Somewhere in the dark, dusty crevices of your soul, your inner child is excruciatingly bored. They’re a font of unending creativity, curiosity, and wonder that you’ve been ignoring for years. Instead, you’ve decided that you’re fine waking up every day with nothing but dread and the wish that someone would knock you out with a cast-iron skillet. Since we’ll be stuck in this nightmare scenario pandemic for the foreseeable future and you have nothing better to do, why not spend a little time with your inner child?
Here are some fun ways for you two to reconnect:
Appreciate The Beauty of Nature
Wake up at 7 AM to watch a beautiful sunrise together. By watching the sunrise, though, we mean sit two feet away from the TV and scream the Spongebob Squarepants theme song as the sun comes up. Sure, it may give you a headache. Yes, you’ll squint the whole time because the screen will hurt your old person eyes. But maybe you’ll be a little proud of yourself for remembering all the words. It might make you feel better about not being able to add fractions in your head.
Take a Fun Excursion
Surprise your inner child with a trip to a butterfly exhibit. Pack two lunches and prepare for a day of laughter and portrait-mode photos. Picture it – you two will enter the butterfly tent, and immediately, a majestic monarch will land on your inner child’s hand. You’ll gasp! Then you’ll gasp again when your inner child panics, throws the monarch to the ground, and steps on it. Shoot. You didn’t grow out of your lepidopterophobia until well into your teens, didn’t you? Maybe check to see if the planetarium is open.
Go on a Shopping Spree
Take your inner child with you on a trip to Target. They can come, you’ll say, but only if they agree to be on their best behavior. They’ll agree. It will be a lie. Your inner child will talk you into sitting on the floor of the toy aisle and opening six packages of Glitterspolsion SlimeGoop SlimySand. You and your inner child will have to have a little chat with Target security before you can leave, and you’ll have to pay for all the slime. But, a silver lining – you get to keep the slime.
Explore The Concept of Death
Did your succulent just die? Use it as a teaching tool! Take this chance to explain to your inner child that every living thing eventually comes to an end. Assure them in a calm, steady voice that death is natural and doesn’t have to be sad. But remember, your inner child might ask why you aren’t upset, because you obviously loved that succulent. Your inner child might point out that you knitted a sweater for its pot and made it a little nameplate that reads “Dumpling” in careful calligraphy. If this happens, do yourself a favor and let your inner child throw a funeral for your succulent.
Cook Up a Storm
At some point, your inner child will ask you to make pancakes. You haven’t made pancakes in years because it’s messy, and you always burn them. These excuses will not work, and your inner child will look disappointed. You can fix this by GoPuff-ing a box of Bisquik and searching your pantry for M&Ms. Sure, you’ll get a little frustrated when your inner child gets pancake batter on every surface in your kitchen. But then, you’ll notice your inner child adding dashes of vanilla extract and cinnamon into the mix. Oh, man. You used to do that as a kid! And, to be fair, you also used to get pancake batter on every surface of the kitchen. In the end, the pancakes will turn out pretty good – even the burnt ones.
Rev-Up Your Imagination
If you let your inner child play outside, be warned. At some point, they will eventually fill up a trashcan with mulch and water, and you’ll find them cackling over it like a Shakespearean witch. They will also behead and mush up every single flower in your yard as potion ingredients (staining your patio in the process.) Restrain yourself from acting on your initial instinct, which is to scream about how you’ll have to go to Home Depot for more mulch. Instead, start looking for a stirring stick and tell your inner child it’s not a real potion until they add some wild berries and lots and lots and lots of grass.
Try Something You’ve Never Done
Go to the piano lesson that both you and your inner child are taking. Let your inner child go first while you watch. Head’s up; they will be good. Upsettingly good. You’ll end up asking yourself how their little gremlin hands have so much coordination. Once it’s your turn, you’ll already be embarrassed. Your hands will feel big and clunky and incapable of plunking out a recognizable “Twinkle, Twinkle.” You’ll start to consider faking a bout of diarrhea when your inner child will squish themselves between you and the piano teacher. They’ll look you straight in the eyes with their little face and say, “Not being good at things doesn’t mean that you’re not good.” You’ll really need this cry, so don’t hold back, no matter how uncomfortable the piano teacher gets.
Try Something You Always Did
Suit up your inner child in their raincoat and rubber boots on a drizzly day. Head outside and go puddle jumping. Hold hands and crash into puddles big and small. Remember that you’ll probably get soaked by freezing puddle water; do it anyway. Laugh with your inner child – a whole bunch. Go home and dry off with big fluffy towels you put in the dryer beforehand. Drink some hot chocolate with your inner child and watch cartoons together on the couch until you both fall asleep.
Think about doing this again next weekend, too.