The joy of life that toddlers have is magical. The tettering steps, first hops, the absolute coolness of walking on tip toes is just amazing. And the whole speech/personality development from things to little people is fascinating.
experiencing twins going through this is another take as well.
It really depends on the kid. I worked with 4-year-olds, and they are simultaneously my favorite and least-favorite age to be around. Some are little bastards who think all adults think they’re cute and therefore try to play you; some are smart and funny and you can actually have conversations with them. But either way, they usually required more energy than I had. I had to be vigilant that they weren’t eating rocks or stabbing each other with scissors. I had to not use words they didn’t understand and avoid topics and language that was inappropriate for them. They wore me out mentally and physically.
I don’t hate kids, but I don’t want to spend a lot of time around a lot of them. I like kids in small doses, preferably in numbers that I can handle.
My daughter teaches 2nd graders and I’ve gone to her class twice to teach science lessons. Then I hang around till the end of the day (snack time, recess, clean up and go to bus) and I have to say, those 2 hours are exhausting. I know why my daughter comes home totally frazzled.
I don’t particularly like them, but to be honest, it’s their parents that are more annoying. I hate being handed a baby to hold like it’s some treat. It reaks of urine and has food all over its face, if it’s not mine, why should I care? Every once in a while, I’ll meet a cool kid, not at all precocious or full of himself, just a kid. If it’s not that kind of kid, then I am out of things to talk about with him in like 2 minutes.
Wow, that’s a rather broad assumption, isn’t it? That all people who have children want them?
As I explained in the Pit Thread, I don’t see why children are any more important than any other human being on the planet. They aren’t the fragile little flowers that people see them as. It’s not children that bother me quite so much as how adults behave around them. There are certain children in my life that I love deeply and would do anything to protect. I’m not arguing they can’t grow on you. But your average random every day kid is liable to make me feel uncomfortable, inconvenienced, annoyed, or awkward. Practically every older relative I know insists that I would be wonderful working with children. I took their word for it and went and volunteered in Mexico teaching English to kids of all ages (and adults.) My relatives were right… kids do like me. I had a few really fantastic days with them (mostly the older ones… I love kids at the 10-14 range.) And I came home with the certainty that I was not meant to work with children.
I dislike most kids. I loved my daughter as a baby, kid, and even teenager, and now that she’s an adult, I really love her. But I can’t stand most kids, and will do my best to avoid being around them. This goes double for the kind that never get disciplined. I was at a family restaurant a couple of days ago, trying to enjoy my lunch. I did not succeed because a small child was singing at the top of his lungs, and his parents were clearly impressed by his talent and enthusiasm. I will admit that he had plenty of enthusiasm.
Now, I love most baby mammals. I will turn into a pile of goo around a kitten. I adore puppies and baby elephants and piglets. Maybe it’s just people I don’t like. I particularly don’t like clueless parents.
I don’t hate “kids” or love “kids”. Kids are people. Some I like, some I don’t.
But I don’t have a whole lot of *use *for them, as a rule, because the conversations and activities I enjoy are adult conversations and activities that are generally not enhanced by the presence of children.
Babies are cute for a few minutes, but they’re pretty boring, really, unless they’re yours. Toddlers are cute for an hour or so, but then I really just wanna get back to my life, thanks.
6 - 10 or so are *really *tedious, because they’re not just running around doing their thing, they’re actually *listening *to our conversations (and usually wanting to participate). You’ve got to censor yourself constantly, and you’re likely to spend many hours of your life feigning interest in horses or Hannah Montana. Ugh. This is definitely my *least *favorite age.
And then puberty hits, and they’re just generally unpleasant for a few years. The payoff is that at the end of those years, they’re suddenly capable of actually participating somewhat meaningfully in (most) of the grownup conversations. This is your reward for not killing them while they were stomping around the house screaming “I HATE YOU!!!”
But on the whole, while I don’t care for children, I’m mostly annoyed by grownups who don’t understand that children don’t belong in every social situation. I really hate that one person who always shows up with their kids, no matter how clear it is that this is a gathering of ADULTS. I’ve seen people actually bring their kids into “restaurants” that are primarily bars (at night) and complain that the music is too loud (or inappropriate :rolleyes:) and some of the patrons are drunk. Um, yeah. This is a BAR. Have you considered bringing the tykes to Applebees?
Way I think about it, kids are like any other mammal: they have desires, and they try different ways to meet those desires, and they notice which ways work and which ways don’t. They’re way too literal-minded to ever think of playing you. Some of them have learned that waiting until adults are done talking and then asking a question prefaced with the sound “please” gets their desires met. Others have learned that the best way to meet a desire is to pitch their voice high, and “-ey” onto the end of every noun (“Mommy, I want some booksie!”–I have trouble thinking of a better example, but I certainly know a kid that does this), and repeat the desire multiple times until it’s met.
They’re not playing you. THey’re using strategies that work.
In the classroom, I spend a fair amount of time deprogramming. Some kids I deprogram by teaching them that ordering other folks around doesn’t work; when I hear them issuing orders, I step in and ensure that their desire will not be met, and similarly, when I hear them asking in an appropriate tone with appropriate pleasantries, I try to meet their desire. Other kids I deprogram by teaching them that interrupting me doesn’t work: I’ll automatically say “no” to any question where they come up to ask me, and will try to say “yes” to any question that’s asked from their seat after they raised their hand and waited for me to come over. Other kids cannot leave a conversation with me until they’ve looked me in the eye and made a respectful acknowledgment of what I said; if they try, then I call them back over and practice it with them. Over. And Over. And holy mother of God over.
But I don’t blame them for it. THey’ve learned strategies that work. Of course they’ll use them! If I don’t like those strategies, it’s my job to help them learn other ones.
I generally enjoy being around kids. Their stories don’t always make sense, but they’re very enthusiastic about them. They often come out with rude statements, but more often they’re amazingly sweet. They’re sponges for learning new things, they share my enthusiasm for knowledge. It’s just cool to watch them learn how to be decent, curious, intelligent people.