Last night we had some good friends over for dinner. Before they had even had the chance to close the door my five year old boy bounces out of his chair at the dinner table and runs into his arms laughing and screaming and shouting “Yah!”. I mean, common, that is about the best welcome you could ask for. I felt bad that his wife didn’t get the same welcome only because she entered our house second and I considered for a moment imitating my son’s response with her, but I was afraid it might end in an awkward embrace. So I passed on that. My son continued to climb on him and giggle and laugh and be cute. Well, cute to them. To me, it wasn’t so cute.
When we have people over for dinner, depending on what I am making, I sometimes have the kids eat first. Since this night was Thai curries that tend to the spicier side of life, I had my two youngest dine early so my oldest and the adults could eat together. So when they walked in and he jumped out of his chair, the only thing that went through my mind was the fact that I had just told him to sit down and eat. Not cute. And when I reminded him to eat his dinner he promptly ignored me and giggled and tossed his curly haired head back in a laugh. No. Not cute.
Some other friends of mine have a four year old girl and twin boys under two. They all have blonde hair and blue eyes and are always smartly dressed for church. I was at their house for dinner awhile ago and walked in to have all three of the kids want me to play with them. How adorable! They would laugh and giggle and hand me trains to play with and come up to me with their arms raised in the air like they were worshipping me, or that’s how I like to imagine it at least. Maybe they were wanting to be held, but I just let them stand there. Anyways, they were so adorable. To me. To their parents they were people who needed to be put to bed. Not cute.
Yesterday my five year old was drawing pictures. He has just developed the ability to appropriately configure people to have bodies and eyes and hands instead of the pumpkin people he normally draws. While I was conducting school with my daughter, he was out at the kitchen table composing various pictures. The picture below is of a fireman. I love the happy face, the two toned fireman’s hat, the hose, and the little fire he is putting out. Very cute.
The next picture he drew was of a man driving a truck. I asked him why he chose to draw such a random subject and he replied that he thought I should get a job. He thought that I should be a UPS driver so I could get more money and buy more unspecified stuff. I replied that my job is to take care of my kids. I then let my guard down and asked him if he thought I was good at my job.
Not cute. Ok, a little cute.
“No.” he replied. “You need a real job.”
At the zoo the other day other people’s adorable kids are running around being amazed by all the animals. Small fingers pointed in amazement, cute baby noises, eyes wide with amazement. My kids on the other hand are misbehaving by not listening to my commands to stay by my side and to stop running. Isn’t it adorable how excited those children are to see the giraffe? Oh, look at the little one running to see the lions! Ah, the baby is yawning….isn’t that cute! My kids on the other hand need to stop trying to touch the tiger by climbing over the wall. I’m glad they’re excited but they need to relax a little. And, oh, your yawning? Ya, get your butt to bed earlier tonight. Not cute.
I try to stand back from my children on occasion and see the cuteness. The way they giggle and play with each other. Their small fingers and wide eyes. They are cute. They are also work, a lot of work. I think panda bears are cute too but I bet if I had to clean up panda bear poop all the time I wouldn’t think they were that cute. I bet if I did get a real job I might think my kids are as cute as other peoples kids, but then I would miss them because of their enhanced cuteness. What am I to do? I’m not sure, but I don’t think it involves delivering boxes.