I find myself in an interesting place. I’m a grown-up, but barely so. I have friends that are over 30 and under 10. I can go to the ATLOS playgroup and discuss discipline issues with the mommies, then play on the slides with the kids. I play for both teams.
I’ve always kind of felt in between. It’s fun: the kids don’t think I’m boring and the adults don’t think I’m incapable, but it is awfully strange sometimes. But certain events these past few days have hammered home that I really do teeter the line between adult and kid.
Ways in Which I Play for the Mommy Team:
- I babysit Jenn’s kids and for the first time ever, Ryan got into a lengthy negotiation with me. He showed big emotions and took every chance to nitpick my babysitting and bemoan how unfair I was. Then, a few weeks later, he had a play push fight with me then snuggled up to me and sat on my lap. I was shocked (since Ryan NEVER wants physical contact) and starting waving my hands at Jenn and Kelly while silently mouthing, “Holy crap look!” I’ve been assured that both gestures are a sign he’s comfortable with me.
- I practice Positive Discipline with the kids (or try my best to) while teaching and babysitting and am not afraid to let them know when their behavior is unacceptable.
- I was an active and willing participant in a mommy discussion about poop at the ATLOS Christmas party.
- Kids in my sign language class a) asked me if I was married and b) said I was old.
Ways in Which I Play for the Kid Team:
- I will sometimes act less than adult in public places by making faces or noises with the kids. Then they get scolded for bad behavior that I aided and abetted. Oops.
- When I’m not 100% in the adult conversation going on, I’ll wander off and play with the kids.
- I frequently get dirty stares from my friends when they make 80s pop culture references that I’ve never heard of.
- Sometimes I accidentally cuss with my teenage students. And I feel silly teaching kids only a few years younger than me.
- I want to go to the Messy Party and get messy.
- I’m just as into Avatar: The Last Airbender and silly YouTube videos as the kids are.
I suppose one day I’ll grow all the way up and might even have kids of my own, officially cementing my placement on the Mommy Team. But for now I’m enjoying being a double agent.