Childhood Habits I Can’t Let Go

“Being an adult” means less to me the older I get. I haven’t noticed much difference between childhood and adulthood, really. I mean, I’m bigger now, I get my period, I can drink alcohol and make non-instinctive decisions (that doesn’t mean I always do), but there are some parts of me that are so intrinsically childlike I’m not sure I’ll ever “grow-up” entirely. I don’t even know what that would involve. I’m assuming saying things like, “this evening is ever so lovely,” and vacuuming under the couch instead of just around it. Meanwhile, here are a few childhood habits that I haven’t been able to let go, although, for the record, I got though the bed wetting stage with gold stars.

Eating my hair

Whenever I’m concentrating, absent minded, or nervous, I pull chunks of hair around to my face and chew or suck on them. I did it as a little girl and I do it now. Suffice to say, my parents hate it, and it’s about the only thing I still get in trouble for. And sometimes I cough up hairballs.

Sleeping with a teddy

This is probably the most revealing thing you will ever learn about me. I am a 26-year-old woman who can’t sleep without her teddy bear. This may be why I have never in my life had a one-night stand. My teddy used to go everyday with me to primary school. Since then, she’s traveled around South East Asia and Europe in my backpack. My, she is a worldly bear! (I just read the last sentence back to myself… there is really no hope left for me, no hope at all).

Eating McDonalds whenever I go to the airport (and being super excited about it)

Going to the airport as a child was so exciting to me because it meant I was getting McDonalds. Forget that maybe there was a long lost relative to meet or a plane to catch — girlfriend needs her cheeseburger! See also: going to dad’s house, staying in on Friday night, achieving something, needing the last toy in the Happy Meal set, after Saturday morning sports.

Peeling the skin off my chicken nuggets

On the odd occasion I will choose KFC over McDonalds, and as a girl I used to peel the skin off my chicken nuggets, put it to the side in a little pile, dip the naked chicken in tomato sauce and repeat until all the chicken was gone and all I had left was the Colonel’s Secret Recipe chicken skin. Then I would eat all the skin. Now when I do this people just look at me like I’m a creep but I don’t care, it’s a good system and over the years I’ve refined it to meticulous perfection.

Sleeping with a nightlight on

Is anyone noticing a pattern here? Most of my childhood habits relate directly to either sleeping or eating. PSYCHOANALYZE THAT. I still sleep with the light on in the hall outside my room. I mean, it’s not imperative, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to turn it off. Doing my part for the environment, clearly.

Mashing my ice cream into a thick paste

OK I know you all do this, so don’t pretend you eat your ice cream like “pish tosh, I’ll just take a perfectly firm spoonful of it just so and daintily place it in my mouth…” No. You mash it into a thick slop like I do, and you probably get it down the front of your shirt and caked in the corners of your mouth, especially if you’re trying to eat it while lying down (don’t even try to tell me you always eat your ice cream glop while properly seated).

Kissing mamma on the lips

It’s always really cute when you see tiny little kids kissing their mummy on the lips in this really innocent, beautiful way, but people think it’s weird when adults do it. I don’t — I still kiss my mamma on the lips from time to time when we greet each other. It’s not like we make out or anything (because that would not be OK) but I figure my face was once squeezed between her flaps, so a little peck on the lips as a sign of affection is perfectly normal, no matter what age. TC mark


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  • S.H.

    Ummm… my only issue with this is the fact that I really do eat my ice cream “properly”…

    • Guest

      I find that it’s quite dependent on what kind of flavor the ice cream is.. Mint chocolate chip is a must-mash. Not so much with vanilla…

  • rachel

    own it sister.

  • Chick A Dee

    i’m right there with ya on the teddy bear one

  • AC

    I always know a guy is worth keeping around when he discovers my stuffed cat puppet from childhood in my bed and can love me despite it. 

  • Mila Jaroniec

    I <3 Kat George forever and always

  • mashka

    my mom tells me this story about how one time i took my prized teddy bear into a field and left him there to die and told my mom that i was completely content in my decision. Luckily she knew this was a poor choice and made me go back and get him. I still have him to this day but I really wonder if there was some underlying meaning behind me leaving him behind on purpose.

  • saritapatrice

    Oh, good. I’m not the only 26-year old girl with a teddy bear still. Mine’s name is Benton, and Idgaf who knows it.

    • Briana

      I’m 23 and I still sleep with an old shirt of my mom’s, named Hoi.

      so many issues.

  • Toddy

    ew, steaming heap of chicken skin. 

  • Mashka

    #1: fast track to horrible split ends. Though I have to admit I’ve done this before in desperate times of extreme anxiety
    #2: see above story about me abandoning my bear
    #3: yuck
    #4: ” ”
    #5: this is normal
    #6: I already hate ice cream now I absolutely despise it
    #7: meh

    • Guesttt

      thanks for putting energy into that much needed insightful comment. you’re a real gem.

  • Guies

    Re: Peeling the skin off my chicken nuggets

    omg I thought was the only one!?! See also: skinning mozzarella sticks at the bar. If you do it right you can put french fries in the empty breaded cylinder after you eat the cheese!

    • Asdf

      French fries and mozzarella sticks? Jesus kentucky fried christ.

  • kaylee

    I’m studying abroad in Germany right now and I had my mom send me my teddy bear in the mail. I actually do feel better having it. 

  • Cristina

    I had a teddy bear for the longest time. Then I gradually started hugging my pillow instead, which I think makes me seem way less crazy to the people I invite into my bed.

  • Sarah N. Knutson

    A guy saw me twirling my hair and told me he read in Cosmo once that women who twirl their hair are sexually frustrated. I replied with, “Well, I’ve been sexually frustrated since I was 2, then, because since I was tiny, I twirl my hair when I’m tired.”

  • Ana

    scratching my head when concentrated/interested/bored, thus 80% of the time. oh, and should I mention the sick fascination I have for the whole process of skin cut healing?

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  • rawwwr

    This is a really sweet and honest article. 

  • CassandraRenaeAlyse

    I used to have a teddy that I’d sleep with up untill I was about 18 or 19. (I’m now 24!) I think this had to do with the fact I had a boyfriend at the time and didn’t need a teddy to cuddle any longer, but then when we broke up, I finally put her away. Her name is Lisa, and I will give her to my children, when/if I have them! :) Although, I do have a pillow that I like to spoon…. so I guess, I still sleep with something, it’s just not as weird as a beat up old teddy named Lisa.
    Also, when I’m feeling really childish (in a good way) I smoosh my ice cream into a thick paste also. :)
    I really really enjoyed this post!

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  • Tashny Sukumaran

    my boyfriend does that thing with the chikin. the first time he did, i assumed he didn’t like kfc skin and swiftly ate it for him. this piece makes the guilt come back. 

    • trovata

      Hmm. “chikin”

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