Chris Johnson

Kids need to stop hogging all the hugs, imaginary friends, health – and chauffeuring

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Dear children, On behalf of the grown-ups in America — those taller, tired-looking folks you see moping around in misery — we request that you share some of the benefits you enjoy, yet were ruthlessly stripped from us along the way. Therefore, we humbly request that we be returned the right and access to the following:

Sleep: You have the nerve to cry and fight when we tell you it’s time for bed. You wake up with these stupid smiles on your faces like you’re thrilled to greet a new day. We worry too much to fall asleep, wake up to pee while you get to do it right there in your diapers, then toss and turn, then wake up screaming with a leg cramp, then see we’re supposed to get up for work in 45 minutes, then have to do math to calculate how many times we can hit the snooze button to be only 10 minutes late to work.

Imaginary friends: Most of our friends are from work, and we see them enough. Other folks are “friends” on Facebook, which means we’re kinda sorta sure who they all are but not really. Imaginary friends never disagree on politics, and nearly all them know the Earth is round. Most importantly, they don’t ask you for money or to support the fundraiser for their child’s traveling ping pong team. Besides most of our real friends are sleep-deprived and irritable.

High metabolism: When you ask for a cookie, a slice of cake or a scoop of ice cream, the most challenging question you’re gonna get is “Have you been a good boy/girl?” We get asked, “Are you sure? This has like 600 calories. I don’t wanna get sued or anything. Is your doctor OK with it? All right, then. What do you mean, ‘Don’t tell my wife?’ ”

Your backs, knees and most other joints: You kids have some nerve falling off a sofa and then screaming and crying and pointing to some microscopic “boo-boo” on your knee. We can’t even get off of a sofa without it sounding like somebody just poured Coca-Cola into a bowl of Rice Krispies mixed with Pop Rocks. There are stories of kids who’ve fallen from third-story balconies and been just fine. Meanwhile, we grown-ups can sleep wrong and have to go to a chiropractor or ice a pulled quadriceps for three weeks.

Chauffeurs: You get to ride in the backseat with a sippy cup and a video screen playing your favorite shows and can even take a nap on that long ride to Florida, while your adult is in the driver’s seat expanding your vocabulary as you learn new words associated with folks who drive slow in the fast lane and don’t know what a turn signal is. And, still, you fuss and whine about how hard you have it back there. We’d trade places if we hadn’t seen you run over the cat with your battery-powered Barbie car.

Bills: We don’t like our bills — the house payment, the power bill, the utility bill, the car payment, the phone payment, the internet bill, etc. We want your bills. Yes, we know you don’t have any bills, and that’s what we want. You get free everything, you little socialists!

Hugs: We don’t get hugged unless we try to skip past that lady at the front of Wal-Mart for not showing our receipt. Folks hug you all the time. We just opened our mortgage bill and it’s changed yet again — going up again, of course. We need a hug.

Now, there are a few things you kids will be allowed to keep for yourselves such as diapers, warm milk, shirts with dinosaurs, shoes with wheels, “Paw Patrol,” and any songs with lyrics like “... round and round, round and round, round and round.”

As for all that cool stuff we want, please just load it all up in a moving truck and meet us at some central location — Topeka perhaps — to return all the stuff we want. How does next month sound?

Yes, we’ll give you a cookie.

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