9 Ways Preschoolers and Peri-menopausal Women Are Alike
I was thinking today that there might be more than a few similarities between preschoolers (of whom I’ve known a few) and peri-menopausal women (of which I am one):
Preschoolers need a nighttime routine. The schedule must be followed strictly in order to assure success. Lovey? Night light? Books? Hugs and Kisses? Check. Anything slightly out of sequence could lead to crying, flailing, an insistence on just one more sip of water, or crawling into bed with her now-cranky parents.
Peri-menopausal women take nothing in their sleep routine for granted. Cold room? Complete Darkness? Sound machine? Significant other an appropriate distance away so that zero body heat migrates to Peri’s side of the bed? Last cup of coffee before 2pm? Check. Failure to follow this routine could result in a nighttime trip to the bathroom to expel one microscopic drop of pee and leave Peri up the rest of the night worrying about college tuition, middle school oral sex rings, and the environment.
In both cases, if not enough sleep occurs, melt-down mode could surface the next day, in which case preemptive naps or quiet time might be in order. See Also: Eating at regular intervals
One has been potty trained for mere months, the other for decades, but both a preschooler and Peri might find that it’s easy to get so caught up in what they are doing that…uh-oh…the distance to the nearest bathroom might as well be the length of the Mall of America. Note: Belts are the devil.
Preschoolers take their comfort seriously. No itchy tag shall remain unbanished, and socks must somehow feel un-sock-like. Sometimes nothing other than a ratty, fleece sweatshirt or a princess nightgown with rain boots feels right, at home or in public.
Peri has spent decades following the trends, and while she has skinny jeans, a maxi dress, and plenty of chevron in her closet, she also heeds the siren song of yoga pants and “soft dressing” as much as her schedule will allow. She may consider her bathrobe a fashion accessory, and aren’t those pockets handy for her reading glasses? Peri’s quest for drop dead gorgeous shoes is now married with a desire for comfort, and she may have a pair of flip flops stuck in her purse, because who has time for sore feet anymore?
4. Other People’s Opinions:
Preschoolers do not yet care what others think of them, and they lack any sort of filter.
Peri has spent decades being diplomatic, and trying to please others, but now she is beginning to no longer give a shit. Peri is being herself, speaking her mind, and, where applicable, testing the waters of letting her freak flag fly! And if preschoolers can wear super-hero capes out in public, why should Peri leave hers at home?
While a preschooler’s limited palate is often described as picky, Peri’s can be chalked up to knowing what she likes and sticking with it. When she goes into a restaurant, she’s going to order her favorite dish, because why mess with success? If this restaurant has the best chopped salad, chopped salad it will be (again!) Preschooler will stick to the quesadilla and fries, thank you very much.
Any preschooler with a halfway decent passion will pin you against the wall and tell you 1000 facts about My Little Pony or the Diplodocus dinosaur. Even the bathroom is no escape from a preschooler’s fire-hose onslaught of information. A preschooler will know every factoid and desire any accessory, officially licensed tie-in product and game associated with her interest.
There’s no such thing as too much when it comes to Peri’s passions, either. Whether it’s Cross-fit, essential oils, running, soy, or meditation, she’ll be sure to fill you in on HOW. IT. WILL. CHANGE. YOUR. LIFE. Peri is growing and learning, and she’ll be sure to spread the gospel of her passion wherever she goes, even if that’s a bathroom stall. And if her passion lends itself to numerous gadgets and accessories? So be it.
7. Simple Pleasures:
Give a preschooler a box, a string, and a slug, and she’ll be busy for an hour. Peri knows about simple pleasures as well. She has seen the world and been on adventures, but to Peri there’s nothing better than the little things like sunshine, chai, or cuddling up with the remote before 10 pm.
Preschoolers do not see color, socio-economic status or IQ, but they do have amazing radars as to who is kind and would make a good friend. They gravitate toward those people at the sand and water table.
Likewise, Peri has gotten to the point where she wants to be with people who are genuine and who bring out the best in her. She’s finally ready to leave the rest behind.
9. I can do it myself!:
Both preschoolers and Peri can be independent and self-assured, diving with flourish and flair into whatever lies ahead on a particular day. When a preschooler insists on doing something herself, it will take twice as long, and be done half as well, but it leaves her feeling proud.
Peri is at the height of her career and productivity. She is highly capable, and every day she does twice the things in half the time, and does them well.
But both a preschooler and Peri want someone else to swoop in sometimes. A preschooler sometimes needs to know she’s still your baby, as you wipe a smudge of her face, pour bubbles into her bath, or wrap her up in a big terry towel. Peri is used to doing all these things and more for other people, but she would love it if sometimes someone would reach around her shoulders, tell her everything is going to be okay, and just take care of her for a little while.
What do you think? Are there any more similarities?
Anna Whiston-Donaldson – Anna is a popular blogger at An Inch of Gray. A graduate of James Madison University and Wake Forest University, she taught high school English for six years before becoming a full-time mom and writer. She lives with her husband, Tim, and daughter, Margaret, in suburban Washington, DC.
A former high school English teacher and bookstore manager, Anna began writing the blog An Inch of Gray in 2008 to share funny stories of life and motherhood and to find online community. After the sudden death of her 12 year old son Jack in 2011, Anna chronicled her grief journey in real time for her readers in order to reveal what grief is really like and to find healing for herself.
Her memoir Rare Bird: A Memoir of Loss and Love was published by Convergent Books, a division of Penguin-Random House.
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This post was originally seen on An Inch of Gray and was syndicated with permission
from Anna Whiston-Donaldson.