Thursday, June 25, 2009
Since I became a parent, I've noticed a phenomenon in most American children: they are zombies. I'm not talking about flesh-eating monsters out of horror flicks, but more like tranquil beings that can sit in shopping carts, strollers, baby story time for insanely long periods of time. It's as if these kids were born with some kind of time release, never ending capsule of Valium Jr. hidden inside their little brains. From the moment they are born until the time they hit Kindergarten, they are able to be carted about anywhere and can just sit or stand still at any given moment of the day. They sleep easily and play quietly by themselves. Parents can shop, they can watch movies, they can wait in doctor's offices, they can go to worship services, they can just plop their kids down anywhere at anytime and know that those kids aren't moving and you won't hear a peep out of them! I never would have noticed this marvel of the gene pool if I hadn't born two children as far from zombies as you can possible get. As un-PC as it is to say, my kids are wild.
I bore feral twins four years apart. They are energetic, boisterous, crazy, stubborn, and unrelenting in their need to live life. From extremely early in the womb, I could feel manic kicking and rolling. They never, ever stopped moving. They both came into this world very alert and active, both had nightmare colic, hated to be confined, and needed to be held and walked until they could run on their own. They are fearless and extroverted, willful and animated. They love people and running and screaming and jumping and crashing. While other little babies can sit in a stroller while their mother shops, mine screamed to be let out of the straps and then took off doing laps around the stores crawling until they could walk. When I need to go grocery shopping, my daughter demands to be removed from the seat so that she can skip down the aisles singing We Will Rock You. (She isn't quite 2) When my son is in the house, he jumps from couch to couch, banging on walls, making horribly loud noises. He's never still and his sister is never still. I had a deja vu moment at baby story time in the spring when my daughter decided to jump up and dance in front of the room. She waved and called for attention. There were thirty kids in the room all sitting zombie-like on their parents' laps, there were even zombie twins! I tried to get her to sit, but red faced I had to leave, like I did with her brother only 3 years earlier.
I wonder where these children come from almost everyday. I am an introvert. I hate people. I am quiet and sedate. I would be happy in a cave with a pile of books. Why didn't my genes create a zombie child? What are the odds that I would have not one, but two wild kids? I have to admit that I am frustrated more often than I am delighted. The constant motion and noise of the two wear me out. Trying to run errands with kids running in two different directions is trying. Watching other kids sitting placid in their strollers, ambling casually next to their parents eats me up with envy. What did they do to have an easy parenthood?
I am happy to have spunky, creative, interesting, and animated children. My daughter is like a mini genius with her words and my son is very coordinated and savvy. Some parents give me a dirty look when my kids go up to play with their children uninvited, but once I had a mother thank me for my son because her child has autism and never engages with other children, but somehow was playing with mine! I am delighted that they are part of a thriving world that I am now fearful as an adult to enter. They never worry about what other people think, they just do. If they are displeased with something, they let everyone know, they don't keep it festering inside. As much as I would like some zombie moments, I am proud of my spirited twins. They get along famously and one day will rule the world together, galloping and hollering the entire way.
Posted by Jessica at 6:11 AM