I understand now what it’s like to be a kid. It’s as painful as heck.
Kids don’t want to do the same things as their parents do. They have different interests and if they’re forced to conform and he what their parents want them to be then it’s infinitely painful for them. They just don’t find their parent’s interests interesting, and that’s that.
The only way to get them involved in the things of another generation is to reward them. Rewards are like bribes. Bribes are like payments for the time they losing away from their real interests. It works in the same way that paid employment does, except that these are kids that you’re paying with snacks and spending money. It’s like child labour, which is, as you well know, is illegal. And if it isn’t illegal in your part of the world then it darned well should be.
Pity the kids who can’t spend time doing what they want to do with their time. And don’t even ask what it is that they want to do because it’s none of your freakin’ business, Mom. Just accept that they are not you, trust that they won’t do anything too bad and just get on with your own life.
The kids was bored and so, to sharpen them up, we telled them that the world was going to end in 10 minutes – boom – just like that. And they said ‘well, what’s that got to do with us?’ and we said that when the world ends then we all end and that means you and me and they said ‘does that mean that we will be dead?’ and we said ‘yes’.
Course we was not really sure if they knew what dead meant, what with them only being eight and all that, but they seemed to take it seriously enough. Their little foreheads creased up and their eyes went kinda far away as if they was thinking and then they said ‘so that means that we don’t get to have lunch’ and we thought to ourselves that this was typical of what kids was like – always thinking about their bellies or whatever was about them, them, them. Selfish little buggers. So we said ‘yeah, no lunch’ and then, just for wickedness, we said ‘and then straight to bed.
Course this was a really stupid thing to say because if the world was going to end and all of that then there wasn’t going to be no bed time as such except to say that it’d be bed time for all of us if you know what I mean. The big sleep and all of that.
Luckily they didn’t twig on. So, with only three minutes left to the world we thought that perhaps it’d be alright because the kids didn’t say much after that They just sat, picking their noses and watching the clock as it ticked towards one, which is when ten minutes was going to be up. Cunning buggers. Cunning and cute and all sorts of stuff like that. When it pinged one they just jumped up and said ‘yaaaaa, world didn’t end; another game!’ and so we had to think of another one.
Still, they wasn’t bored no more so I guess that’s one upside to the world ending.
Do you remember when we were kids and we hadn’t run out of new things to say or do yet? When each day was so different to the one before that we might as well have gone to sleep and then woke up on another planet? When we asked people questions and the things they said took the tops of our heads off and scrambled our brains; not like eggs but in a good way? Remember those days?
And all we want to do now is find out way back to those times; even if we can’t acknowledge that to ourselves or anyone else. But instead we’re set in titanium by the jobs and marriages and friendships we’re in. And anything that we try to change about ourselves; any strap or buckle we try to adjust on our staightjackets is greeted with puzzled looks, confused questions or outright disdain. Because why would we want to be other than what we are? Why change what is obviously perfect?
Well I’m changing still. I’ve not done finding wonders. I’ve not finished asking questions. There are planets out there to explore and if anyone tells me anything different then I’m going to make a sandwich and stash it in a bag with some pop and crisps and then head off on my bike towards the unexplored horizon.
And will it be dangerous? Heck, I hope so! Because if it isn’t, then I’m still sat at the kitchen table dreaming and hoping … but dying by degrees.
Who’s with me?