Monday, February 24, 2014
As a teenager, you wish your life away, desperately wanting to reach the holy grail of adulthood when you can do all kinds of brilliant things like drink, drive a car, have a tattoo, pay all your own bills, get saddled with a gigantic mortgage, get a badly-paid job and marry only to inevitably divorce.
Being an adult is rubbish.
A new survey of 2,000 adults conducted by TV station Nick Jr UK has revealed that one in five of us still loves doing silly things like riding on shopping trollies and kicking piles of leaves, 90% of parents sneakily relive their favourite childhood moments through their children, half believe being more imaginative makes them feel better at work and one in six says it is important for their children to see them occasionally being a bit stupid.
The survey also includes a top 50 list of some of the very best youthful urges that we are supposed to suppress now we’re responsible and grown-up and staid and a bit dull – drawing faces on steamed-up mirrors, doggedly refusing to eat crusts, saying “jinx” if someone says the same thing as you at the same time, shouting “shotgun” to secure the front passenger seat in a car and licking the bowl after making a cake all make the grade.
Building snowmen, prodding wet paint, cracking through ice on puddles, being the first to press the button at a pedestrian crossing, drawing moustaches on celebrities’ faces in magazines, drawing on car windscreens – these are all brilliant things. And far better than their adult equivalent – making a will, sorting out a pension, comparing utility providers online, doing the weekly shop…
Most people in the survey said their imagination and ability to see things with a child-like eye had dwindled by the time they were 26 but one in 10 admitted they still indulged in pranks and half said they were regular daydreamers (a fifth spending time at work wishing they had super powers).
A huge 86% of us think it’s crucial to try and remain imaginative as an adult, a fifth of us use ‘young’ slang phrases such as ‘selfie’ and ‘lol’ (laugh out loud, not ‘lots of love’, as Mr Cameron believes it to be) and one in four confess to ‘photobombing’ other people by sticking their fingers up behind an unsuspecting person’s head.
I was talking to my friend Siofra Connor, 33, who is editorial assistant at Archant (I asked her what she wanted me to put as her job title – other suggestions included ‘Awesome Milliner’, ‘My Little Pony Enthusiast’ and ‘Lego Master Builder’), this morning about The Lego Movie (number three on the list), which she’d seen the night before.
She said to me: “I came out of the film and said to my boyfriend Pete: ‘I want to play with my Lego now!’ but he said no, it’s too late, it’s 10.30pm!
1. Popping bubble wrap
2. Trampling through snow
3. Sticking fingers in cake mix/lick the bowl
4. Kicking piles of leaves
5. Going on a swing
6. Watching kids’ movies
7. Pulling silly faces
8. Building a snowman
9. Touching hot plates
10. Having a snowball fight
11. Prodding wet paint
12. Doodling in meetings
13. Running away from the sea when at the beach
14. Watching cartoons
15. Cracking through ice on puddles
16. Drawing smiley faces in the mirror
17. Playing with your hair
18. Jumping out and startling people
19. Blowing bubbles with chewing gum
20. Picking your nose
21. Being the first to push the button at a pedestrian crossing/lift
22. Wheeling around on a trolley in supermarket
23. Splashing in puddles
24. Running/skipping for no reason
25. Having a water fight
26. Saying ‘jinx’ when someone says the same thing as you at the same time
27. Drawing faces on celebrities’ faces in magazines
28. Popping crisp packets
29. Blowing a blade of grass
30. Slurping through your straw
31. Dressing up in fancy dress
32. Swinging like a monkey on any bar that’s around head height.
33. Doing handstands/cartwheels/snow angels
34. Repeating everything a friend says to annoy them
35. Shouting ‘shotgun’ and running for the front seat in the car
36. Not eating crusts
37. Racing to be first at anything
38. Pretending to walk downstairs ‘to the cellar’? when you’re stood behind a counter
39. Drawing on car windscreens
40. Pretending the shopping trolley is a car/motorbike
41. Popping fuchsias
42. Running through a sprinkler
43. Blowing bubbles in milk
44. Going to bed with a toy
45. Rolling down a hill
46. Dressing up animals
47. Sleeping with the light on
48. Stealing someone’s hat
49. Leapfrogging bollards
50. Sliding down banisters
“Just seeing the old-style Lego like the old Robin Hood set that I had took me back to all the fun times I had. When you’re a kid, you make the Lego sets look like they do on the box and then you take them apart and make your own random things. You’d make the most amazing castle – no one else would know it was a castle, but you would. When you’re an adult you lose that and I think it’s a shame.”
Siofra added that she refuses to give in to boring adulthood without a fight.
“I love making snowmen, sledging, jumping in puddles – I’m such a kid,” she said.
“Being silly sometimes keeps you young inside and stops you getting bogged down by all the boring grown-up stuff like bills and mortgages. I think if we all concentrated on a few more of the little things, we’d be a lot happier.”
The Lego creations in these pictures are brought to you by Siofra Connor (editorial assistant), Steve Adams (EDP and Norwich Evening News picture editor) and Emma Harrowing (Norwich and Royal Resident editor).