March 13, 2015

Unwanted Side Effects of Adulthood


You know the feeling when Blink 182's "All the Small Things" comes on the radio and you're suddenly taken back to your seventh grade "punk rock" years? Or you smell that "it's going to snow" smell and suddenly you're Christmas shopping two weeks before Christmas?

Depending on the situation, these random bouts of time travel can be wonderfully unpredictable breaks from reality.

That was definitely the case when I walked into my office kitchen yesterday and was overcome with the smell of macaroni and cheese. And not just any macaroni and cheese: the blue box kind, shaped like Scooby-Doo. (Which everyone knows tastes 100 times better than elbow mac and cheese. And yes, I can detect cartoon-shaped pasta by smell.)

Without warning, I was suddenly four-year-old Nicole wearing a feather boa from the dress-up box while my mom cut up a hot dog for me to have with my cheese-filled Scooby. Not a care in the world except if my mud pie outside was overcooking.

I would have loved to spend all afternoon in that boa but unfortunately, my boss called me three minutes later to remind me that I was not still four; I am twenty-four and cut up my own hot dogs now. In fact, besides still jumping on any chance I can to wear a boa, a lot has changed between four-year-old Nicole and twenty-four-year-old Nicole.

I'm a lot different now that I make my own lunch.

So in addition to the (major) height differences and (minor) boob differences, here are just a few things that are different between toddler Nicole and twenty-something Nicole.

Todder-Nicole loved... Mom letting me stay up past bedtime.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... the moment going to bed is acceptable.

Todder-Nicole loved... Cheeto dust on my fingers.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... food that isn't neon.

Todder-Nicole loved... being released from nap time.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... any opportunity to be unconscious.

Todder-Nicole loved... running around the playground for no real reason.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... okay, I still do that.

Todder-Nicole loved... a surprise overnight snow storm.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... when DC gets its act together so I can go into the office and do the work that doesn't have weather-dependent deadlines.

Todder-Nicole loved... Show and Tell.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... plausible excuses to get out of public speaking.

Todder-Nicole loved... to postpone going to the bathroom until the absolute last second. (Too much running to be done to pee.)
Twenty-something Nicole loves... drama-free bathroom timing.

Todder-Nicole loved... when Mom would quit telling me what to do.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... any time I can finagle advice from my parents.

Todder-Nicole loved... playing house.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... pretending my bathroom will clean itself.

Todder-Nicole loved... telling people how old I am.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... remembering how old I am. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who sometimes has to think about it.)

Todder-Nicole loved... cartoon-shaped carbs.
Twenty-something Nicole loves... well, actually some things don't change.