November 15th, 2010

Men Are From Mars. Kids Are From Pluto.

Sarah Logan

Following the birth of Caveman, my cousin shared something with me that helped her through having her own little caveman. She said to remember that kids were “new” here. As such, treat them kind of like aliens. When they do things that make you think, “WTF??” just remember that they’re new here. They don’t know that’s not the way we do things on Earth.

I keep that thought in mind, and it’s more helpful than you might think.

Princess licks the fire truck on our tour of a fire department? Well, maybe that’s how it’s done on Pluto. Caveman responds to being denied a cookie right before dinner by eating a handful of dog food? Clearly, on Pluto, dog food is a good cookie substitute. Princess cries that her banana is gone after SHE ate the banana? On Pluto, bananas must regenerate as you eat them.

I don’t waste my time wondering why any more. Why did Princess think it was a good idea to sprinkle milk all over the carpet? On Pluto, milk must be carpet freshener. Why is Caveman wearing pants on his head? Must be a Pluto thing. No sense in puzzling over it. On Pluto, “clean your room” translates to “go play.” Sometimes, Plutonians get so excited they just have to bite something. Unfortunately, sometimes that “something” is my shoulder, but I’m getting better at spotting that particular brand of Plutonian excitement.

On Pluto, people intentionally bang their heads on the wall without flinching but scream in terror when approached by play-dough. People cheer when they’re served broccoli (yes, really!) and cry when you take away their sucked-dry corn cobs and replace them with cupcakes. Left to their own devices, Plutonians come up with ensembles that resemble Boosty Collins on his way to a fancy dress ball. Princess flat-out refuses to wear pants, and has been doing so for the past two years. I guess on Pluto wearing anything but dresses when you’re a preschool girl is akin to wearing pajamas out of the house.

Wait. Never mind on that last one.

The thing is, as crazy as living with Plutonians makes me, it also brings me great joy. I know that these Pluto moments are the ones that I’ll drive my kids nuts with, sharing the same stories of their antics over and over while they, having become Earthlings, roll their eyes. Plutonians are creative-they think so far outside the box I’m not sure they’ve ever even HEARD of a box. They are inquisitive. They come up with ideas that are at once crazy and brilliant. And they are FUNNY-holding-your-stomach, rolling-on-the-floor-laughing funny. And part of me is sad that one day, my little Plutonians will turn into ordinary Earthlings.

Until they have kids of their own. Because when you live with Plutonians, the crazy is catching. Every once in a while, a little bit of Pluto infects me. And I have to say, it’s not so bad being from outer space.

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This Weeks Tip

We did a review a while ago of dry shampoo. Here’s an alternative when you don’t have time to wash, but want to get rid of the oily-ness. Sprinkle some baking soda on your hair, comb through then quickly fluff your hair with a blow dryer. (note: You can also add a little scented baby powder to keep your hair smelling clean!)