions were completely skewed by my environs. When I was a child, I was mostly surrounded by children (i.e., young human beings). Being surrounded by many young human beings, the odds were higher that the individuals who annoyed me would be children. In contrast, the adults who were a part of my life and whom I adored were not at all representative of the greater adult world. I just didn't know that at the time.

Now, I am surrounded by adults (i.e., older human beings). They provoke as much annoyance in me now as certain children did when I was younger. Being surrounded by many older human beings, the odds are higher that the individuals who annoy me are adults.

It took me many years, but I have finally had my realization, my light bulb going off. I do not dislike children. Please forgive me my prior child-hating ways.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Bonus child conversation:

APL: [AB], I'm tired of you making these random nonsense sounds. If you're going to make nonsense sounds, at least let's play a game. You repeat what I say.
APL: Ay, eee, eye, oh, you.
AB: Ay, eee, eye, oh, you.
APL: Good! Here's one you know. Eee-eye-eee-eye-oh.
AB: Eee-eye-eee-eye-oh.
NSAH: (sticking his head through the door) Baba Booey!
AB: Baba Booey! Baba Booey!


Blogger Seeking Solace said...

But the problem is that I don't believe that makes you a child "hater". Please read my post about this issue.

9:05 AM, July 06, 2007  
Anonymous nutso-ranter said...

Oh goody goody goody! TWO WHOLE POSTS! I had almost give up on you APL.

I love your conversations with AB. They are so sweet. And you are such a creative parent.. I wonder how you come up with this stuff?

As for child-hating and adult-hating... I, too, am dismayed at the self-centered behavior that many adults display -- especially in their cars. So, I am making a small contribution. It occurred to me, that in my part of Virginia, people are LESS likely to beep at me for spacing out when the light changes green, or whatever. I thought it made a very nice difference. That, and watching increasing incidents of road rage, made me decide I was going to practice being a patient, kind, driver.

To be sure, I have had my moments in the past. I once had a young-ish professional woman in a Mercedes LEAN on her horn so long (while I was stopped at a red light with a clear sign that said "no turn on red") that I got out of my car, walked up to her window, and screamed at her "Can't you read the f-ing sign b-tch?". (Thus my moniker, nutso-ranter)

but this is the new, kinder, not-so-nutso, more mature me. I have decided that I will no longer beep at people for their plain old stupidity. I may excuse them, or I may seethe silently, but I will not vocalize my dismay at their IQ level. And, I will only use the horn in two situations: 1) Those genuine "yikes you're gonna hit me!" situations. and 2) as a gentle reminder, AFTER giving the person a second to realize the light is green.

I also try not to respond to idiots who cut me off, flip me off, or otherwise act like cretins.

You know what? I actually FEEL better now. I let go of things easier, and it doesn't ruin my day.

So-- I guess this has nothing to do with kids -- other than the fact that I think I started doing all of this because I want to teach my son how to treat other human beings with consideration... and this is the beginning.

Perhaps if the adults start treating each other better... the children will follow suit.

9:49 AM, July 06, 2007  
Blogger Gina said...

I used to dislike children as well, and I was a summer camp counselor!

7:46 PM, July 06, 2007  
Blogger liz said...


8:37 PM, July 06, 2007  
Anonymous KathyR said...

You just hate annoying people. Tall or small!

And I'll have you know that on the incredibly rare occasion that I pass gas, it smells like line-dried laundry.

6:33 PM, July 08, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is the word you arelooking for "misanthropic?"

9:39 AM, July 20, 2007  

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