I think at age 32 (well, I will be next Wednesday anyway), that I’ve finally figured out this woman thing. I finally have the hang of being a chick. I still don’t get it right all the time, but for the most part, I’m successful at the whole “I’m a girl” kind of thing.
I’m also fairly certain that I wouldn’t have done well in those “good ‘ol” days where women were expected to stay home and be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. So let me address each point in that statement…1) as a diabetic, it’s recommended that I don’t go barefoot, so strike one; 2) okay, okay…I’m not horrible in the kitchen, but let’s face it…Ian tends to be a much better cook than I – strike two!; and 3) I don’t think I’d make a very good mother. Strike three! I’m out!
When I was younger, I used to babysit all the time. I think I was pretty good at it too. I even took a babysitting course offered at the local YWCA – I think it was a St. John’s Ambulance certified course or something of the like. I liked taking care of the kids – it made me feel adult at a time when I was still in elementary school. Oh, and the money I made certainly helped too.
At my family reunions – at least the past 3 or 4 – I have been in charge of the children’s games. If I wasn’t initially in charge of them, I managed to get myself heavily involved in them by the end of the reunion day (read: I was voluntold that I would be running the games). Kids for some reason tend to be drawn to me – and Ian too! We both look at each other with questioning glances, wondering just why that is.
So I bet you think I’m going to tell you that we’ve figured out the reason for that, huh?
Nope! I haven’t the faintest idea. In fact, there was a time in my mid-20s that I thought having kids would be a great idea. Definitely something I wanted to do. I think I even told my mother that I thought that way at some point. Well, things change. And in this case, so did my opinion.
You see, I have taken an introspective look at myself and have come to a realization. I would absolutely suck as a mother! I think that when I passed that “maternal instinct” station on the assembly line, that the worker was as they say, “out to lunch”. And by the time I realized that I was missing it, the manufacturer’s warranty had run out, and I just hate being on the phone with customer service to deal with things like that.
So, alas…I consider children in…let’s just say, a different light than say, what normal parents might. Here’s a few pretty good examples of why it might not be a good example for me to be molding and shaping impressionable children from the age of zero…
- Discipline: I’m not really that great at being disciplined myself. And really, aside from the babysitting stints, which were a lifetime ago now, the only experience I have in raising anything would be my cats. So, the disciplinary action translation from cat to child wouldn’t fare too well. Let’s just say, when your first instinct is to spray a naughty child with a water bottle, you probably shouldn’t be considering pregnancy. From what I understand, locking your children in the basement until they calm down is also probably frowned upon. I also happen to believe in the Russell Peters method…if you don’t like F-bombs or are offended by anything, you probably shouldn’t watch this…you’ve been warned…
- Bodily…uh…functions: After more than three decades, I’m pretty familiar with the “things” that my body produces. I’ve learned to tolerate the various items that leave me. I’m not so certain that I have the skills necessary to adapt to new sights and smells over the course of nine months. Evolution is a slow process! I’ve been told that it’s different when it’s your own child. No. It’s not different. My weak stomach begs to differ with you. In fact, if I ever do end up having a child, I welcome you to be present at the glorious moment when I change my child’s first diaper or clean up their first spew. I also invite you to bring protective gear so that my own spew doesn’t get all over you.
- Multi-tasking: I can multi-task quite well. At work. Because there’s a function in Windows called Alt+Tab that lets me switch between different programs I’m working on. Until they develop an Alt+Tab function in life, the parenting thing and I aren’t going to fare well.
- Clumsiness: Similar to the previous point, any and all of Ctrl+Z, Esc, or the Back button need to be developed for me to have any parenting success.
- Entitlement vs deprivation: Just because you’re my kid, doesn’t mean you deserve brand name clothes and your own cell phone and gaming system when you’re 8. I don’t believe in entitlement, I believe in opportunity. If you want something, learn how it will become possible to attain it. I didn’t have a cell phone or PS3 when I was growing up. Okay, so there weren’t cell phones and PS3’s around when I was growing up. But, I rejoiced when my parents bought the 10 ft phone cord, so you can well imagine that I didn’t have anything as fancy as my own Atari. We had a family Nintendo system. A family computer. And when I was allowed to have my own television, it was a 13 inch black and white monitor with rabbit ears. And oh, the irony that I watched In Living Color on it. Where was I going with this again?
In any case, I’d say I’ve proven my point. That maternal thing really isn’t there…or it might be there, but hasn’t reared its oh-so-sweet head yet. So until it does, I’d like to send out a number of thank you’s to those who made my decision to not have children yet that much easier…
- To the folks on the “single mom express”: For the 14 months that I decided to take public transit, you all had my back. Your bad parenting abilities showed me what children with no discipline would look like – and at no charge! You also provided me with some wonderful anecdotes about your sexual exploits and all in front of your children, no less! Oh single mom express moms…you are shining examples of the perfect parental model…
- Children at Toys R’ Us: Your screaming and incessant whining over that toy car that your mother wouldn’t buy for you was magical. Oh, and mother of said child…thank you for your ability to completely ignore your child as he repeatedly bumped into my husband while temper-tantruming your way through the checkout line.
- Child who lives in the apartment above us: You, above all, deserve my thanks. Your intelligence and model behaviour are an example to us all. I have been able to unplug my alarm clock as you have an impeccable ability to run through the apartment between 6:30 and 7 every day – this saves me on the electric bill!
Ah, children. Perhaps one day I will be ready to allow you to enter my life.
But until then…Cathy, if you’re reading this…I’m not having one until you do! Tag! You’re it!