Kids. I LOVE kids. I don’t have any, but I just adore them, mainly because they have no filter and so say whatever they want.
Sometimes their honesty is hilarious. Other times, it’s offensive and kinda mean. Like cry-yourself-to-sleep-in-a-bathtub mean.
Recently, I was in line at Kmart waiting to buy sheets and behind me was a mum with her kids.
The smallest girl, who looked to be about four, was wearing a sweet pink dress and had her hair in neat braids. She looked like a pageant child minus the spray tan. So innocent. So naïve.
She smiled up at me and I smiled back. Then she opened her mouth and said, ‘Hey, missus. Are you pregnant in the bum?’
Are you pregnant in the bum?
For once, I had nothing to say.
I was shocked. (What a brilliant/heartbreaking way to describe my big bum.)
The little girl waited, obviously in need of an answer. The teenage cashier stared at me, wide-eyed, waiting to hear how I would react (probably so that she could tweet about what she’d just heard).
Needless to say, the child’s mother was mortified, and started apologising profusely.
But it was cool. Honestly. I laughed, and said, ‘No (devil child), I just think Nutella and Cheezels are acceptable meals.’
She nodded, satisfied.
Kids saying the meanest things to me has become a bit of a theme in my life. Like:
‘Tanya, why are your boobs so low?’
‘Do you live in your car? Because you look like you live in your car.’
‘When will you die?’
‘Why aren’t you married? Is it because you’re too old now?’
‘When is Tanya leaving our house?’
‘Where are your kids? You should have kids. It makes me sad you don’t have kids.’
‘If you’re not a mum, why do you have so many food stains on your clothes?’
‘Can you fit on a motorbike? Are you allowed on a motorbike?’
Kids: back off. I love you, but your honesty is killing me.
Kids (Can I Be One Again, Please?) How good was being a kid!?
Don’t even answer. Don’t. You know how good it was. The best.
No responsibilities. No rent. No mortgage. You could have a tantrum whenever, wherever, and people would just be like, ‘Ugh, she’s a kid. It’s what they do.’
Your mum packed your lunch every day, or—even better—gave you money for the canteen.
Best of all, you were praised all the time for every tiny little thing you did.
At school, you would get stickers, or an award, for things like being a good listener or sitting up straight, or being the best clapper at assembly (which is not a thing).
I believe someone should give awards to adults to keep up the positive reinforcement. Certificates that read:
– I put away the laundry after putting it off for four weeks.
– I ironed today!
– I vacuumed even though I had 30 other things to do.
– I checked the mail and paid the bill that was in without having a breakdown.
– I didn’t punch my colleague in the face even though they were being a jerk in a client meeting.
– I had a meal with vegetables in it.
– I said I would do something and then followed through with it.
– I actually called my mum back.
– I was not socially awkward at my partner’s work Christmas party.
– I washed my clothes and didn’t just buy new undies from Coles on my way to work.
– I wore a supportive bra today.
– I went to the gym today
– I showed self-control when there were bowls of chips at a party.
This is an extract from Tanya Hennessy’s new book, Am I Doing This Right? Life lessons from the Encyclopedia Bri-Tanya
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