Everyone, get on the floor

At our latest visit to the pediatrician’s office, the patient in question decided it would be a good idea to swim around on the linoleum, under our chairs and under the desk. I thought it was a pretty neat concept, too. A doctor’s office, the site of many kids oozing liquids of various states of contractability and pustulation, and hence my toddler rolling in said fluids. Sounds fantastic.

While this was going on, and I was attempting to extricate him from the underside of the 60-year-old metal desk that probably bears germs from before the Salk vaccine, I realized that I, personally, would never do such a thing — now. Sure, I remember mildly torturing my Irish grandmother with a few dives under the pew during Mass and then using it as a fort, but today, nah. I prefer to stay seated, or maybe stand, much of the time.

But you can really see how far we’ve all come as adult beings when you think back to yourself as a kid, then consider doing that stuff today. For instance, my cousin and I used to revel in tossing plastic hangers into the air from inside stores’ clothing carousels. Today when I see him, not so much.

I’m quite proud that when I’m at the doctor’s, even if it’s for a shot, I tend not to dive under pieces of furniture and yell. I’ll admit it could be cathartic and a bit of a lark. So maybe that’s what yoga and breathing and gym memberships are really all about. It’s merely a sign we aren’t flinging ourselves prone onto floors enough anymore, neglecting to toss about shrieking until someone drags us out by the ankles. And gives us a lolly and a sticker.

Aren’t we all just so uptight these days?–Jillian O’Connor

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