More Annoyed than Amused

Happy Days

Posted by parsingtime on September 23, 2009

As always someone from the New York Times has captured my thoughts on children better than I ever could.

Most of my married friends now have children, the rewards of which appear to be exclusively intangible and, like the mysteries of some gnostic sect, incommunicable to outsiders. In fact it seems from the outside as if these people have joined a dubious cult: they claim to be much happier and more fulfilled than ever before, even though they live in conditions of appalling filth and degradation, deprived of the most basic freedoms and dignity, and owe unquestioning obedience to a capricious and demented master.

I have never even idly thought for a single passing second that it might make my life nicer to have a small, rude, incontinent person follow me around screaming and making me buy them stuff for the rest of my life. [Note to friends with children: I am referring to other people’s children, not to yours.]

And yet….

But there are also moments when some part of me wonders whether I am not only missing the biological boat but something I cannot even begin to imagine — an entire dimension of human experience undetectable to my senses, like a flatlander scoffing at the theoretical concept of sky.

And that my friends (I can’t say my friends without thinking of John McCain) are my feelings on kids in a nutshell. On the outside when I hold your cute nice smelling baby it seems like fun but when I get thank you cards for the gift I sent and you ask how things are going in Columbia I have to wonder about how poorly I would handle being that tired (the East Coast/West Coast flight did me in for petes sake). It would probably involve leaving my kid somewhere.


2 Responses to “Happy Days”

  1. Hannah said

    It all depends on where you leave him. In the crib listening to the Curious George soundtrack while you take a shower is okay. In the exersaucer in the kitchen as you back out of the driveway, not so much.

    The benefits of motherhood are incommunicable to outsiders because we parents are so damn tired it makes communication in general a stretch. Just trust me, the good outweighs the bad. Otherwise I would totally have dropped him off at the fire station by now.

    By the way I might reference this on my blog if I have time/energy for a coherent thought this evening. Lately Halloween costumes are about as intellectually advanced as I can handle.

  2. Random said

    This link also has interesting perspectives:–the_kid_question–. The sentiments in the NYT post and in some of the entries on pandalous are true, I think – you’re not “missing” anything if you don’t have kids, nor do you have “everything” or a better meaning to life if you do. It’s just another option to take in life.

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