On a recent trip into town I found myself seated in transit next to two well dressed businessmen who were having a lively conversation. They were not discussing the latest stock market report, but rather the merits of disposable and cloth diapers, what little Jason was using and the state of his bottom as a result. Now that’s progress. It is always a relief to know that there are other adults out in the workplace whose world revolves around the same things yours does.
Having children is rather like being born again to a child’s world. Co-workers point to tell tale signs of this rebirth, clucking over previously smart tailored business men whose pants are now creased and worn in the wrong places from scooting along the carpet after a chubby bottom, or business women who display squashed plastic frog lapel pins that say “Mom”. A businessman or woman’s business, it seems, is now in two worlds.
The real cause for this second childhood however, is due to reasons beyond one’s control: everything you have gets replaced. My husband and I brush our hair in the morning with either Garfield or Mickey Mouse brushes, whichever we can find. I have no idea where ours went. They’re probably somewhere at the bottom of the toy box. Kermit the frog toothpaste somehow landed in our bathroom. It doesn’t taste half bad. And the other day, as we were watching “Home Improvement” with the kids, and absently flossing our teeth, neither of us even noticed that we were using bubble gum flavoured dental floss. It is quite normal to shower with blue soap in the shape of a hippo, normal to douse your hair with green shampoo from a bottle shaped like Batman, whose content smells like popsicles, and to dry yourself with a towel bearing the picture of a frazzled looking duck on it that reads “I’ve got an attitude”. Who even notices when they grab a bowl with little marching mice around it to put their cereal in first thing in the morning? Our once discerning palates are now lingering over ABC Pasta and Chicken Nuggets as we read “Fat Men From Space” because the newspaper got used for the hamster cage. The cruncher comes when you’re out with friends at a movie and realise that you would really rather be playing in the wave pool with the kids.
Yes, everything gets replaced. Adulthood becomes second childhood, and the longer the space between your eldest and youngest, the longer your childhood is going to be. Why, a person could be a child for twenty, twenty-five years!
Gee, I guess that means I get to tear down the water slide yelling “Cowabunga!” at the top of my lungs for a few years yet.