Kids “R” …

… a whole bunch of things. They can be cute, they can be fun, they can be charming and witty and fabulous. Yeah yeah yeah. Whatever.
I hate that “Children should be seen and not heard” saying. Sometimes what they have to say is actually semi-interesting, but not in the cloying “Kids Say the Darndest Things” way with Bill Cosby doing his smushy Jell-O pudding face and rolling his eyes. Sometimes I’d rather talk to them than their parents. But sometimes, well, I wish they would heed that hated saying and just stand there looking semi-cute. Cute and mute.
Take this kid in line in front of me this afternoon at Kids “R” Us. He was about seven years old, regular size (not scrawny and not fat, neither tall nor short). A sprinkling of freckles. Dressed in ordinary clothes, including a knit hat from which peeked wavy red hair. Accompanied by a youngish (early 30s) woman with an English accent. I’m guessing she was his nanny.
She smiled at a SpongeBob SquarePants gift bag and asked him if he ever watched the cartoon.
“Oh, I never watch television,” he said, with a snooty sniff and a perfunctory glance at the gift bag. “The only thing I ever watch is the Discovery Channel, the History Channel, and Scooby-Doo.” He paused and looked up at her face. “And occasionally baseball.”
“Baseball? Oh, that’s nice. I like baseball too,” Nanny said.
“Yes, but I watch it only occasionally,” he clarified.
Oh look. A young Frasier Crane. Master Crane probably doesn’t drink Sunny D or eat PopTarts either. No, Little Lord Fauntleroy will only imbibe fresh-squeezed apricot nectar and dine on the finest of brioche. Pinky extended.
I hated him. I wanted to smear peanut butter on his chin, plop him down on a rust-colored shag carpet in a faux wood panelled TV room, shove a stuffed SpongeBob SquarePants into his arms, prop his eyelids open with toothpicks a la “A Clockwork Orange”, and force him to watch the Cartoon Network until he either bled from the ears or started talking like a regular kid and not some miniature jackass.
Please, kid. There will be plenty of time for that 30 years from now. And by that time, hopefully you’ll have grown out of it, and down instead of up, and find yourself in your cozy family room, rolling around on the floor with your own kids, laughing like a hyena along with them, as they point at the TV at that “old” cartoon you never watched when you were their age.
And hopefully you won’t dare change the channel.