Yes, you read that right. I miss the cartoons. The high pitched, noisy, sometimes shrill cartoons that get beaten into your brain and you find yourself humming entirely too often, when not even around a television. The ones whose jingles you hate but you know every word to the opening song. Guessing the tool needed from Toodles in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse; the clapping along to Little Einsteins.
In our house, they have been replaced with these cheesy pre-teen shows with laugh tracks and silly jokes. My kids are currently obsessed with the likes of Alexa & Katie, and I am afraid the soundtrack of Bunk’d is permanently stuck in my head. And what even is this “My Babysitter’s a Vampire” nonsense?! But by far the worst (can we all collectively eye-roll here?) are these You Tube “stars” whose whole premise is to open toys and gush at how OH MY GOD, CUTE! everything is. These “shows” do nothing more than to give my girls Iwant-itis and are really really pointless. I was complaining about these whacky shows the other day to a friend, and she reminded me that our parents probably hated “Clarissa Explains it All” and “Hey Dude” and she is probably right.
But I know it’s not really the cartoons that I miss. It is the season of change that has me longing for the childish cartoons. I am just not ready for this change from toddlers to blossoming little girls. It is a bittersweet change, one that I just did not think would come so soon. This new season is not bad at all, just different.
Long gone are the days of crawling and teeter-tottering; they have been replaced with “unicorn runs” and cartwheels from one end of the house to the other. In fact, I am convinced my seven year old is forgetting how to walk, as it appears her only mode of movement is to cartwheel literally everywhere and I have come thisclose to being accidentally kicked in the face eleventy bazillion times by an impromptu cartwheel.
Gone are the days of the kinder scribbles and the school art projects that I have stored away, those sweet keepsakes from yesteryears. I did not realize just how much I would miss the preschool art projects. The art they create in their heads is imaginative and colorful and can easily be determined as to exactly what it is, and they pour it onto sheet after sheet after sheet of paper, mixed in with stories to accompany their drawings. None of this is bad in any way, just different.
The copious stuffed animals are no longer just babies that they carry around and dress up. They are now all students in the classrooms of Ms. Madelynn and her assistant Ms. Evangeline. The stuffed animals have classroom jobs and a strict homework schedule, and they better be good so they do not end up on red on their behavior chart.
Gone are the simple worksheets from preschool for practicing letters. They are replaced by these massive and endless homework packets, for every week, even on holidays. And often, way too often, I find myself feeling not smarter than a first grader when struggling with the common core math pages.
And the opinions, my goodness the opinions. They feel strongly about the clothes they wear, the shoes on their feet, and demand elaborate hair dos that often leave me running to You Tube for some how to videos. They have no problem telling us what they think about everything, whether it is tactful or not. Gone are the days of being able to spell out words around them; they are really good spellers and immediately catch on to everything! And when my seven year old said “JINX!” the other day, I wondered where in the world she had learned that phrase.
Again, none of this is bad …. just different. So many things are easier. For one, I sleep through the night and that is a big plus for this season! We can walk out the door with just my purse. We have thoughtful conversations. The little girl jokes make me laugh. Their imaginations are vivid and bold, and their eagerness to learn new ideas is exciting. While I am sometimes wistful of their younger years, I do love watching them blossom into these kind, thoughtful, smart young girls, and I will try not to grimace too much as Amber from YouTube tells us all about her latest OH MY GOD, CUTE unicorn tchotcke.