One thing I’m not experiencing yet is the need to breed. Thankfully, my parents are not putting pressure on me to have children (I think my mother truly just appreciates the sentiment–as far as I know she was never dying to have kids herself plus we have long generations. Plenty of time. My father, on the other hand; if he were to support the notion of grandkids he’d have to support me in performing the act(s) that create grandkids…so that’s a “no” from him.)
But seriously. Kids are a bad idea for me. I’ve killed a cactus. Oh and not a single part of the whole kid process, from the 8-10 months before their Alien-esque (or Knocked Up…pick your cinematic poison) arrival until death does us part sounds like fun. Last, kids just flat-out make me nervous. This is actually very weird because in undergrad I babysat a LOT. I was great with kids then. But I actually remember the moment that I realized “Holy crap…I shouldn’t have kids.”
I was at UC Berkeley for work. I went with my adviser to the cafeteria of some museum near campus for lunch. There were maybe 50 or so 4-6 year-olds there. Must have been a pre-K field trip. This one kid, who clearly hadn’t learned the “don’t talk to strangers” lesson, sits by us and strikes up a conversation, all the while eyeballing our chocolate chip cookies. Totally obvious in his motives. My adviser (who is fantastic with kids…he kinda is a kid himself) pushes past the small-talk of what are our names and how old are we and asks the child if he hadn’t already had a chocolate chip cookie today. The kid said he did get a cookie, but he didn’t get a chance to eat it. My adviser asks why. The kid starts kid-rambling, “Dakota stole it. And ate it. And no one else saw it. And…” I said, “Man, I hate it when that happens.”
The child’s response?
“What does ‘hate’ mean?”
You have no idea how absolutely terrible I felt at that moment. I wanted to go on an adult-grape-juice bender right then and there. Knowing that I taught a small child such a negative word, and completely by accident, kinda did it for me. It has to be a sign. No kids for me. Friggin’ California hippies and their flower power.
Having said all that….one of my coworkers just had twins! Yay! [Despite my total lack of desire to have kids, I can be honestly happy for others.] There was a sign-up sheet for people to bring dinners for her and her husband. Of course, I signed up–who wouldn’t want to help? But then the question became, “What the hell do I cook?” If you start thinking about ALL the people who are going to bring meals (and so ALL the borrowed dishes and platters) you don’t want to bring them something on a dish they’d have to not lose and then return. You actually would probably want to minimize dishes entirely–who has time for that (let alone once you have twins)? There’s the whole notion of leftovers which reheat well too. Last, I signed up for a Friday night–I don’t care how small the kids are, that’s date night…better be good food and not something like “sloppy joes”.
Here was the TTENG Friday date-night, no-clean up, reheats well, no-pans-to-return, dinner for two. [Haven’t heard from the couple as to how they enjoyed it, but I think they have other things on their minds…]