Most evenings see me in a pair of yoga pants I bought when I was pregnant because I’ve got this thing about not wanting to “waste” nice clothes on hanging out at home (I blame my half-Scottish heritage for this mindset).
Don’t go imagining a stylish “lounging at home in my activewear” getup though; these pants were from the $5 rack at Kmart, and are so old their cost-per-wear sits at about 0.0004 cents. Due to their clingy nature, they made my pregnant ass look like two baskets of rutting hamsters, but goddamit I love a bargain. So I wore them anyway. Also, nothing else fit.
I was wearing these pants as I tucked Amy into bed last night, so was taken aback when she said, “Are you going out for dinner after I’ve gone to sleep? Those pants look fab-lee-iss.” Ah, but Amy is four, and in Four Year Old World a $5 pair of yoga pants can be considered totally ok to wear to a restaurant (stick that in your lemon, Lulu).
It got me thinking about how Four Year Old World must be a pretty nice little place to live. Sure, people make you eat stuff you don’t want to sometimes, but that is totally outweighed by these top six reasons why it’s the place to be:
1. Limited cleaning responsibilities
You’re not just discouraged from going near the cleaning product cupboard, you’re actively banned from touching it, or anything resembling a chemical.
Like, it’s an actual punishable thing to pick up a spray bottle of window cleaner. If you try to have a go with the vacuum cleaner, you’ll be praised for your helpfulness, then ushered to a corner to do some drawing because “it’s Mommy’s turn now.” Sometimes you might be called upon to tidy up a mess of your own doing, but if you bitch and whine and take your sweet time about it enough an adult will eventually step in and do it for you. The adult might make noises about throwing out anything they find on the floor from now on as they tidy up your stuff, but it’s always an empty threat.
2. Easy exits from any situation
Stuck talking to someone who is a total yawn-fest? Then just loudly state that you really need to poo, RIGHT NOW. You’ll be swiftly exited, no questions asked, and no one will judge. And if someone does judge, you can be sure an article entitled “a total dick judged my child for talking about a natural body function” will go viral and divide friendships and families.
Those things are really fun to watch unfold.
3. Your assholery is excused
If you’re behaving like a total tool for no apparent reason, people will go out of their way to find ways to excuse it. Any singular or combination of these explanations will be proffered to non-family members encountering your thunderous demeanor: “She might be coming down with something.” “She’s had a busy morning.” “I think she’s having a growth spurt.” “It’s nearly lunchtime and she’s just hungry.” “She’s a bit unsettled by a new sibling.” Or the good old fall-back “She’s really tired.” If you hear “They’re just a total asshole and we’re investigating boarding schools with an early intake,” you’ll know you’ve pushed it too far.
4. No one wants you to get up early
In fact, you’re encouraged to lie about in bed quietly should you wake before dawn, and will be rewarded with a cute sticker chart leading to prizes for your sleeping-in efforts.
5. Four Year Old Fashion
The fashion is quite possibly the best bit of Four Year Old World. You can get a ridiculously cute ensemble for under $20 if you shop it right, but who cares, because someone else is paying for it anyway! Questionable choices won’t matter because you’ll grow out of everything in six months. If you’ve got one dress you just love the shit out of you can wear it every single day if you want to and no one will bat an eyelid. You can choose from your personal selection of tiaras and crowns when you really need to convey “I’m fabulously in charge here, bitches.” If you fancy wearing a tutu when there’s not a dance class in sight…go crazy. Wear three. At the same time. And of course, $5 Kmart yoga pants can be considered High Fashion if you deem it so.
6. People want you to be happy
If you’re having an assholey day (see number 3) or throwing yourself a pity party because the dress you love the shit out of is in the washing machine, people will go out of their way to cheer you up. Your favorite stuff will be proffered, stories will be read, outings will be optioned, and if you wobble the bottom lip just right you’ll be plonked in front of your favorite TV shows with a selection of stuff you like to eat and drink.
I don’t know about you, but right now if someone handed me a Gin & Tonic, a cheese platter and the box set of Revenge I’d perk the hell up, too.
Image via George Hodan