25 Ways Country Kids Aren't That Different From City Kids

jasper gardenLots of people stress out over whether they should raise their kids in the country or the city, but I don't see what the big deal is. I happen to be raising a city kid, and you'd be surprised how much he has in common with country kids.

I mean, my son only wishes he got most of his dinners from the front of a bicycle. We force him to choke down a home-cooked meal night after night -- just like in the country.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think country kids and city kids have in common than not.


1. City kids and country kids are both all too familiar with the awful itch of a mosquito bite. Turns out mosquitoes aren't too picky about city living vs. country living.

2. Both kids know what it's like to grow their own tomatoes. We just grow ours up on the rooftop deck.

3. Both kids can build their own sandwich by the time they're 5 years old -- because in the country and in the city, independence is valued and parents are busy.

4. City kids love getting muddy, too. And there are plenty of opportunities to find that mud, especially right after it rains.

5. I've seen a few toddler-aged streakers here in the city, just like in the country. Ours can be found at playgrounds frequented by crunchy parents.

6. Both have their favorite special helmets. Country kids have theirs for riding a tractor; my son has one for riding on the back of Daddy's Vespa to school.

7. Both kids prefer running around barefoot. That's why we get our kids tetanus shots.

8. Both kids have their favorite trees, but ours are either in the park or in front of our apartment building.

9. We also have to bring in the teddy bear to keep it from getting carried off by a raccoon. Yup, we have raccoons here, too. I saw a cop chasing one off my block the other day.

10. Okay, my son may not have ever eaten anything killed by someone he knows, but he has eaten beef and pork from upstate farmers we know.

11. Both kids love looking at stars in the sky. We can see plenty from our rooftop.

12. Both kids have an undying appreciation for macaroni & cheese, no matter how much sushi or masala dosa we feed them.

13. Both kids are required to remove shoes before entering the house -- in the country, because of the mud. In the city, okay, yeah, all the pee.

14. Both kids get regular exposure to animal poo: In the city it's dog poo, in the country it's manure.

15. Both kids learn to get around at an early age -- but where they go is a different story.

16. Both kids measure distance by hours. It takes an hour to get to the Met, and an hour and a half to get to the Bronx Zoo. Every Brooklyn kid knows this.

17. Both kids have a high tolerance for strange odors.

18. Both like to stay up late to catch fireflies -- which we get in the park. Only difference is, there's usually some sort of world-class outdoor performance going on in the background in the city.

19. A country kid may be able to name every kid in their grade, but so can our son. We were lucky enough to land a spot at a brand-new independent school with one classroom per grade.

20. Hey, the water from our garden hose tastes pretty darn good, too. Of course, we get our water from the Catskills, and the garden hose is hooked up to our kitchen sink and snaked up to the rooftop garden.

21. We call them babysitters here, too! Not every kid has a nanny -- ours didn't. And even the kids with full-time care takers often call them sitters because nanny feels a little old-fashioned.

22. Going for a walk in the city isn't always about going to one of the neighborhood stores. We also go for hikes through the woods of our neighborhood 585-acre park.

23. Country kids and city kids both know how to tell direction by the position of the sun in the sky. At least I hope country kids can do that, too.

24. City kids know all about cows, chickens, goats, bees, and other farm animals. Brooklynites are obsessive locavores who talk about "where our food comes from" all the time. In fact, a lot of people here are raising their own chickens and bunnies.

25. I would have to say, city kids and country kids are loved by their parents equally. Wouldn't you agree?

As for city kids being able to "sleep through fire sirens, garbage truck alarms, and the woman in 2B screaming at her good-for-nothin' sonuvabitch son, but God forbid you take them somewhere quiet!" Oh, you got us there, Jeanne!

What else do you think city kids and country kids have in common?


Image via Adriana Velez

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