Why We Should Raise a Sippy Cup to Our Kids

A couple of weeks ago, I posted on how having a kid eats away at your budget. But did you know kids have their benefits too? Well, besides the whole being an extension of you and your partner’s love that fills your heart with joy and is there to take care of you when you’re old by placing you in a reasonably-priced nursing home thing. 

Kids are non-stop entertainment, ten times funnier than any Kevin James movie (the other night, we were in hysterics over my friend’s 18-month-old’s pronunciation of “sausage”). And since their tummies are the size of a two-year-old’s fist, they always leave you half an ice cream cone to finish, which gives you an excuse to eat ice cream even when you’re on a diet since it’s a shame for good ice cream to go to waste. 

These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg – here are four more reasons we should all give a shout-out to our spawn. 

They’re ideal ice breakers. I’m brutally shy and horrible at small talk. When meeting someone new, I would love to lead with “Don’t you think that Doug Hutchinson/Courtney Stodden interview on Good Morning America was the creepiest thing ever?!”, but I’m so nervous they’ll glare at me with disgusted confusion, I resort to the standard, “Gee willikers, it’s a hot one out there.” 

In most social situations, I rely on a glass of wine to lube up the talkbox, but unfortunately a bottle of Cabernet is frowned upon in the pediatrician’s waiting room. Kids, on the other hand, are God’s gift to the socially awkward. All I have to do is ask a fellow mom where she got her daughter’s hair bow or compliment a dad on his son’s counting abilities and bam! – I have a new best friend for the five minutes until the receptionist calls our names. 

They get you out of a bind. On the other hand, kids are the best excuse ever for getting out of uncomfortable social situations. If I’m stuck at a get-together, enduring a monologue from the husband’s fourth cousin’s wife’s sister on how Harry Potter is pushing an agenda to integrate witchcraft into public schools, I grab KT and pull my reliable dirty diaper exit strategy. 

“Ewww, KT! Do you smell that, crazy Harry Potter conspiracy theorist? What? You can’t? Oh, it’s simply the worst dirty diaper ever (pantomime checking back of diaper)! Heavens, I need to change this immediately. Excuse us.” At which point I hightail it to the bathroom and give KT a fist bump for having my back. 

They’re miniature Stuart Smalleys. Having a kid compliment you is like shopping the Wal-Mart sock aisle at 5 a.m. No matter if you’re wearing your husband’s holey high school track team t-shirt and your hair hasn’t seen a brush in two days, you automatically feel like the prettiest gal in the room. 

Kids are the best confidence boosters ever – a simple “Wow, you look nice today, mommy,” works wonders for the old self-esteem. Because they look up to you so much, as long as your focus is on them, they think you rule the world. Explain how the earth revolves around the sun and you’re Einstein. Throw on a sundress instead of the pajama bottoms you’ve been wearing all week and you’re Rachel Zoe. Cook a hot dog on the grill without charring the ends and you’ve morphed into Anthony Bourdain. 

Now, I say this as a mother of two little girls. By the time they’re 15 and 12, I’m sure they’ll consider me an out-of-touch old hag who wears mom jeans. For now, in their eyes, I’m Carrie Bradshaw.

They’re excellent enablers. When I pirouette through our sprinklers with my clothes on, the neighbors shake their heads. When I do jazz hands to “The Way You Make Me Feel” in the middle of Old Navy, the other shoppers run from the crazy woman. When I do these things with a toddler next to me, those same people let out an, “Awww…how sweet.” 

Let’s face it – having a kid allows you to act like a kid yourself. Since popping out two children, I’ve rediscovered a love for fruit snacks and revisited my childhood friends from The Goonies and The Sandlot. With kids in tow, I actually get my hair wet in the pool on a hot day instead of sitting on the sidelines with a copy of InStyle (Ok, sometimes. An InStyle and margarita are hella hard to resist). 

There’s a beautiful joy in having someone help unpack the best parts of your childhood – the memories you locked up in a box with your old Garbage Pail Kids cards and Color Me Badd cassettes – to experience all over again without having to relive the awkwardness of junior high. 

While these are all advantages of having kids, when it comes right down to it, what’s most important of all is that kids make you laugh longer, love stronger and hug harder. And really there’s nothing more beneficial than that. 

By Nicole Plegge, Lifestyle Blogger for SmartParenting

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Metro East mom Nicole Plegge is the lifestyle and pop culture blogger for STL Parent. Besides working as a freelance writer & public relations specialist, and raising two daughters and a husband, Nicole's greatest achievements are finding her misplaced car keys each day and managing to leave the house in a stain-free shirt. Her biggest regret is never being accepted to the Eastland School for Girls. Follow Nicole on Twitter @STLWriterinIL 

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