What do kids want?

What do women want?…Men don’t know and women only THINK they know.

What do men want?…Well that ones simple.

But kids…

What do kids want?

I got up this morning and snuck to the kitchen to make a coffee I could sip on while awaiting Sunday morning breakfast demands. Sunday mornings is the girls morning to choose something besides the boring cereal, toast and fruit for breaky. I scanned my kitchen hoping it wouldn’t be anything too elaborate as I hadn’t washed up last nights dishes. (Yipee, if you haven’t figured it out yet. I HATE dishes.)

Their request?

Bacon and scrambled eggs.

So it wasn’t so bad, but the thought of oily fatty substances all over my hands from the dish washing wasn’t appealing so this is what I did….

‘WOW! Paper plates? How come we have paper plates?’

‘Thanks mum!’

‘This is so exciting, we should do it all the time!’

Just a couple of comments I got when the girls realised they could just throw out their plates afterwards. They were so excited. I quickly took the opportunity to mention it was a ‘special’ Sunday breakfast and I thought because I loved them so much I would make it extra  ‘special’ by using the paper plates.

Mind boggling.

Kids don’t see mess, they don’t see any grown up type stuff at all.

The paper plate incident got me thinking about an awesome status an awesome friend of mine had posted on Facebook yesterday about the fact that as we were growing up we had no need for computers, or Xbox’s and all those popular things now, we were happy with bikes and barbies.

I remember my parents buying a new house when we were kids I think I was about 7. We were moving onto a property and they were trying to decide between two. One a lovely brick and tile home with high ceilings and beautiful carpets kitchen and bathroom and another house nowhere near as nice, but the property had a waterfall (more like a small rapid, that ended up only occurring for a month or so throughout the year.) The second house when we went for an inspection also had a family of two kids sitting on the floor in the lounge playing snakes and ladders, I remember the little girl smile at me.

Our parents asked my sister and myself which house we wanted to live in.

We picked the one with the happy kid and the ‘waterfall’ of course!

What need did we have of ‘brick and tile’ we didn’t care about the bathroom or kitchen.

I can honestly say the best thing about that house was the excitement of a storm coming. The house was situated on top of a hill with a gully slopping up from behind it. We’d stand on our verandah and watch as the clouds rolled in, the wind blustering up the gully getting stronger and stronger, our house creaked as if a shudder of suspense like the one I had had just crept up its spine. We could see sheet after sheet of rain pelting down. One particular storm we had the sky was an eerie and awesome aqua green, such a ball of anxious excitement would just settle in your belly and not leave until the sheets of rain reached close enough for you to feel a light spatter across your face and shoulders and you’d smell that fresh wet earth smell. We’d squeal almost without meaning too with huge grins on our face and dash inside and stand in the middle of our lounge room. Our house was that old that the wind would come in through the cracks in the walls.

We always opened the windows in an exceptionally windy storm to just let the wind ‘pass through’ our house. If we hadn’t it would have blown away as easily as a feather.

I still have this habit.

Just let it go. Don’t stop it.

And the feeling standing in the middle of your lounge room while your house is MOVING and screaming trying to fight against the forces of nature. Glass rattling, floor boards creaking, pictures shaken from the walls. The wind blowing against you, hair flying around your face,  is as strong as if you were out in the middle of it all?

Simply awesome!

I will never forget it. Such excitement, slight fear.

But I can honestly say my kids have never experienced anything like it. Not on their Nintendo or on the Xbox, or computer.

The most fun they have is when making a mess. Digging around in the dirt.

Playing in the rain!

Kids don’t want or need expensive lounges to be fulfilled. They don’t want or need ‘brick and tile’ homes to learn and feel loved. They don’t need anything really. Besides a hug each night a loving smile and a hand to hold when scared.

Glen and I often feel guilty. Not because we don’t give our girls everything. It’s because we feel like we give them too much. We always talk about long trips we took as kids with our parents and the only thing we had which we’d get excited about was air con! Our girls now have air con, temperature control, whatever that is! And dvd players, cd players, well lets just say they have the works in the travelling department and still they get bored.

When I was about 8 or 9 we travelled around Australia in our landcruiser. My parents lifted the middle and back row of seats so my sis and bro and I could muck around in the huge empty boot space with nothing but a bag of oodles (remember those?) One of my favorite games was ‘catching clouds’ I’d stick my arm our of the window as far as I could and make scooping motions imagining that each gust that I forced into the car was a ‘cloud’ I sometimes rejected ‘clouds’ I didn’t like then got paranoid they were following the car. I’d get into trouble for my distracting and constant turning around to check on those rejected ‘clouds’ who I thought would be seeking revenge.

Mind you unbuckled kids and arms out windows is now frowned upon no matter how fun it was.

I had an awesome imagination. I think sometimes I still do. I know my kids do and I hope they inherited it from me, I tell them made up stories, distract them from naughty behaviour with a ‘purple chicken hunt’ and the such.

Glen and I both have the same ultimate goal of ‘going back to basics’ once we have enough money to do so….(sad it comes to that isn’t it?)

We’re moving out-of-town, living off the land, using solar power, bore water if we can. I’ll have the most elaborate fruit and veggie garden as possible. I’ll put into practice my title of ‘herbalist’ not for broken bones of course, but minor things I can take control of like coughs, colds, headaches. Teach our girls to drive bomb Utes around the paddocks like I used to. I could drive a manual by the time I was 7! I have an almost 10-year-old who doesn’t even know what a ‘gear stick’ is! We’ll make our own fun, build mini houses out of sticks, catch bugs and frogs. Play spotlight ALL night with those dolphin torches. Blow bubbles using all of mum’s dish washing liquid. Paint trees with mud, play IN the mud! Dress themselves in ALL their clothes and go hunt bees.

All the memories come rushing back.

So what do kids want?

Nothing bought in shops that’s for sure!

Kids are looking for adventure, we need to expand their minds and imaginations through stories, read or make believe. We need to get outside and do some gardening and see what you can find. I gave my girls a couple of  grubs the other afternoon they were fascinated for hours!

They don’t need anything we ‘think’ they need.

We’re adults and we need to forget we are adults in times when thinking about our kids.

Kids aren’t interested in ‘flash cards’ or math charts but there are things ‘out there’ that can be used to teach them with and are so much more enjoyable.

Well I need to go now as my girls have just come and thrown their fantastic paper plates so I assume they will need some inspiration for their next adventure!

So what do kids want?

Just BE a kid and you’ll know.

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