Some of you will read that title and think: "Duh. Of course you do. Their your children." I, however, am of the belief that children are not instantaneously likeable by the mere fact that they are shorter and have charming speech impediments. Children are people, believe it or not. They have very distinct personalities. There are some people who proclaim "I LOVE KIDS!!". They also probably love anything animated, pastel and musicals*.
In short, they are annoying.
I barely like people so I apply the same rules to children as I do to adults. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate kids, I just don't believe in giving them a free pass because they have yet to see an R rated movie (depending on who their parents are, I suppose. I 'carefully' monitor what my children watch, to an extent, but have no problem whatsoever dropping the f word like it's hot and perhaps akin to oxygen in relation to my very existence).
This is why when I recently decided to begin volunteering in my 8 year old's classroom I had my doubts. I have a history of not really gelling with other people's children and figured this would really put things to the test. Great news though-apparently my son does not have to spend much time with assholes (aside from Yours Truly). The kids were all pretty decent and the ones that weren't, were just assholish enough that I appreciated it. The child who sat down to read for me and refused to make eye contact with me or the book and commanded that I read it to him? I admired his style. Especially when the bell rang and he looked at me over his glasses (which, for the record, is bad enough when adults do it but he's 7...and perhaps headed for his own episode on TLC's The Virgin Diaries) and announced "It's recess." Yep. Look at that, it is. And you will enjoy recess as soon as you read this book because I know that you can. To his credit, he read it. With zero expression but he read it. In a hurry. And then proceeded on to recess.
There were other highlights as well. Like when the entire class sang O Canada. Some of these kids are clearly waiting, with baited breath, for Canadian Idol to make a comeback. I snuck a glance or two at the teacher and noticed she was enjoying this as much as I. Some of the children were attempting to harmonize...enough said.
So what makes my children so great? Well, obviously yes they do have an advantage because they are mine and have inherited the gift of sarcasm. Sarcasm is really the way to my heart. And vodka. And chocolate. So basically if you are sarcastic (and not stupid-the two don't always go hand in hand), have chocolate and/or vodka, I will probably get along with you. They all love music. And decent music. Again, I will try pretty hard, until they are about 12 to make sure they don't catch a glimpse of an errant breast or 'worse' on TV but I will let them listen to Eminem's "Shake That Ass" or Sublime's "Wrong Way"... My children do not have college funds, per se (read: they don't have college funds. As of yet. Parenting fail.) but they do know who Ray Charles is and when the right time is (Night Time, keep up).
They don't take shit from anyone. Including me. My two older children impress me with their levels of assertiveness and confidence. The two little boys are only 8 and 4 but hold their own.
I just like them. Plain and simple. And I honestly believe this is key. I do happen to believe you love your child no matter what. There is no other love like it. But you can love somebody and not like them and I happen to be lucky enough to like my children. All four of them. That's not to say they are perfect and that at times I would prefer to be drunk on a beach far far away from each and everyone of them. But often, in those situations, they are acting an awful like their mother. I do possess a great deal of insight. This doesn't make it any easier but I do recognize when my own 'charm' is coming back to bite me in my fantastic ass.
And folks, this is yet another step towards the ray of sunshine that is part of my new positive perspective on life. Step One, in case it isn't clear, is liking your own offspring. Stay tuned for more inspiring tidbits of sunshiny optimism!
*For the record, I like musicals...it just fit well there (this is purely so my daughter, who I like very much, keeps liking me (the little bit that she does) ;)