piggybacking off the concept of 1000 awesome things, these are just a few things i thought of that were awesome when i was five, and are even more awesome now that i’m twenty. and all stressed out college kids should try to include more of the following in their lives so maybe they wouldn’t be so stressed out anymore.
1. dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets.
yes the shape does make them taste better.
i always thought these were the best things ever. any kind of shaped food really, but these especially. we rarely had them in our house because they weren’t healthy. but anytime mom and dad went out to eat and got tv dinners for us to make ourselves while they were gone, i’d get the kid cuisine with some kind of fun shaped processed meat in them, and it was a very big deal.
being older makes them so much better because A-i can buy them for myself anytime i want. no waiting for mom and dad’s date night. B-i can eat as many of them as i want. C-i’m not required to share them. D-i can actually appreciate the irony of chicken shaped like dinosaurs.
2. disney movies.
i grew up in one of those southern baptist families who boycotted disney in the 90s, so i missed out on lots of classics(i still haven’t seen the lion king). when i was little they were cool because of the forbidden-ness of them. but now they’re even better because
A-i can actually watch them.
B-i can catch the little inappropriate things snuck in there that i would never have noticed when i was five.
C-i don’t get scared by things like the mean witch woman in snow white, or other such potentially scary characters(i was a sensitive child. my mom had to take me out of the theater in the middle of anastasia[which i still find creepy even now]), i can laugh at them.
3. baking cookies.
i love cookies ridiculously. one good thing about being homeschooled and living thirty minutes from civilization was having plenty of time for homemade ones. making cookies was(and is!) pure joy. obsessively measuring everything perfectly, getting my hands messy making the dough into little balls, then eating them when they’re perfect and warm and melty.
i would use baking as a way to score quality time with my mom. anytime she was making anything i wanted to help, and i didn’t want anyone else to help her but me(i’d freak out if we got “caught” by susan or daniel and they’d both want to help too).
A-i can eat the raw dough. my mom was a nazi about that. she was convinced that one little pinch of the stuff would give us food poisoning. nothing in the world makes me feel more rebellious than skipping the baking step and just digging right into the salmonella-y goodness. and i’ve never once gotten sick from it.
ps mom, since you’re my only reader i’m sure you’ll see this, so please don’t get offended; i know you meant well and i do believe you that it could someday make me sick, but the risk is so worth the deliciousness.
B-i can eat as many of them as i want. i saw an episode of seinfeld once where his beginning monologue talked about this, so everything i’m about to say is pretty much just wholeheartedly agreeing with all his opinions. when i was little i was never allowed to have more than two cookies. even when we just baked them, and we’d have three trays, and i wanted to try one off each tray as they came out of the oven; but the only-two rule still stood. now i can eat the whole batch if i want. “cuz you know what mom? yes, i spoiled my entire appetite! but it’s okay, because i’ve learned that another appetite is always coming right around the corner.”
C-if my mom doesn’t have time to make them or doesn’t feel like cleaning up the kitchen, well hey, i’m a big girl. i can do all the work for myself and clean up my own mess, so if i feel like it i could have cookies every single day.
D-i don’t have to measure everything perfectly, or make all the dough balls the same size. this was never a rule or anything; mom actually encouraged estimating. but i was an OCD child and needed all the cups and teaspoons to be perfectly leveled off before dumping them in the bowl, and i had to make the dough into perfectly round, equally sized balls in perfect straight rows on the tray. i just lightened up and chilled out as i got older and started discovering that the world would still turn if i just haphazardly dropped the dough off a spoon.
4. playgrounds and the ocean.
i’m putting these in the same bullet because i’m pretty much saying the same things about both of them.
these were two of my favorite places to be when i was a kid. i could be on a swing or in the water all day and be completely happy. but there were too many limits on both; the ocean i was only allowed to go out so far(reasonably so; i was little bitty and couldn’t hardly swim), and i couldn’t swing without someone pushing me since i was so small.
so these are fun for the same reasons as when i was five, just multiplied since i can do things for myself and make my own rules.
these are not fun when you’re a kid. unless you’re like three months old and you actually sleep during them. but most of the time “naptime” is spent sitting on your bed wishing you had something to do.
i never napped when i was a kid. my mom says i was done with them when i was two. i just didn’t need any rest in the middle of the day; the wonders of ADD.
even though i don’t take them very often(they screw up my night sleep like mad), naps are the best things ever. nothing fixes things better than getting out of class at 3, then falling right in bed and sleeping until dinner.
6. christmas morning.
i am the world’s biggest fan of christmas. i have more christmas spirit than santa claus himself. a lot of people start losing their childlike love of this second most wonderful day of the year as they get older, but i love it more and more every year, and here’s why.
A-how often do people besides me get to wear their pajamas all day?(i change back into mine anytime i’m going to be in my room for more than fifteen minutes)
B-you get to give presents, not just get them. so you have the added excitement of seeing how much people like what you got them.
C-it’s the only day of the year that getting up early is easy, fun and voluntary.
D-my family is all so happy and nice to each other on christmas.
E-ALL the shiny things!
F-five weeks off of school!
G-every night is family game night for like a week after christmas day.
H-the older you get, the better you can understand what christmas is actually about. at least for me. as great as all the other stuff is, the “christmas story” becomes more real and beautiful to me every year.
and my favorite, the most undeniably awesome thing that is so ridiculously awesome for kids to where it’s hard to imagine how it could get any better as an adult but then it does…
7. blanket forts.
i LOVE making forts out of blankets and pillows and pool noodles and random furniture. me and scott did that the weekend before i first went to college, as a last-chance-to-be-a-kid thing. little did he know that six months later at csu once i would make an elaborate fort with both mattresses(i didn’t have a roommate that semester), both desks and all my blankets, and watch the food network in it all night.
i loved trying to build really good ones when i was little but could never get them to stay up, so i couldn’t sleep in them but i could usually get them good enough to where i could watch a movie and eat popcorn in it on a rainy afternoon. any time i slept over at a friend’s house i’d always want to make a fort since they had different stuff in their house and i wanted to see what different ideas we could think up.
it’s such an educational experience. it teaches you to be resourceful and creative and try things a different way when something doesn’t work right. it forces you to use what you have, it doesn’t cost any money, and it gets you close to people because how else are you supposed to fit your whole family in it?
now you can’t get much better than that no matter how old you are, except for being smarter and having better ideas and being able to stay up as late as you want in them. but…
when i don’t live at home anymore, i plan on skipping furniture and just having awesome blanket forts that i leave up all the time(my parents always made me take them down and put everything away at bedtime). and i’ll put beanbag chairs inside them, because they just make any room awesomer.