I often joke that my husband’s inner child tops out at 11 (which makes it problematic to have sex without getting arrested). Or I say that a friend has an inner child “very close to the surface.”
I didn’t think I had an inner child. But then I realized that I must.
I need naps. Even if I’ve had a full eight hours of sleep, I often need to conk out for just a couple of hours in the afternoon. My doctor just put me on thyroid medication, so we’ll see if this goes away. But I hope not. I love naps. My inner child is atypical that way.
I have a collection of plushies (which we used to call stuffed animals until that got too confusing). Easters as a child always involved a plush bunny with my Easter basket.
Now I have a pirate Winnie the Pooh. I have a Raggedy John Denver doll that a friend made for me (the heart on his chest says, “Far Out”). I have a cat that looks just like a cat I once had. I have an official Vorkosigan Butter Bug hand puppet. A couple of armadillos. Assorted teddy bears and Beanie Babies. Once my husband and I went to a thrift store and pawed through an absolute vat of stuffed toys and found such lesser-known varieties as a camel, a snake, and Thing One. (We never did find Thing Two.)
I still need a woobie. Apparently coined for the movie Mr. Mom, the “woobie” is also known as a “blankie” and scientifically called a “comfort object.” (I wrote about these a while back in “I Want My Blankie!” (https://wp.me/p4e9wS-k9). Now in our house, any soft, warm, comforting thing made of cloth is a “woobie.” A bathrobe. A sweater. A body pillow. I even have a pair of woobie socks (fleece-lined).
I have an inner teen, too. She lives in a box inside my head. Throughout my teen years, I missed most of what was going on around me, likely from a combination of depression and having my nose stuck in a book (even while walking from class to class). So the inner teen makes up for those lost years.
She gets to have the experiences I never did. Painting her faux fingernails. Thinking “He noticed me! He noticed me!” when a boy notices me. (Well, when a man does, really. See above about getting arrested.) She gets to have mad crushes and wants to go on spending sprees. (I have to close the box and sit on the lid sometimes to prevent that. Or give her an allowance of $20 to spend.)
I enjoyed DisneyWorld. “The Happiest Place on Earth” was like a taunt to a depressed child, but as an adult, I could let my inner child go. I remember one time when at a business convention in Anaheim, the boss said he would get us tickets to DisneyLand if we wanted to take a potential client or vendor there. I replied, “I can’t even imagine wanting to do that.” But since then, I have gone to DisneyWorld several times, including with the friend whose inner child is close to the surface and my husband’s 11-year-old inner child. They all helped my inner child come out and play.
I love to go barefoot and sit on the floor. I don’t get much of a chance to do either, but I still love to. Or would if I didn’t step on pointy or gushy things and didn’t have to have someone to help me up.
I still like classic grilled cheese sandwiches. I’ll take them with bacon and gouda and avocados and whatever else is being offered, but what I wouldn’t give for one of my mother’s sandwiches – Wonder bread, margarine, and Kraft American singles, fried in a cast iron skillet. Gooey goodness. Since I can’t get that – and no one else makes them quite the same – I’ll savor them in memory with my inner child.