It seems, traditionally, that the older you get and the more of your friends pop out children, the more you get baby fever. This is supposed to be the natural progression of your life. You’ve sung that annoying song that children sing since you were in elementary school: “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.” While, for most of my friends, that utopian idea has pretty much been the case, for others, the song probably should have gone “first comes drinks, then comes low standards, then comes a baby daddy who you wish would adhere to the custody arrangement.” However, no matter the situation, all of these people seem to really love their children, and apparently I’m supposed to want one to love too. But I don’t. Not even close. Not even a little bit.
As more and more of my friends have children, the opposite of baby fever happens to me. With every Facebook posting of a different way to utilize a tiny version of an object amongst adult-sized versions in order to tell the world that you’re adding a tiny human to your clan, every ultrasound and baby bump pic, every baby shower invitation (have you ever experienced the torture of being in a Babies-R-Us as someone without a child?), every request for a high chair at dinner, and every picture-text of “poop art” from my friends attempting potty training, I want one even less. Not that my friends don’t have adorable children, it’s just that, to me, it doesn’t look that fun. Isn’t from the outside looking in when it’s supposed to look its best? If even that doesn’t appeal to me, I doubt watching the changing of shitty diapers and scrubbing of Crayon off of the walls, as well as the destruction of everything nice I’ve ever owned, is really going to reel me in. I’ve also always wondered how much delusion must take place inside a parent’s mind to make them not just outwardly admit that being in charge of someone else’s life 24/7 downright blows. My theory is somewhere in the 80% range. Some (most) parents probably disagree, but only because they feel like they have to (another theory of mine).
If karma works the way I think it does, I will inevitably be bestowed with the biggest little asshole kid known to man. I’m that person who gives dirty looks to misbehaving little shits at the grocery store when their parents allow them to run up and down the aisle and, inconveniently for me, right into my leg, making my womb shrink even more into a place incapable of habitation. I don’t find it cute. So I can see it now: the kid running into the tower of canned goods and knocking it onto innocent bystanders will almost definitely be mine. I don’t have the patience for that, and it scares the shit out of me.
If I were going to take the plunge and commit myself to a lifetime of decreased selfishness, the cleaning up of gross bodily fluids that aren’t my own, and the constant search for a reliable and reasonably priced nanny, it definitely wouldn’t be before the age of 30, and even that’s pushing it. As my father was preaching his concerns about late-in-life parenthood to me the other day, I attempted to explain to him that having children before 30 is largely a Midwestern thing. I didn’t spend $250,000 on an education to not have a thriving career first. His response was “Yeah, well, let me put it to you this way, if I had a 12-year-old right now, it would really effing suck.” I found myself not disagreeing with him, but not wanting one now in these prime childbearing years either. So what do I do? In reality, my parents definitely do not want me procreating any time soon due to the fact they already have permanent custody of my dogs, and I have unlimited visitation rights. I’m not sure they would be so open to the same setup with a real human.
Right now, the game plan is to remain child-free for the foreseeable future and continue to focus my energies on attempting to resemble a functioning adult. That alone should occupy most of my time. If I ever feel the need to test-drive, my friends are having enough kids for the both of us right now. Maybe someday these feelings will change, maybe they won’t. Either way, I don’t think I’m a bad person for having these feelings, or maybe I am, but moral of the story is that until I think of more reasons to have a child other than “I want someone to love me when I’m old and have no one to talk to,” I’ll keep trying to remember to take that little pill every day. At least I love my future child enough to realize that I’m not ready nor will be any time soon, and I think that’s a good start.