This post should serve as a warning to any prospective parents: ADVANCE WITH CAUTION. I'm not going to tell anyone not to have kids, because some people seem to enjoy theirs. I actually like mine 98.9% of the time, although lately I think she may be broken. I just want to give those blissful parents-to-be the bit of reality that usually gets obscured by those who want to indoctrinate others into the parental cult.
Even when the Queen and I started to even consider the idea that perhaps we maybe, perhaps wanted to raise a child, the Parent Mafia descended upon us. "You just HAVE to have kids!" these child Amway sales people would yell. "You would be SO good at being parents! Can you be my parents? Adopt me!"
The Queen and I would just smile and nod our heads. Being a married couple over the age of 25 invites a certain amount of expectations that the only thing left for us is reproduction. Sure, we had goals and dreams that revolved around our hobbies and careers, but that's not baby making and does not count. We were old and our lives meaningless.
Sometimes I would point to great people who never had children. Oprah Winfrey and Bo Derek are childless. President Andrew Jackson and James Polk refused to procreate. I don't know if Gandhi ever fathered a child, but if he did, I'm sure he/she would have been a disappointment. (The Queen tried to pressure me into changing that last statement, as she insists that Gandhi had children. I refused to cave.) In response, I would get sad, puppy dog looks and a sigh that seemed to mean, "I'm so sorry for your logic."
As we aged, the hopeful nudging to get-it-on started to evaporate. By the time I hit 35 and the Queen hit *Editor deletion*, everyone pretty much lost hope. Instead we would get hopeless clucking from strange women in the grocery store. A colleague once remarked out of the blue that it was okay that we didn't procreate because "God only gives you as much as you can handle." That sounded like a challenge.
After we announced the Queen's pregnancy, the Cult of Parenthood regrouped and came at us in full campaign mode. Children are wonderful they would say. Children are easy they would say. Children make everything ice cream sundaes. With a giggle, a pinch of the cheek, a rub of the belly, and a knowing wink, these cultists were only too happy to bring us into the fold. Every person hummed a tune of rainbows and sparkles.
Then the kid, and the song turned nasty. The cultists were nice after the first week or so, but after that they turned into a gaggle of Gotchya monsters. And it never stops!
- Not sleeping in more than 30 minute increments for 36-hours: Gotchya!
- Spit up all over your favorite shirt: Gotchya!
- Refuses to potty train: Gotchya!
- Breaks your 1979 rare Donald Duck figurine : Gotchya!
- Throws an unbelievable fit because the sun isn't black: Gotchya!
Now I love my daughter very much. If I didn't I would have given her back by now. And the joys usually outweigh the pain, but I wish someone would have explained the fine print. The one where its says that your sanity will disappear with your memory, your poop tolerance will greatly increase, and you won't be able to talk to your wife because you can't spell.