Like a little child

Have you ever watched a baby or a small child, laughing at their funny faces or funny antics, and then wondered what the world would be like if everyone acted that way all the time? Clay and I do this from time to time. If you ever need a good laugh, it’s a great exercise. For example, if you’ve ever watched a newborn for any period of time, you probably saw him make tons of crazy faces–grimaces, smiles, and everything in between. What makes this even more hilarious is watching my husband mimic the faces that the baby is making. He has always shown incredible talent at this and we are going to contact the folks at America’s Got Talent in the near future.  What if everyone just made faces like that all the time?

But even more fun to think about it is how the world would be if everyone acted the same way toddlers and preschoolers act. Picture it: you need to go to the kitchen to get something, and you’re in the living room. A boring grown-up would simply get up and walk into the kitchen, right? Not Catherine. No sir. She bounces up, spreads her arms, turns on her “motor,” and soars like an airplane. And she doesn’t just go straight into the kitchen, either. No, she does a lap around the “circle” first–through the hallway, kitchen, dining room, back into the living room, back down the hallway, then finally pulls in for a landing in the kitchen, gets what she needed, and goes on her merry way.

Or how about Abigail? Now, let me warn you that there is potty-talk ahead, in case the more delicate readers want to skip this paragraph. Abigail is 5 1/2 now, and she is really starting to figure this world out. For some background info, our downstairs toilet has been known to randomly overflow a time or two, for no apparent reason. Unfortunately, one of these times was when Abigail was in the bathroom, and it severely traumatized her. She got in her head that the reason was because she had put too much toilet paper in, even though this wasn’t the case and we tried and tried to tell her so. Ever since, she will only pinch off the tiniest piece possible to do her business with, and sometimes, quite frankly, a tiny piece is just not enough. Finally, though, she seems to have things figured out. A few weeks ago, she came out of the bathroom and calmly informed me that she now knows how much to use: two squares for pee-pee, four for messy, and five for diarrhea. Then she anxiously asked her dad and me, “Do you think that’s too much?” Now, a grown-up might actually go through that train of thought and even get a toilet-paper-measuring system all worked out in his mind, but do you think they would actually check for someone else’s opinion on the matter? Absolutely (and thankfully) not.  What if they did?  What would you say if a grown-up initiated that conversation with you?

Then there is Elisabeth. Actually, all of my children do this, but none quite so often as Elisabeth. Picture the freedom of suddenly just jumping up and running around and around in a circle, shaking your head and letting whatever noise comes out of your mouth, come out. This could be a squeal, a low hum, or some other crazy noise that can’t be spelled out on a computer screen. This could also go on for endless minutes at a time.  Can you imagine a world where adults felt free to act this way?

What if adults went around asking questions about the world like kids do?  Questions like: “What’s wrong with that man’s leg?” “Why is that lady so fat?” “Why are you grumpy today?” “Are you sad because you don’t have children?” “Did you cry when your baby came out?” “Why did God make ookies?”

Just close your eyes and picture it.  Some of it just wouldn’t work, would it, if adults acted in these ways?  But just between me and you, I secretly wish I had the energy to jump up and soar like an airplane through the house as I go throughout my day.  I guess it wouldn’t be appropriate for us mature adults to do this all the time, but gosh darn it, it would be fun, wouldn’t it?

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