04 February, 2007

all about (your) children

you might have noticed (had you been paying attention...had you been even reading this) that recently the topic of procreation has gone to the backburner. and, as usual, when i stop thinking, questioning, weighing options, agonizing, the status quo reasserts itself. the truth is: children bore me*.

sure, give me your baby and i will eat its appendages in a frenzy of gastronomical baby lust - who does NOT love baby fingers and toes? who does NOT want to blow raspberries on their gorgeous tummies? who can resist their doggone cuteness? after all, they were designed to be adorable so you wouldn't be so quick to throw them out the window after six hours of solid crying followed by an all-orifices fluid emission session.

then they become toddlers and i get exhausted. i see parents in the grocery store attempting to purchase the foodstuffs necessary for life and it is a battle of wills with a very small person, who should (in my tidy and sometimes frightening little mind) just sit down, shut the hell up, and do as they are told, on account of them being that much smaller and less important than the parent. this, however, is north america, and actually exerting your authority over a child could result in a Diminished Self Esteem, and god knows nothing is more important than little darlin's Self Esteem. after all, it will help them write spectacular resumes, and bullshit their way into countless interviews and promotions in their future adult life, bypassing those of us who were actually raised to be decent hardworking human beings.

eeeh. anyhow. also, they are boring. "what's this?" "what's that?" who can deal with that many dull questions? and their endless stories about the cat. or their nose. or whatever.

then they go to school and rarely say "please" and "thank you" because (i'm guessing here) it would further infringe on their fragile Self Esteem. and they don't wash their hands. and their rooms are a mess, or else mommy or daddy just cleans everything the hell up and who wants to be the indentured servant to a small annoying little person who has dried boogers on their upper lip?

then they become teens and at least it becomes interesting for the friends of their parents because the stories get that much better. there is conflict. there is strife. sometimes there is adult language and drinking. so sure, it gets good for us, the audience, but i know it must be hell for the parents themselves: hey, i will live in your house, eat your food and borrow the car, all the while treating you with eye-rolling contempt and ill-concealed disgust. i know, because i remember feeling that way about my parents and i really have no use for anyone treating me that way.

after several more years (during which society expects that i give up my hard earned travel money to finance junior's romp through several meandering years of a liberal arts education while he "finds himself") they grow up, have children of their own and we all have lovely christmases together. this last bit i could use. it's all the preceding bits that frighten the crap out of me.

now i know those who have children (a small percentage of my teeny tiny audience) will tell me that there is the love. the kisses, the cookie-making, the sense of wonder, the little bare bum running around the house, the shrieks of joy, the absolute incomprehensible LOVE. and i say, yeah, whatever, i have all of that already minus the diapers, the headaches, the pain. and if the love i have is nothing like a parent's love, well, it seems like that much heartbreak to me anyways - you will love your children more than anything else all the days of your life, but they, once they reach junior high, will pretty much stop thinking that heavenly light shines out your ass, will barely acknowledge you, and will then move on to love someone else. no thanks.

*my apologies to my be-kidded or soon to be be-kidded friends. don't worry. your offspring are endlessly fascinating. really. probably because i experience them in small doses.

1 comment:

Anthony said...

Oy, what prompted that?

No, I'm not trying to change your mind, but every rewarding relationship has times of pure hell and moments of exceptional bliss, including parenting. Unfortrunately, at this moment in my/our lives, I'm kinda stuck on hell mode.