Monthly Archives: November 2011

Children, For and Against

I don’t know that I should be writing this post. It seems a little unfair. I have many friends who have babies, or are about to have babies. My own dear cousin is about to pop (literally, she’s past her due date), and I’m very excited for her. Everyone’s very happy about their babies. They seem to like them a lot. My Dad must have liked me a lot when I was little, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here. 
But, the fact of the matter is… I’m not sure I want to have kids. 
Especially after today. 
It wasn’t really the kids fault (ok, it was a little of the kids fault), but it was more, my inability to stop turning into crazy, mean dragon lady whilst dealing with the kids and stresses associated with the production I’m involved in. So, I ended the day grumpy that the kids wouldn’t listen to me, feeling like a terrible human being because I was snapping and yelling all day, and also, still very stressed about the production. 
So, I thought, maybe the easiest thing to do would be to NEVER have kids. 
I made a list.
In Favour of Children
*they’re cute
*you can dress them in cute clothes, like dinosaur beanies or koala hats 
*they’re cute
* even if you don’t end up changing the world, and going down in the history books, or writing a novel or play that children will still be forced to study in 500 years time, even if you just end up an accountant or a customer service representative, if you have kids, you know that something of you will continue to live on after you’re gone. It may not be the parts you’d prefer to live on of course (your bad knees, or your penchant for anxiety-induced disaster fantasies), but, nonetheless, there’s part of you out there, and, maybe one day, your descendants will become famous and be on the 22nd century equivalent of ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, and they’ll talk about you and pull out old programs of plays you were in and speculate about the anthropological role of live performance in an increasingly online world (no offense intended to accountants and/or customer service representatives)
* babies smell really nice
* babies look good in photos. Unless, of course, they’re a really ugly baby. Though, no one will admit that there is such a thing as a really ugly baby. So, of course, your baby will look really good in photos.
* when you’re old and creaky, they might look after you. Or, at least, pay for the cost of your elderly residential care.
* when they grow up and get married and have kids of their own, they can all come over to your house for Christmas, and it’ll be like you live in a Hollywood film, and there’ll be all sorts of drama and intrigues, and people will stand around in the kitchen with wine glasses looking attractive and trying to sort out each other’s problem, before retiring to the huge, comfy cream coaches in front of the artistically designed fireplace. 
Against Children
*the world is fucked
*In the last 12 years (12!), another one billion babies were born into the world. In the last century, the population has ballooned out by 5 billion people. 5 BILLION PEOPLE, PEOPLE. Two billion in the first hundred thousand years, 5 Billion in the next hundred. Where are we going to put all the babies? What are we going to feed them? Imagine property prices in a decade or two. I mean, seriously!
*the world is fucked (and what right do I have to bring someone else into that mess?)
* I’d have to get a real job. And maybe a house.
* the world is fucked (I mean, really, its like, ‘welcome to the world little one, now, do you have any clues how we could get out of this financial/environmental/moral mess?’)
* sometimes, babies just cry. They just cry and cry and cry and cry and cry. And, you don’t know why, because they can’t talk. NO! They can’t talk! And, even when they get old enough to talk, they’re not rational, so you can’t reason with them! I KNOW! Its like, so, ridiculous! Who decided that what how things would work?
* the world is fucked (‘No, but seriously, kid, do you have any ideas? Because the rest of us are fresh out’)
* Sometimes babies cry and you know the reason, but you can’t get them to calm down anyway. And you can’t be like, ‘Ok, baby, I know you don’t like the pumpkin and chicken mash, but its very good for you, and I’m not making you anything else until you eat at least one spoonful.’ So then you have to decide, is it better to give them the sugary yummy biscuit and banana softened with milk that I know he’s going to eat just so he stops crying about being hungry and about having chicken on his tongue, and so my head stops hurting, but that will probably RUIN HIS APPETITE FOR LIFE, and when he becomes a 500 pound heifer, you will know it is ABSOLUTELY your fault for NOT FORCE FEEDING HIM PUMPKIN AND CHICKEN MASH AND GIVING IN TO HIS DESIRE FOR SUGARY BISCUIT, or should I just keep doing the airplane game for another 20 minutes, until my arm is sore, by ear drums have burst and I hate said screaming child so much that I am considering dumping the hated chicken mash on his head.
* children make you depressed. Its true, I read it in a book. ‘The Economics of Happiness’. It told me that whilst just after the baby is born, you will be extra happy, for the next 5 years (+ ongoing) you will be less happy than you were before the baby was born. Ergo: DON’T HAVE KIDS. THEY MAKE YOU SAD.
* sometimes, even when babies smell really nice, later, they smell awful. They spit pumpkin and chicken on to you. They do green poos. They vomit on every piece of clothing you own (parents try to make it sound better than it is by calling it ‘spit up’. Don’t let them fool you, oh-childless one. Its vomit.)
* Kids don’t sleep. Therefore, they think nobody else should sleep. Oh, ok, they sleep. But not nearly long or peacefully enough. They get up really early. And sometimes during the night too. I like sleep. It makes me happy. If kids slept for 2/3 of the day, maybe I would be a happy parent.
* Kids don’t like it when you don’t give them attention. Even if its for a short period of time. Say you have to go the toilet. They don’t like this. Their reactions will range from setting up a desperate keening sound that makes it seem to people outside the house that you must be torturing them with a sharp instrument (and/or making them eat pumpkin chicken mash), to blowing a Halloween noise maker until you come out again, to hurting their younger sibling so that at least you yell at them, to moving their younger sibling in their buggy as far away as possible, to hitting you with a piece of wood, scratching you, kicking you, crashing their tractors/bikes into you, sticking their fingers down your bum, starting a song up about poos and wees etc. Anything they can possibly think of that might get your attention back on them, whether positive or negative. So, only have kids if you have nothing else to do with your time. 
*If you do something wrong, kids act like its the end of the world. Not good for the self-esteem. 
* Kids are tattle tales. 
Safe to say, I’m not having kids anytime soon. But, its totally for environmental reasons. That is, I like my personal environment the way it currently is.

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