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Do. Not. Want.

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As I’ve said before, I am never having babies. Not because I hate babies, but because I would be a lousy parent. I can’t even fathom parenting; my brain gets to the part where I conceive, and then it just stops. It makes a terrible screeching sound, flips over, rolls down a hill, and stops.

But according to one of my co-workers, I might change my mind. Because, you know, she changed her mind. Because one time, she dated a guy who had a kid, and had the magical experience of helping care for his kid, and now she thinks kids = awesome. She used to be totally anti-marriage and –kids, but now she’s pro-both! Therefore, it is likely that this will happen to me.

Which reminds of the assumption drills in my GRE study book, where they give you a weak argument and ask you to identify the assumptions. You know, like:

Argument: Bossy co-worker was once anti-child, but changed her mind. You are anti-child. Like bossy co-worker, you will change your mind.

Assumptions: Uh, since when do I = bossy co-worker? etc.

So she suggested that I would inevitably develop baby fever, and I just shrugged and said something like, “yeah, I doubt it.”

“You never know…

“I have a good idea.”

“Well, just don’t do anything crazy.”

Like what, exactly? Cut out my own womb?

“Once I have health insurance and can find a doctor who will give me a tubal, I’ll have it taken care of.”

“Um, good luck finding someone in the states who will do that.”

You crazy, baby-hating harridan.

But you know what? I’m not a caretaker. I don’t nurture. I love and I help, but I don’t raise. And it’s not because I’m a fuckup, it’s because those just aren’t things that I do. If you’re going to ask me to raise a kid, you might as well use Red Bull to anesthetize a cat—because clearly, you don’t understand that all things can’t do all the things. Caffeine can’t sedate a kitten, and I can’t raise an upstanding member of society. It’s tragic, I know, but there you are.

And pestering people about having kids is so fucking rude it makes my head spin. As Pepper said when I was chatting with her earlier, you might as well suggest to someone homosexual that they could change their mind and become straight. Just try it! Because a lot of people are straight, and that means you should be too! (And really, when it comes to making babies, you can totally go on a test run. If you end up not enjoying the whole parenting thing, you can return the kid to your nearest Target!)

I don’t even hate kids—some of them are great—I just don’t want any. It’s like how I love cabernet, but would never run a vineyard. Or how I enjoy snow sometimes, but would never move to Greenland. Or how…well, you get it.

And you know, unlike bossy co-worker, I’ve never been “anti-marriage.” Marriage is fine; it’s the needy, crying, time-sucking children I’m against. So it’s not like I’m bumbling around being all “I reject intimacy and love!” (not that being anti-marriage means a person can’t have those things, but that seemed to be what she was suggesting)—I just. don’t. want. the babies.

But it’s not like I’m an autonomous 24-year-old adult or anything, so who knows.

Oh, and by the way, Family With the Constantly Shrieking Toddler Who Destroyed the Place Settings on Four Empty Tables, 9.02 on a ticket of 70.98 is not acceptable. You put me through auditory hell. Also, where were you when your kid was playing next to the fireplace?

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About Paprika

Paprika Davis is a perpetually annoyed twenty-something college student waitress who would rather be a squirrel. The lack of commas in the previous sentence bothers her, but her laziness overrides her desire to improve the writing.

7 responses »

  1. Hahaha nice one! Did you get the argument “oh just wait until you are in your thirties, then all will change…”?

    I got that one for years whenever I said that I do not want to have kids. Guess what… I am in my mid-thirties and I still feel the same way. Even though now it is pointed out to me that I must be a weird person because I do not want kids. Clearly there is something seriously wrong with me…. right. Sigh.

    Reply
  2. this is exactly how I feel. exactly. the thought of having a child fills me with terror. I love children, but I know I would be a bad mother. I love children so much I won’t inflict myself on one.

    I spent the latter half of my twenties terrified I would develop baby fever at 30 because everyone told me I would. then I hit 30,31, 32, now 35 and nothing. I thought upon hitting 35, when female fertility nosedives, that I would feel sad, but I just felt relieved.

    do not want and no one can make me.

    Reply
  3. See, I love having kids. Two of them, to be precise. I love being the dad, I love interacting with them, I love that Firstborn has reached an age where his questions are… well… at dinner he asked whether blood was alive. I completely adore the whole experience – even the parts I hate.

    And believe me, there are parts that I hate. Did you know that young children get sick, on average, something like ten times a year? That’s a bit less than once a month. And there’s about a fifty-fifty chance that whatever they have, they’ll pass to you. Firstborn assumes that the world is his playground, and everything in it is a toy. Including things that aren’t toys, like the vacuum cleaner. Which I’m pretty sure shouldn’t be giving off that particular burning-rubber something-is-wrong-with-my-engine smell. On Sunday, Secondborn managed to sit on an ant pile for the second time in less than two weeks. This despite the fact that I was less than six inches from him, and didn’t so much as see an ant until I started brushing them off his back. This necessitated a quick-time march, carrying the baby, across the better part of a renaissance faire, to reach their first aid tent and get some meat tenderized put on the bites. Uphill all the way, too – I wish I was making that part up, but no. My legs are still complaining about it.

    So as much as I love being a parent – with a deep, strong love – I get really annoyed when people start insisting that Everyone In The Whole World {needs to be/should want to be/is suited to be} a parent – or that children are always an unalloyed blessing. I love parenting – but I’ve been so odd for so long in so many other ways that I’d never assume that my enjoyment means that anybody else should even find the idea interesting. And as hobbies go, parenting ain’t cheap. Or easy. Or restful. It’s a great big load of work, is what it is.

    So, “No, that just isn’t for me” should never require an apology, nor any sort of explanation. Honest self-evaluation is not selfishness. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    Reply
  4. Yeah, I love that EVEN NOW, when all the parts are literally gone or in pieces, people are click tutting at me about adoption, and presumably next it will be in vitro and a surrogate. You know, like I’ve said before, I have never, ever, once, met a child that I wanted to meet again. I believe parents like MM when they talk about the love and joy of having children. I have no doubt– I can talk about the love and joy of having tarantulas, you know? It’s not for everyone. Maybe I should just start asking people when they’ll change THEIR minds about spiders. It’s a joyless, hollow life, people! You’ll regret it! You’ll lie on your deathbed and weep for all of the spiders you never knew! *snort*

    Reply
    • Exactly. And I’m fortunate that we tend to get, “Are you stopping at two?” (asked neutrally) rather than “When are you having your next one?”

      Because, you know, GrrrrRRRAAAOOWWWRR! (Insert image of blazing red eyes and Wolverine claws here.) Just because we wanted to have kids, and we love the kids we have, does not mean that we should want to have all the kids in the world, ever. (“There was an old woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children her uterus fell out.”) Two is plenty, as far as we’re concerned.

      Also, that should be “meat tenderizer to put on the bites,” not “meat tenderized to put on the bites” which would be a very different thing altogether. Stupid typos…

      Reply
  5. I already have a kid and don’t want kids. I mean, I love my kid, but between you and me, I’m so totally glad he’s growing up. At this point, he’s an annoying, non-contributing roommate. His lease is about up and I’m happy. I did a really good job on him, too. He’s bright, creative, fiercely independent, and despises authority. My work here is done.

    Please go away now.

    I had a huge argument with a pretend liberal about having kids and homosexuality. As a pretend liberal, it was her view that homosexuality was fine and dandy, just not natural because a human was designed to mate. Making babies was “instinctual,” she said. I contended correctly that that was bullshit. Anything subject to choice is not instinctual. If you eat a donut, it will be digested and you have no choice in that. Digestion is instinctual. Breathing is instinctual. Popping out kids is not.

    Some people want kids so badly that it may seem like instinct, but it is just merely something they want really badly. Using the pretend liberal’s logic, drinking beer would be instinctual for me.

    Anyway, I really like your guys’ blog and decided to comment, particularly since I’ve actually talked about this topic with Paprika.

    Keep on truckin’, ladies.

    \m/

    Reply
  6. I hear ya, Paprika.

    I have friends with babies. I hang out with their babies. I love my friends. Their babies are fine.

    I still leave thinking… thank god they’re not my babies.

    I don’t see that changing any time soon.

    Reply

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