Rosie’s take on… Regressing to childhood
I’m currently visiting my parents and little sisters in Brisbane. It’s great, I get a holiday from work, some time away from home, and get to relax for a while. But there’s an interesting phenomenon that I’ve noticed occurs when I stay with my parents. I regress back to my childhood ways.
I’m a strong, independent woman, who does all her own housework and cooking and looks after herself just fine, thank you very much. And yet, as soon as I’m staying with my parents, it’s like I’m a child again. “Muum, what’s for dinner?”, “Muum, I’m hungry, can I have something to eat?” (Mums usual response, “no, dinner is nearly ready!”). I get lazy, needy and dependent. I forget how to make decisions for myself, and I rely on having my parents around.
One of my sisters is only 10, so she still has a bedtime. Whenever my parents say to her “time to get ready for bed”, I have an involuntary reaction of fear and regret, lingering from my childhood when I would be told to go to bed but wanted to stay up. Fast forward to current day in the Buchanan household:
Mum- “Okay, time for bed.”
Me- “But Muuuum! Five more minutes!”
And she’s thinking like damn Rosie, you a big ass 21 year old woman, you really think I’m talking to you?
I pride myself on having a pretty tidy house most of the time, I have no problem with keeping on top of my cleaning or doing my dishes. But when I’m with my family, and Mum and Dad ask me to do the dishes, I can think of nothing worse than cleaning. “Do I haaave to? But I did them earlier, it’s Grace’s turn! This is so unfair.”
Remember when you were a kid, and your parents would walk away at the shopping centre and you’d get that feeling of fear that you might lose them? Yep, I get that again now. I’m in shopping centres that are foreign to me, and I see them walk away (probably thinking they’re fine to leave their 21 year old daughter for two minutes) and I immediately drop what I was looking at and go after them so I don’t get lost. It’s like an old, ingrained instinct from my childhood, stirring deep inside me now despite my age. I can picture it now, the lady on the microphone paging throughout the store: “if there is a Cathy in the store, please make your way to the service area, we have your lost child.” And everyone turns up and sees a fully grown 20-something year old woman standing there sobbing about how she lost her Mum.
More than once I’ve managed to navigate an airport by myself, check-in, and board the right flight without an incident. For example, on Friday; I got myself through Perth airport and onto the plane, not a worry in the world. Got tested for explosives at security because I apparently look shady as hell, but no worries, nothing I can’t handle. Made polite small talk on the plane with the stewardess and the passenger next to me, all good. But when I landed in Brisbane and my parents were there, I relied on them to help me find my bag and get me out of the airport. And yet in a few months I’m supposed to be getting on a plane and going to New York City by myself for eight weeks, and the thought of it doesn’t phase me. I just lose the ability to think for myself when I am with my parents.
I have literally been driving by myself for over 3 years, but I will wait until Mum and Dad say it’s safe to cross the road.
The other day we were going out for the day and then going to the footy. I dress myself successfully every day of my life, but I still had to ask Mum if I should wear shorts or jeans, and if I should take a jacket.
I go to the beach very regularly alone and always manage to apply my own sunscreen, but when I was at the beach with my parents yesterday I had to get Mum to put the sunscreen on my back because, at present, I’m not a real adult and didn’t want to deal with the consequences that would follow if I missed a spot.
You’d honestly think I was a 10 year old child again the way I’ve been acting for the last few days. And, let’s be honest, it’s how I’m going to continue to act until I have to return to my independent adult life on Sunday.
I never sleep in when I’m at home, I’m usually up early for the gym or at the very least up by 7 to start my day. But in this lazy, dependent state I’m still in bed and it’s 9.30am. Mum and Dad have left to take the dog for a walk, and I don’t know what to do or what to have for breakfast, so I’m staying in bed until they return. And forget the idea of me leaving the house by myself to go exercise. Needy, dependent Rosie is here to stay for the next 10 days, and my parents had better get used to it.