In my last post, I wrote about the cultural pressure to have kids. I didn’t get into why I don’t want to have them. So here’s a little on my reasons, and the giant Baby-Man, or Man-Baby, who confirmed them.
I was on the fence for a long time.
Being on the fence about kids when you’re in your late 30s sucks. They should call it “being at the bus stop”, because it’s like having the driver say, “Last bus, lady. I gotta pull out of here. On or off?”
I wanted to want kids, and everyone else (including cab drivers) wanted me to want kids.
I just couldn’t get past the sleep deprivation, the shrill “Waaah! Waaah! Waaah!”, and the poopy diapers. About the diapers, people say, “Oh, the baby’s so cute, you don’t mind.” I mind. I’ve only changed my very adorable nephew’s diaper once, and I wore an apron. It wasn’t even a Number Two.
When I thought about my hypothetical kids, I already couldn’t wait for them to grow up.
I hadn’t even had them and I was tapping my foot, antsy for them to get toilet trained, walk to school on their own, sit quietly in their own row on the plane, and have adult conversations at the dinner table.
I loved my hypothetical kids; I just wanted them to be independent, and, well, not kids.
I did think it might be fun to have teenagers because I love all things teenager. My teenager could tell me all the gossip from school, like who’s popular, who’s anorexic, who got dumped, who’s doing coke in the bathroom, and who’s secretly boning whom (also in the bathroom).
Life with a teenager would be like 16 Candles, Mean Girls, 90210, and Friday Night Lights all rolled into one.
Except that when they become teenagers, they hate you — assuming you’re a good parent who enforces rules. “Kids need you to be a parent, not a friend.” I think I heard that on the show “Parenthood.”
Even if you say, “Oh fuck the end result, I want to be the cool parent,” your kids probably won’t think you’re cool.
They’ll be embarrassed by your attempt at street slang and your ’90s dance moves. Or, they will think you’re cool, and they’ll turn out like Mackenzie Phillips.
So I scratched the teenage phase off my “Fun Part of Having Kids” list and longed for them to leave for college so I could rip down the hot-vampire posters and transform their shared bedroom into a den-slash-media-room.
I looked forward to my grown kids’ occasional visits home. Maybe we’d do a family vacation in a villa in Tuscany — but with separate cars so everyone could go exploring on their own and then reconvene for wine and dinner overlooking the vineyards.
The grownup phase. That was the part of having kids that appealed to me.
It still does. But I’ve realized that if younger adult friends are what we want, Steven and I can just go trolling college campuses and pick some up.
“Just looking for friendship,” we’ll assure the college kids. “No weird stuff.”
They’ll probably resist, and we’ll have to chloroform our new friends and bring them home in a windowless van, forcing them to have sunset cocktails with us every night as they weep and silently pray for someone to rescue them.
I know, kidnapping is a felony. But easier than bearing a child just to get it to the stage I like.
If I’m already over the baby phase, then it’s probably not a good idea.
Also, what if I raised kids just for the dream of one day enjoying their adult company, only to have them become adult babies? I just saw this clip of a grown, fat man who likes to wear a diaper, drink from a bottle, and have a story read to him by an equally obese, even more creepy “mommy” figure who isn’t even his mom.
The one redeeming thing about him is that he builds his own oversized cribs. At least there’s some independence.
This guy seals the deal. If I wasn’t off the fence — or out of the bus stop — before, I am now.
What about you?
Would you have a baby just to have company later in life?
And if you knew it might grow up to be a big, fat, baby-man who will never give up his onesie, would you still have him?