If truth be told, I've yet to feel like a grown-up, and I'm sitting firmly in my 40s. Dumb movies still make me giggle — hello, "Napolean Dynamite" and "Step Brothers," I still want McDonalds for every meal, and a classic Vine video still has the power to give me a full-on belly laugh.
I think my kids should order an autopsy of my brain when I pass, because there is no way my frontal lobe has ever fully developed.
But I feel like this condition — also known as immaturity — has accidentally made me closer to my children.
You see, playing Barbies with my toddler isn't that big of an ask for me because Barbie has some super dope outfits and it's fun to create ensembles. Why sit and watch my daughter play when I can slay an outfit, too? It's legit fun for me to revert to my golden Barbie days of yesteryear, and I genuinely adore when we get to explore our imaginations together. (However, the kid is starting to get a little bossy. If she thinks she can start telling my Barbie what shoes she can wear, that chick has got another thing coming.)
The same goes for music.
Would I rather listen to my music or hers while we drive down the Interstate? (Hint: It's not hers.) I mean, who can properly weave in and out of traffic like a (super safe) NASCAR driver when the "Frozen" soundtrack is on an eternal loop? (Not me.) But when the kiddo requests her favorite album, I tend to oblige and then we are all in.
We crank the volume, roll down the windows and belt the crap out of "Let it Go" as if we're both auditioning for the Broadway lead. She might be better at the hyper-dramatic facial expressions, but I'm better at the wild arm gestures. Together we are unstoppable. Yes, we may get a little side eye from curmudgeonly commuters, but it's oddly therapeutic to — excuse the pun — let it go with your munchkin.
I'm certain my behavior would horrify mothers who purport themselves in a manner which conveys class and maturity. A grown woman who plays the role of a dog at least once a week by crawling on all-fours while barking and lolling her tongue out of the side of her mouth (not by choice, of course) is probably not helping to elevate the image of modern motherhood.
But I just can't help myself. After all, it's more fun to play with them. No one will ever call me dignified, cool, elegant or even normal, but my children and I will always be able to share a smile when we reminisce about the time the bus driver honked and waved at our glorious in-car production of "Frozen."
The truth is that laughing with my kids is my favorite part of parenting. I honestly think I feel more intimately connected to them when we're making that post crack-up "ahhh" noise than at almost any other time. If you don't get stupid with your children on a regular basis, I encourage you to try it.
I promise — you won't regret it.
Lynn Kirkle is a writer and lives in Omaha with her husband and five children. She writes twice a month for momaha.com, and can be found on Twitter @LAPainter.