Why kids don’t come with INSTRUCTIONS!
Recently I had a discussion with a dear, old friend about how, when we were young, no one read warnings. We kids were flung in the far back of a decrepit station wagon with the dirty dog and sand-encrusted beach toys. Suntan lotion was known as the bottle with the bare-butt baby on the front and was applied once, if you were lucky. Chicken McNuggets and fries were considered the healthy “option” and came in styrofoam packaging that is most likely still in the landfill. Mosquitos gave non-diseased bug bites and everyone had an assortment of Weeble toys that were an ideal size to choke on. Oh, and red M&Ms would kill you and the hose-water was perfectly safe to drink by the gallons.
Yup – our parents were entirely kid-ignorant. Why? Because their own folks did the exact same thing (plus gave them a hot potato for lunch, which they would keep in their thread-bare pocket so they could walk nine-miles in sub-zero temps to get to school. Which was in a barn. With no heat. And run by a masochistic nun with a giant ruler).
Which leads to OUR generation, which is trying to be better informed. Sort of. Initially.
Our generation tends to read every label and heed every warning . . . with the first kid. By the second kid, we realize that even if we do everything perfectly, kids still get cuts and scrapes, throw temper-tantrums in line at the grocery store and climb on the roof. They crave crappy food and still drink the pond water. Yup – by the second kid, we take the warnings with a grain of salt. By the third kid, we go by gut instinct and do what our parents did – just wing it.
Which is why kids don’t come with instructions.
Because the manual would rival five YellowPage Directories. Because the kids don’t want to read it or abide by it. Because, at the end of the day, rules are more like guidelines anyway. And because the older generation knows we will eventually catch on.
Kids don’t come with instructions because that would cheat our own parents out of a fabulous opportunity to see us sweat.
Thanks Mom and Dad . . . I’m dropping the grandkids off at your place tomorrow. Feel free to keep them for a few weeks. At least.