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Adults Are Sharing Stereotypically “Childish” Things To Do Relax, And I’m Getting Secondhand, Comforting Nostalgia

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As we mature, there are many things that we stop doing to not look “immature” when in actuality, some of the most “childish” behaviors can sparkle the most fun.

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Here are some of the best responses of the people when they were asked what’s something that gets a bad rep for being ‘childish’ but you really love?

1. “It’s been years, but I’ve still got a blanket that I sleep with every night. On the nights when I don’t have it, I sleep worse every time. It’s strange, sure, and a bit superstitious, but it’s true.” —Anonymous, 17, VA

2. “Going to bed at 9:30 p.m. Some people think that going to bed early is for kids and babies, but they’re missing out on some good rest.” —Anonymous, Manhattan, 30

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3. “Stuffed animals. I have such a large collection of stuffed Pokémon toys and other animals. I hate feeling like I shouldn’t have that because I’m ‘not a kid anymore.'” —Anonymous, 27, GA

4. “There are children’s shows that do a better job of queer representation than most live-action ones geared towards adults, so yeah, I’m absolutely going to watch those instead. Sorry, not sorry.” —Anonymous, 22, TN

5. “I have tried all sorts of meditation, and the only one I can sit with is blowing soap bubbles and watching the colors and patterns float in the wind. It is so incredibly relaxing and clears my mind like nothing else. It also amuses any kids around.” —Anonymous, 41, Illinois

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6. “My mom and I always loved jumping in puddles after a storm, and to this day, I have to jump in a puddle if I see one.” —abigaillambert

7. “I absolutely adore pumping my arm to get the big rigs (18 wheelers) to blow their horns. Luckily, my fiancé thinks it’s pretty funny, too!” —Anonymous, 26, Arkansas

8. “As a child, I was told that I’d have to stop sleeping with stuffed animals when I got married. I’m happy to report that not only did they lie, but my husband also signed the adoption papers for the stuffed animal that I’ve had since I was a baby at the same time we signed our marriage license. He thought it was wonderful.” —foundmyguy307

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9. “Maybe this is also because I’m a guy, but I feel like as soon as I stopped being a kid, I was only allowed to cry at funerals. Even while you’re a kid, there are always adults who tell you not to cry, that crying is for babies, and you need to be a ‘big kid.’ My girlfriend once made fun of me for crying during the opening sequence of Up because it reminded me of my own grandfather, who had recently passed away. As if that wasn’t enough, he also helped raise me after my dad left when I was a kid. Even after I had explained all of that to her, I could see that she was still holding back laughter. This was the same girlfriend that two weeks later (I have no idea why I stayed with her after she made fun of me) asked why I never ‘open up to her.’ Maybe it’s because the one time I tried, you laughed at me!” —Anonymous, 26, WI

“I’ve started treating crying like an accomplishment. I repressed my emotions for most of my life, and it’s only recently with therapy that I’ve begun to feel emotions without feeling guilty or weak. There’s a physical catharsis that comes with crying, and while it doesn’t necessarily solve your problems, it helps to give a release for things you might keep bottled up. When I cry about something, I’m acknowledging that I care about something and that my feelings are valid.” —Anonymous, 34, NJ

10. “I am 38, and the amount of crap that I still get from my mom about liking Halloween is laughable. She still cannot fathom how much I love this holiday and will call me childish for still wanting to dress up and decorate the whole house and outside, as well. Spooky is in the soul!” —witchyribbon84

11. “I have always loved swings, and even as an adult during bouts of insomnia, I’d sometimes take an electric lantern and sneak off to local playgrounds to swing for a while. It’s fun while also being peaceful and meditative. I always knew when I bought a house that I would want a swing set in the backyard, despite the fact that my husband and I are happily, intentionally, and permanently child-free — the swings are for ME, not for theoretical kids! We bought our house, moved in, and built a swing set frame with two swings, and I just love it.”

“We can also swap them out for a hammock, which we do now and again. Whenever we get the first rain of the season, when I have trouble sleeping, when there’s a beautiful sunset, or I just need a moment, I go out on the swing set. What surprised me was whenever we had people over in the ‘Before Times,’ many other adults would get excited about using the swings, too! Apparently, I’m not the only one who never outgrew them; I’m just more open about it than most.” —melissan40168c557

“Swings. I don’t know a person alive who doesn’t love a good go on a swing set. There should be an adult-sized playground.” —saramariem2

12. “Theme parks. I’m nearly 40, and I nearly lost my life at 30 because of a wrong-way driver. Because of him, I can no longer run, jump, climb, or ski without pain. Things that I wanted to do like bungee jump or hang glide would be difficult for me to do now. But I can sit in a log flume ride or a gentler style of a roller coaster (think Disney) and feel the adrenaline rush and joy of moving fast with the wind in my hair without it hurting. Also, it’s just fun to be nostalgic and silly. No one is going to rob me of that.” —A_Panda

13. “I’m over 40, and I love making forts in the living room. It’s something that I wasn’t allowed to do when I was a kid, so if a relative brings over a little one, I get out the extra blankets and sheets, and there’s nowhere left to sit but on the floor.” —Peoplermean

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14. “BLUEY! It’s the best show, and I will watch it even without my daughter.” —Anonymous, 41

15. “I’m 34, and I have a plush IKEA pig named Oswald Cobblepig who helps me sleep. To me, he has his own sausagey personality, he keeps me calm during blood tests (emotional support hog), and I love drawing him in my comics.” —Retrocrebbon

16. “Coloring. Like, not just adult coloring (although I love a good set of gel pens/colored pencils and a neat adult coloring book). However, I can spend hours with a jumbo coloring and activity book, and a fresh box of Crayola Crayons.” —vnewhouse1104

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17. “Buying a cool toy in your 20s that was heavily advertised when you were 10, but back then, either your parents couldn’t afford to buy you one, or they wouldn’t buy you one in general. I bought a Wubble Bubble Ball a couple of months ago, which was advertised quite frequently when I was a child. People make jokes like, ‘How old are you?’ or ‘Are you five?’ but there were so many things that we couldn’t afford when I was little that I now can as an adult, and I’m going to buy them.” —aries97

18. “Living at home. Enjoy your debt.” —Hash82

19. “I’m 41, but I’m a bit of a teenage girl at heart still when it comes to stationery. When I was actually that age, it wasn’t the big industry that it is today, and I couldn’t have afforded it anyway. There’s a lot of glitter, fun fur, and animals. I also love badges and stickers. It’s attracted a couple of comments at work, mostly positive, although one colleague can’t hide his disdain and thinks it’s ‘not corporate enough.’ It’s a pretty casual office, and I’m very good at my job, so he is just being a dick.” —annak4f45e0f65

20. “Having imaginary friends. When I was a kid, I had plenty of imaginary friends, but they ended up sticking around as I grew older — mostly because, as a closeted queer kid with mental health issues, I was very alienated from my peers. Some of them still hang around me even now, and they’ve been absolutely vital for helping me cope through a mental health crisis immediately followed by a pandemic.” 

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“People sometimes make fun of me for ‘talking to myself,’ but there’s something very comforting about being able to retreat to a better/more interesting place in comparison to the world we’re actually living in. As a chronic sufferer of low self-esteem, I also find that I’m more able to compliment myself if I allow one of my imaginary ‘characters’ to compliment me instead. 

It’s sometimes comforting to be able to vent to these characters as well, without worrying about judgment, or upsetting the person that you’re venting to. It’s also nice to have someone to talk to, even in situations where you feel anxious or alone. Since I also love history, I often imagine myself in different periods of time, with different historical figures, which encourages me to learn an inordinate amount about life in the past to keep my daydreams ‘accurate.'” —Anonymous, 18, UK

21. “How about liking certain foods? I love almost any food, but hey, chicken nuggets and mac and cheese are great! I get a craving for them every so often.” —Sleepy555

22. “Being read to. I will put an audiobook on before bed, and it is so nice to fall asleep to. It makes you feel like you are not alone, and it’s best when the voice is one of your favorite celebrities.” —Lena

23. “I’m 46, and I still love building and displaying LEGO kits. It’s better than a fancy model kit because after you’ve displayed it for a while, you can take it apart and store it in a fairly compact space instead of having to store a big construction or throw it out. Then in a year, you get to build it again!”

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“I often create vignettes with multiple sets. I’ve got a great ‘under the sea’ group up now, on several levels of a bookshelf, featuring a total of five sets. I’ll often tweak and ‘improve’ sets using pieces from my own collection of carefully sorted loose LEGOs. I collect every holiday-themed LEGO set I can get my hands on (Christmas, Halloween, Easter, Thanksgiving). If I had enough money, I’d collect all the Star Wars and Marvel sets, too.” —etconner

“Playing with LEGOs is honestly the best mindfulness activity that I have found. It’s creative, and you feel like you’ve achieved something when you finish the model. Also, there are so many cool sets and tons of Easter eggs in the builds. There’s a reason there are loads of AFOL groups online!” —Anonymous, 38, UK

24. “Disney. I got engaged at Disneyland Paris, and we are going to be honeymooning at Walt Disney World. It’s a place where we both feel at home, at peace, and accepted. No one else should mock us for liking something that they deem is ‘only for kids.’ That’s never how Walt intended it.” —emilyw47d8096f9

25. “Listening to music that I used to listen to when I was a kid. In the Netherlands and Belgium, there is a girl group called K3, and I was a fan from the very beginning in 1998. Now, there is a whole new K3 with three new girls. The girls from my generation think that nothing can beat the original group, but I’ve liked every formation, and there have been four formations since they started. Their target audience is little kids, but I still sing along with the songs, dance the dances, and listen to the music they put out. They will always have a special place in my heart.” —Anonymous, 23, the Netherlands

26. “I keep stuffed animals in my bed, not because I’ve had them since childhood, or even because they’re mine. I kept my dogs’ favorite toys after they died, and I’ll cuddle them when I miss my girls too much.” —monikap6

27. “Laughing at farts and fart jokes. I enjoy goofing around a lot, but get called ‘immature.’ Am I supposed to be like if a person was a brick wall now?” —diarrhea1

28. “Really playing with my kids. For example, at amusement or water parks, I’m running from ride to ride with them. Playing Capture the Flag at a birthday party? I may organize, but I’m playing, too. I don’t understand the parents, physically able and younger than me, who are standing around just watching them play any more than they understand a 46-year-old woman running around with a super-soaker at the park.” —StephieVee

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29. “A few years ago, my mom set up an Easter egg hunt in and around her house for me. I felt weird asking for it since I’m an adult, but I loved it. I also put out cookies every year on Christmas Eve. I know they’re still gonna be there in the morning, at which point it’ll be cookies for breakfast, but I’m just such a kid when it comes to Christmas.” —looloo_

30. “I’m still playing Webkinz lol.” —anne13

31. “Skipping. I just love skipping.” —brianlarge

32. “Stickers! I love to use a planner to keep myself organized, but I need it to be fun so that I’ll actually go and look at my appointments and plans. Stickers, funky pens, and other accessories really help, but I often get called childish for using stickers.” —kazp2

33. “Spinning chairs, especially in a public store. There’s just something about them that makes me feel like a child for a moment.” —HGgirlonfire

Allison Michael Orenstein / Getty Images

34. “I am a couple of days shy of 41, and I just recently put glow in the dark stars on my bedroom ceiling. It’s a lovely thing to look up to right before I go to sleep.” —dani-ellie03

“I have those little projectors that project the moon, stars, and the Milky Way onto the ceiling. They’re marketed towards children, but I think they’re really cool!” —aditson

35. “Watching Saturday morning cartoons. I don’t care what nobody has to say about it.” —spiritfingers

36. “My ex punked out of watching the recorded live version of Newsies because, according to him, it was ‘too childish.’ I will be 80 years old singing and performing an entire compilation of Disney songs and musical numbers to my grandkids with stuffed pandas on my bed, and not feel an ounce of shame about it.” —justchillman

37. “Does anyone remember the song from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, “What Do You Do with the Mad That You Feel?” My parents used to sing that to me whenever I got upset, and now I still sing it to myself when I get angry. It’s such a simple song, but it’s a great way to take some time with yourself when you feel upset.”

American Public Television / Via misterrogers.org

“I still love Mr. Rogers. He was my hero when I was a kid, even more as an adult.” —Anonymous, 36, TX

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