From playing with adult-sized kids’ toys to eating baby food and wearing onesies, adults are rediscovering their inner child
I am watching the Disney classic Peter Pan with my daughter Millie. He chirps, “I won’t grow up. Not a penny will I pinch. I will never grow a moustache, or a fraction of an inch. ‘Cause growing up is awfuller than all the awful things that ever were.”
As he flies about schooling the rest of the little lost boys about remaining a boy forever, my phone beeps with an email advertising a scooter – the new Crisp big scooter for adults. That’s right, for adults! Kids have been enjoying scooters for years and now adults can get in on the fun with this larger size scooter.
Just to make it clear, we are not talking about the motorised scooters that can carry a whole family of five, a load of wood and a chicken coop in some eastern countries, but the kind that kids zip around on in our suburban streets. It was timely receiving an email pushing adult-sized kids’ toys while I was watching a cartoon boy singing about not growing up, but I couldn’t help thinking what a really good idea it was; I wanted one, why should kids have all the fun?
It’s not a new thing, this Peter Pan syndrome, but of late I feel like it has become exaggerated. Everywhere I turn adults are reverting back to their childhoods. Let’s take onesies, for example. On all the social media feeds people are proudly parading around in their adult-sized baby wear. The adult wearer, however, does not look cute and cuddly; instead they look like a hybrid of a Telly Tubby and the Easter Bunny. Still, they are comfortable and once again, why should kids have all the fun?
Now let’s talk kids’ food. Recently my cousin lamented that her triathlete husband was stealing all her toddlers’ fruit squeezies from the pantry. He and his uber-fit mates have discovered that the little plastic fruit pouches have the perfect size, weight and taste factor for long rides when they need a little energy boost. But I don’t blame them; I’m still buying jars of baby egg custard. Not for Millie, for me. That stuff is tasty, a fact I rediscovered while feeding her and found myself saying “one for Millie and one for Mummy” as I spooned the sweet goodness into both our mouths.
What about the newest trend for tightening the waistline? Hula hoops of course! That cheap piece of plastic that kept you entertained as an eight-year-old is rapidly turning into an exercise empire thanks to Michelle Obama. In 2009, the first lady of the USA hula-hooped 142 times without stopping and now gyms around the world are going hula-hysteric.Writing this I’m inspired to try – why not? It’s more fun than running for 40 minutes on a treadmill and, now that I think of it, the skill of spinning a hula hoop around my waist in the backyard for an hour seems a whole lot less silly than running in the same spot going nowhere.
It may be lack of sleep (something else kids have the monopoly on) but the more I think about it the more I realise that we adults are finally onto something. That there really is no need to let go of our childhood, especially the stuff that made us feel good. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to buy myself an adult pair of fairy wings, a tutu and a pair of sneakers that light up when I walk.