The No-Can-Do Kid

Usually when I watch my son stumble around, I’m amazed at how little he can do. I mean, yeah, he’s only five-years-old, but it’s incredible to see all the basic, rudimentary human activities that he is unable to complete, or even truly comprehend.

I love my son, and lately his behavior has (slightly) improved and he’s being (slightly) less of an asshole so I’m (slightly) more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, in many cases, it’s not his no-can-do attitude so much as his no-can-do age.

With that in mind, I’ve tried to change my perspective and look at his deficiencies – like the inability to do two things at once, or to not get food in his hair, or to take a shower – as adorable and charming.

From this charitable viewpoint, it’s less strange that a still-relatively-new human being hasn’t mastered many things that an accomplished, some might say peerless, adult in his late-thirties (but who still looks 23) can do in his sleep, than it is that human beings bother doing many of those things.

Here are five examples of easy-as-pie stuff that my five-year-old can’t do and I wish I didn’t have to.

  • Set an alarm clock. My son doesn’t need an alarm clock. For what? To remind himself to wake up and start demanding things? And even if he did know how to set one, he’d probably choose 5AM, so he could get a head start on his day. He has energy to burn! I’ve been running on fumes since the day after he was born, so I have to make something yell at me to get up or I’ll sleep forever. Being an adult sucks.
  • Brush his teeth. Yes, my son has to brush his teeth, don’t worry. But that doesn’t mean he can brush his teeth! All it means is that I have to do it for him, because he can’t without jamming himself in the face like a nincompoop. Except he doesn’t REALLY have to brush his teeth, does he? He’s got new ones coming down the pike soon, regardless! If I were him, I wouldn’t pick up a toothbrush for at least five years. But then I’d get fired and probably divorced. Being an adult sucks.
  • Go to work. What a nightmare. I have to slave away five days a week just to bring home enough bacon for my family to survive. Meanwhile, my son sits around with a sugar daddy and a sugar mommy and sugar grandparents and sugar aunts and uncles, providing him with everything he needs and then some. I haven’t had sugar of any kind in more than 15 years! Partially because of the teeth thing.
  • Communicate in a civilized manner. Earlier today someone said to me, “I’m more of a ‘glass half full kinda guy’.” And I realized my son has it right when he just screams for no reason. I wish I could do that. Being an adult sucks.
  • Dress himself. Getting dressed is lame. No one wants to wear pants; pants are bullshit! Not only can’t my son get his on, he gets them off as soon as he gets home from school. He goes pants-less most of the time! And yet I’m not allowed, because apparently there’s something weird about an almost-forty-year-old man sitting on the couch in his underwear! Or so my wife tells me.

Bottom line? If it were acceptable, I’d spend my entire life lying on the couch, naked and screaming. But no, only our precious children are allowed to do that. Pretty much all the time.

Being an adult sucks.

This post originally ran on Lifetime Moms.


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