10 Naughty Rites of Passage Most Kids Put Us Through
First smile, first laugh, first steps, first word; we all wait with bated breath for these moments. We relish in them. And, then we rush to record them; in baby books, on Facebook, we call our friends and family. But, what about the other rites of passage most kids go through? The ones we don’t want to tell anyone about, the ones not listed in baby books. Here are 10 naughty rites of passage most kids put us through:
- The Hair Cut: No, I’m not referring to that first hair cut we both love and hate, because it means our baby is growing up. I am referring to the unsanctioned hair cutting. Some time in toddlerhood or early childhood your child will probably do some unauthorized cutting of the hair sort. Doll babies, pets, friends, toys, or most often their own hair, no hair is safe in this moment. You can hide the scissors, but they will find them sooner or later. And then the cutting will happen. My son didn’t go through this rite of passage. My daughter did, I have the bald My Little Ponies to prove it. And at one point she had some, thankfully hideable, very very short bangs. For the record, I butchered my own bangs, at my Grandmother’s house while I was in the bathroom at age 4. My Mom was so mad!
- Not Coloring in the Coloring Book: Of course all children color us beautiful pictures (many of which we have no idea what we are looking at) that we proudly hang on the refrigerator. Maybe our proud reactions is why our children turn to cave drawing. You know that moment. You walk into the room and the wall has been artistically drawn upon. Some children branch out to drawing on their toys, which leads to that frustrating evening you spend scrubbing marker and crayon off baby dolls and mumbling to yourself about how you are going to throw every crayon in the house out.
- Self Artistry: This is so bad it deserves its own category. Sure you are mortified when your child colors on the walls but wait for it because it can be so much worse! Sooner or later most kids will color themselves. In my son’s case he managed to smuggle a marker to his bed one night. The next morning when I got him up for school he was covered, pretty much head to toe in marker (he even colored his butt). It was so bad he didn’t go to school that day. Some of the marker took days to fade and wash off. My daughter sticks to a more minimalist self-coloring approach. More than once she has colored an entire arm or leg (yes more than once). Where my son went for dramatic scribbling of the entire body, my daughter goes for block shading of one entire limb.
- Missing?: Be it a game of hide and seek you didn’t know you were playing or running off when you turn your back for a second in the store kids love to scare the shit out of you by making you think (for a moment) they are gone. My daughter pulled the hide and seek stunt. While she was hiding in a cupboard I was calling her name (and then her father at work) frantically trying to figure out if she somehow snuck out of the house and fallen in to a well or ditch or something. She came out of the cupboard just as I was about to start crying. My son waited until he was a little older to scare me. I went down to his friend’s house to walk him home and no one was there. I wandered our neighborhood yelling his name, angry and terrified he was int he back of some shady looking van somewhere. Big surprise: he wasn’t, his friend had to leave and he walked to another boy’s house too play. I wanted to kill him and hug him all at once when I found him.
- The “I hate you”: Our children love and adore us, they tell us so all the time when they are little. And then they turn on us. In one angry moment they scream at us: I hate you! And we want to cry. Of course they don’t mean it but that first “I hate you” cuts us to our very hearts. It also is a rite of passage in growing up. My daughter has yelled it both my husband and I, he almost cried, I almost laughed (because I had been through this with my son). If you haven’t had this moment yet, just know that after that “I hate you” comes an “I love you” a little while later.
- Bonding with the Pets: If you have pets your kids probably are all over them. And eventually they will do something to make you shake your head or scream. My son was big into pet release. He let his hamsters out. More than once I was sitting watching television only to see a hamster run across the living room. I spent the next half our hunting it down, catching it and putting it back in its cage. He did the same with his little green anoles. Those things are fast, confession: I didn’t catch all of those, they may still be roaming our old home. My daughter has colored our dog and seasoned our cats. Yes, seasoned, she sprinkled the cats with spices. Needless to say the spice rack was moved much much higher.
- I was cooking it Mommy: Long ago when kids wanted to do some property damage by “cooking” they often wedged a sandwich in the VCR (it does sorta look like a toaster). Now a days there aren’t as many VCRs available for sandwich nontoasting moments. That doesn’t mean your children won’t find somewhere else to either “cook” or store some food. It just means you will have to work harder to find it.
- ALL the SOAP: Once your children can bath alone you celebrate. It is another moment or two you can get to do something basically kid free. And then, later that night, you go to wash your hair and there is no shampoo. Or, you want to use the body wash, only you find the bottle empty on the floor of the tub. Of course everyone else is asleep and there is no way you are running to the store this late.
- Public Restrooms: No, not the bathroom in the store. I am referring to the moment your child mortifies you by using the restroom where there is none. With my son, I blame myself. We were out on a long drive in the country, he was barely potty trained and of course he had to go. There were no cars around, so I pulled off at a secluded area and had him pee on the side of the road. For weeks afterwards he would occasionally attempt to pee outside of our home. The neighbors really loved me after that.
- Public Shame: Some kid pick up a few choice words from their parents. Others choose to be blunt to a perfect stranger. There is a reason the saying “kids say the darnedest things” is used so often. It’s because they do. They say some off the wall, sometimes hilarious stuff. And we laugh, until they say something in public, or in front of the inlaws or our parents. And then we blush and bluster and want to hang our head in shame. Don’t worry we all have that moment, it will be funny in about 5 years.
We all celebrate the milestones. But, the stumbles are milestones too. Ones that you will laugh about later. Ones you will tease your child about when they are young adults. And, ones you will remind them of when they begin their own parenthood journey. When these moments happen the only advice I can give: take a picture, it may not be funny in the moment, but it will be down the road!