Help Me Up, Whippersnappers

I’m very excited to have KLZ from Taming Insanity posting on my website today! She brings a great sense of humor and a youthful perspective for my (ahem) older readers. You know who you are. You can catch me today at her website above. Hope you enjoy her post as much as I did!

I’ve never quite acted my age. I like to joke that I’m always behaving as though I’m 6 or 86. I can never seem to fall anywhere appropriately in between.

Which is why having a child is somewhat of a relief to me. I can get away with both pretending I’m walking across hot lava (I’m playing with my child!) and being crotchety enough to say things like “turn down that radio, it’s too damn loud!” (the baby is sleeping!)

It’s quite an exquisite balance for me. But it leaves me somewhat isolated from my peer group.

And by peer group I mean: people I grew up with.

(That should say people with whom I grew up but both the 6 year old and the 96 year old in me have decided that that is too much effort to say. They agree on things with surprising frequency.)

Not one of the people I graduated high school with has a child. Only one of the people I went to college with has entered the realm of parenthood.

Let me clarify: I’m not 22 years old. I was not pregnant during college.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I just have a group of friends who are apparently content to go to work during the day, then go home and have some drinks without wiping anyone’s butt.

Which is a ludicrous goal, clearly.

It’s not so much this time right now that bothers me about this maturity disparity.

What I worry about is empty nest syndrome. Which I will be acquiring years before any of my friends. At which point I have no doubt I’ll be chasing kids off my lawn and demanding they hike up their pants. Because I won’t care about their newfangled fashions.

(Oh God. I just realized…low rise pants might no longer be fashionable in twenty years. High waisted pants might be in fashion when my kids go to college. So then what? I have to tell kids to hike DOWN their pants? That’s just filthy.)

In short: I’m worried that having kids first will also mean I’ll be the first to truly age. I mean, what ages you more than having kids? I’m already complaining about what Miley Cyrus is wearing and whether or not rap lyrics are inappropriate while my friends fight over beer pong rules.

How bad is it going to get? Because it looks highly doubtful that I am going to age gracefully. It’s lucky I’ve started indulging my inner eclectic early.

I mean, I already sometimes act like I’m 86. When I actually am 86….what then?

I actually can’t even think about that question for too long. It frightens me. And the six year old in me doesn’t want to have too many nightmares tonight.

19 thoughts on “Help Me Up, Whippersnappers

  1. The group of friends that I was with when I met my husband, out of that group, none of them are together, and as far as I know, maybe one is married and has a child. The rest, well, who knows.
    And, I don’t have any contact with my friends from highschool, so I couldn’t say about that either.
    When I first met my hubby, we really weren’t into kids either. But, something clicked with us, and we had our little girl…now, life would be dull without her around. I couldn’t imagine it. She’s only 7 1/2, but full of life and love. An angel. I couldn’t have asked for a better kid. Of course, I only had one…I kept thinking that the next one would have a 665 on it’s head…you know, one chromosome away from being a demon…LOL
    Oh, and I wish the boys of today would “hike” up their pants too…I don’t know how they wear them that way and not have them fall down. I’d love to just walk up behind one of them sometime and yank them down the rest of the way…

    • I really wish that I could be put in charge of pants fashion in general. There are some really awful pants out there.

  2. Loved this one, KLZ! And, I can so relate — you see, I WAS a 22 year old with a baby, so some of my friends are still catching up/starting families/staying single. I’m in between old friends with much younger/no kids, and new friends who are much older than I am. But, we’re always able to meet up somewhere in the middle. Empty-nesting earlier will probably make you look/feel younger…at least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

    “That’s just filthy” — I will snicker about that one all day long…

  3. Sure you’ll experience empty nest syndrome first, but your peers will be in their 40s and still going to elementary school plays. And don’t forget the disparity at college graduation. You may get a “Oh, is that your mom?” or even a “Oh, is that your sister?” (the latter seems unlikely since we both know you are crotchety well beyond your years) while your peers will get a “Is that your grandmother?! Where are your parents?”

    • They probably won’t talk to me at the graduation since I’ll be busy alphabetizing the sweetener packets I’ve taken from restaurants.

  4. I never got a chance to play beer pong. My nights away from the kids included bowling and square dancing. How lame is that? Talk about a twenty-something acting 80!

    • I tried this little slice of heaven last night after my son went to bed. Turns out? The next day, looks a lot like hell.

  5. Drinking while wiping someone’s butt? Can be dangerous.

    Don’t ask.

    I do know what you mean about feeling “old” for your age (the occasional poop jokes keep us young!)…I’m a huge curmudgeon. I’m always yammering on about accountability and principles…blah blah blah…

    But I still have those moments of “when the hell did this happen….?” when I have to attend parent/teacher conferences or when I’m excited about buying new appliances. When did I get so old & boring?


  6. I’m ok with the complaining part of getting older. Hell, I even enjoy it.

    But the buying of appliances still totally wigs me out.

  7. I was the first in my group of friends to have kids. Some of them started shortly after, but I have single friends my age who have no kids and get to do whatever they want. No bums to wipe, no bedtimes to keep … just spontaneity and fun. Me? I’m 32 years old and I like the schedule I’m on (with my kids). I also like the fact that (as Pop, above, says) by the time I’m 40 something my kids are going to be some sort of independent and my friends are going to be doing the butt wiping thing and being called grandma …

  8. I had my first kid at 19 and my second at 29. I raised each one differently as I was almost a different person in that 10 year span. We were in the military and everyone was young, so we had the kids and we had the games (strip poker – oh yea). I don’t think it really aged me anymore than any other factors that also contributed. I’m an old fart now, but I don’t feel that way at all. I just need to break all the mirrors in my house and life will be perfect!
    Enjoyed the post!

  9. Oh KLZ, from where I stand you have it all wrapped up. You will be SO loving your new-found freedom when Alex (and possible siblings???!) is off to college and grown up, you may still have friends who are wiping butts and snotty noses. And you may smile and nod, pretend to understand why they can’t join you and hubs in Cabo for the weekend. And then go anyway.

    We were among the last of our high school and college friends to have kids since we waited so long, and many of them have moved into this new phase of their lives and are young and active! Then I have the other friend from high school that still has very little ones….and she’s exhausted. I say you will have the last laugh, Missy.

  10. I’ve pretty much lost track of everyone I knew in high school, so I haven’t the slightest idea if any of them have kids. I assume at least some of them do.

    In twenty years, the fashion will be to wear underwear on the head, didn’t you get the memo?

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