posted by Dave M on October 31st, 2011

My Inner Child badly needs more play dates.

Whether it’s the terrible economy, or aggravating do-nothing Congress or the depressing state of my career, the little boy in me lately wants to drop all adult concerns and come out to play. And play. And play. In fact, my Inner Child wants to completely take over my outer adult. He craves immediate attention, like a toddler’s pre-nap meltdown at the mall, and shooshing and promises of sugary treats won’t quiet him. My Inner Child craves as little real-life accountability as possible, because after all, isn’t that what makes being a child so wonderful? The complete lack of consequences. Do what you want and let others worry about the outcome. (sounds a little like Wall Street behavior)

To my friends, my life must already seem like one big Chuck E. Cheese birthday party. As a single man in his forties, I have none of the “normal” responsibilities the majority of middle-aged adults are saddled, er…uhm, I mean, enjoy: I own no property, I’m debt free, I am legally bound to no one, I don’t have a boss or supervisor (as I said, I’m not married) and the only mouth I’m required to feed is my own. I am the ultimate free man in America. I’m like a sober, slightly better-dressed Dude, from “The Big Lebowski.” You can even call me His Childness or El Childerino, if, you know, you’re not into the whole brevity thing. The little boy in me abides, if abiding is running away from adulthood.

For example, I don’t have to tell myself where I’m going when I leave the house, nor do I know when I’ll be back. I’ll often snack before dinner, fully knowing it might ruin my appetite (it’s a risk I’m willing to take.) I will often leave the hair dryer out on the counter for hours afterwards, and sometimes don’t even wash my hands after being outside and touching a lot of public stuff. (I do however use hand sanitizer. I’m not stupid. Germs can mess you up.) And most importantly, I’m finishing this level of “Call of Duty” before coming to bed, because it can’t wait until tomorrow, damnit! In this hectic world full of constant decision-making and accountability, my fun-seeking Inner Child wants none of it.

However, it’s generally not a good idea to let children run amok. They need somebody to watch out for them to make sure they don’t hurt themselves or others. That’s why I’ve decided I need help. Not the mental health kind, though that is always an option. I need the kind of person who will let my Inner Child play freely in the front yard, but catch me before I wander into traffic. At least someone to make sure I don’t eat pancakes every night for dinner. (Mmm…maple syrup!) In other words, my Inner Child needs a regular babysitter. Not a full time mommy, just a babysitter. Or even better, a leggy, blonde, Swedish, Au Pair. How sweet would that be? Someone new to this country who doesn’t speak fluent English and isn’t familiar with all our customs. I even have an extra bedroom she could stay in. I wonder if the U.S. Consulate’s office would approve this?

But, alas, reality always intrudes. While writing this, I’m staring at a stack of bills, most of which are overdue. And I have important calls and emails to return. Time to put the fitful boy to bed and take care of adult business. The real world is calling.  The child in me will have to come out and play another day.

File Under King of the Castle