I’m terrified of kids.
But for some bizarre reason they seem to love me, which makes everything very uncomfortable. Last week my mom and I had dinner at Outback with her coworker and his 5-year-old daughter, Jade. Everything was going fine until the waiter dropped by and gave Jade a coloring booklet and some crayons. You know that suicidal feeling you get when you accidentally send a rage text to the person it was attacking? Yup, that’s how I felt when the booklet landed on the table. She grabbed the crayons and started attacking the outlined pictures on the booklet. Worse yet, she made sure I knew exactly what she was doing.
“Hey look at my turtle. It’s blue!!!!!!”
“I’m coloring this green because it looks like grass. Isn’t it pretty??”
“Look at my mermaid!!!!”
“Uh. It’s nice.” That’s literally my response to everything she said. I mean, what was I supposed to say? Oh, the vibrant blue against the stark white background illuminates the sharpness of the thick black edges. Jade, you’re a fucking prodigy. She’d probably think that I had just spoken Spanish. Truth is, I’m just really bad with compliments, even when I’m talking to friends my own age. Even when I do feel genuinely happy for their success or whatever, I just don’t know how to express that in a natural, believable manner. I’d pause for an eternity while I debate on the most apt way to congratulate them, then I’d come up with nothing and just mumble, “Congrats. It looks nice.” Moments like that made me feel like such an embarrassment to society.
But Jade didn’t seem to be bothered by my awkward and disinterested compliments. If anything she only became more animated and talkative. So I kept on spilling empty praises and kept on smiling. I smiled for so long that I could swear my damn jaws started bleeding. It was exhausting as hell. The problem with kids is that they’re too innocent and dumb (no offensive intended) to interpret tone and body language. Anyone older than 13 would probably think I’m a sour bitch and ditch me after about three minutes. Kids wouldn’t leave you alone unless you hit them or something. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Jade or children in general. They’re sweet and pure and adorable and just a tad annoying. I don’t hate them for any personal reasons. I just despise interacting with them because I have to talk all the time, and I hate talking with a passion.