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7 Reasons That You Can’t Revisit Your Childhood

Posted on September 17, 2010 in Top Posts | 1 comment

It’s day five of the week in which the 7 Reasons team revisit their childhoods – and now the pope has arrived in the UK – so  you can’t say that we don’t live dangerously.  But, over the course of the week, it’s become clear that revisiting your childhood isn’t easy.  In fact, it can’t be done.  I needed to find a way to demonstrate that adulthood is impossible to free yourself from and I have chosen the medium of Top Trumps.

1.  Environment.

As an adult, your environment is – usually – substantially different to that of your childhood years.  I spent a huge proportion of my childhood sailing.  I couldn’t do that now though.  I don’t live next to the sea.  There are other distractions here.  And girls.  And beer.  And anyway, I probably wouldn’t be able to spend every waking hour sailing now because of…

2.   Biology.

Biology precludes revisiting your childhood.  You can’t spend all day running around the park playing tag/tig/it/whatever-the-hell-it-was-called-where-you-lived, as you won’t have as much energy as you did when you were a child.  And you can’t just stop running for a bit and have a breather on the swings and slides because you’re 6’2″ and you have a beard.  No, that’s me.  I really need to shave (something else that I didn’t have to do as a child).  Anyway, one of the reasons that you don’t have as much energy is…

3.  Sleep.When you’re a child you sleep for hours and hours and hours.  As a child, I must have been a dream for my parents.  They could just send me to bed and then – eventually – when they realised they hadn’t seen me for a couple of days, they could just wander up to my room and find me there, still sleeping.  But adults can’t sleep like that, because they have…

4. Responsibilities.

Instead of spending most of their days playing, adults have to do things that are really, really dull.  You may have noticed that the picture of my ten-year-old self is really blurry.  This is because our scanner just broke and I can’t scan a picture of my childhood self in.  Instead, I had to find a picture of myself on the internet.  And, when I’ve finished writing this, I have to fix the scanner.  And make dinner.  And find out where the council have taken our glass recycling bin to.  And do some washing.  And shave.  And…I’ll stop now, this is only helpful for me.  I’m sure you get the picture.  You just don’t have time to revisit your childhood.  And even if you did, it would be a weird alternate universe, because of…

5. Events.

Our child and adult selves are also shaped by events.  To revisit your childhood successfully, you’d have to erase the key events that had shaped you as an adult.  I’m sure there are some things that we’d like to forget:  That time I pressed the wrong button on the remote control and accidentally saw ITV, for example.  But there are other events that are important and very dear to us; events that shaped our personalities.  Events that we wouldn’t ever want to forget.  Events that we want to retain in our memories.  Events crucial to the formation of our character.  Events that…yes, okay, I can’t remember any events to use as an example.  This is because of my lack of…

6.  Aptitude.

Your capabilities as an adult and as a child are different.  As a child, you can remember things clearly (usually when adults don’t want you to), and as an adult you can walk in a straight line and look where you’re going without inconveniencing other pavement users (hopefully).  But if you revisited your childhood you’d have to lose whatever skills you’d learned in the intervening years.  And that’ll happen anyway if you live long enough.  And why would you want to return to childhood in the first place?  When you’re a child you’re an…

7.  Idiot.

I used to hate nice food and drink when I was a child.  I used to eat Angel Delight.  I didn’t eat Arctic Roll though:  No one was going to convince me that ice cream in a raspberry sponge cylinder wasn’t the devil’s work.  But I wouldn’t eat decent cheese.  And cheese is amazing.  This is because I was stupid and ignorant and didn’t know any better.  Because I was a child.  Why would anyone want to return to a state of ignorance?  That’s why you can’t revisit your childhood.  And also why you  shouldn’t burn books.

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1 Comment

  1. I thought this was going to be a lot of crap about the time-space continuum, but instead you providing rational reasons and, in fact, convinced me that I’d never want to return to childhood. Bravo.

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