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Peter Pan Was A Fool: Being An Adult Is Way Better Than Being A Kid

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Being a kid sucks. This is something I’ve come to believe with increasing certainty since my daughter was born three and a half years ago. I often feel sorry for her and other kids. Sure, they get to do lots of enviable stuff like riding in strollers and not paying taxes, but in so many other ways, being a kid is just plain crummy. As I watch my little girl navigate the vicissitudes of life in general and childhood in particular, I’m struck by one recurring thought: you couldn’t pay me a million dollars to be a kid again. Here’s why:

1. I Can Control My Bowels.

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Let’s just get this one out of the way first, ‘cause it’s a biggie. I won’t go into detail, lest I someday humiliate my preschooler-who-will-one-day-be-a-literate-adolescent by chronicling the minutiae of her toileting activities on the interwebs. But I will say this—as my husband and I trudged through the strenuous process of potty training our daughter, I found myself saying more than just a few silent prayers of gratitude for the gift of adequate bladder and bowel control.

2. I Can Eat as Much Ice Cream as I Want.

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Sure, I might have to pay for it later with tight pants, high cholesterol, and feelings of self-loathing, but being able to eat whatever the hell I want, when I want, is just one of the many freedoms I enjoy as an adult. I remember my adorable 5-year-old niece, a while back, telling me how lucky I was that I was “allowed” to have as much junk food as I want because I’m a grownup. Damn straight, small fry! Your candy quota is up for the day. Now pass me the mint chocolate chip and go to bed so I can stuff my face in peace!

3. I Appreciate the Gift of Sleep.

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What is it with kids and sleep? Are they biologically incapable of valuing one of life’s most precious gifts? Can you imagine someone begging, bribing, and yelling at you to take a nap every day? It would be the most amazing thing ever! “Please, for the love of God, stop everything you’re doing right this minute and go to bed for a few hours!” I actually find it baffling when kids reject sleep because, much of the time, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do. And the irony, of course, is that they get to have so much more of it than we do. It’s a terrible injustice.

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