Sunday, 19 October 2008

Don't tell my mother

Occasionally, just occasionally, we might weaken, Katie and me.

Actually, that's wrong. It should be 'Katie or me'. We never weaken at the same time. No joint weakeners, us.

One of us might, from time to time, think: "Maybe having kids would be a good thing." Perhaps it would be right for us to perpetuate the family line. It would be nice to have a mini-me, one of us might think every now and again. Someone to help through the trials of life. To be there for them; to support their dreams, build their expectations, teach them right from wrong, share in their successes, console them after their failures.

Then we'll have twenty minutes like we did in Sainsbury's this afternoon, and all such thoughts will vanish.

One child, not more than seven years old, was doing the "Mommy, although I've never seen xyz item in my life, having now seen it on the shelf it is now the very fulcrum of my existence and I can't live without it" routine. Mother, of course, was having none of it.

At one point he was shouting "I hate you!" at the top of his voice. To his mother. I went cold. It almost drowned out the sound made by Katie's fallopian tubes tying themselves in knots.

And he wasn't the only one. In the same way that a single dog barking will eventually set off all the neighbourhood hounds, this little angel was seemingly tapping into the squeal instinct of all children in a 400-yard radius.

"Sterilise me now," Katie muttered as we passed through the checkout. The cashier gave us a thoughtful look, shot through with: "I have to listen to this lot all day while you pair can go home and read the Sunday papers."

It's a shame really. People tell me I'd be a pretty cool dad. This is possibly because even now, at the age of 38, I've not moved on much from childhood in many respects. But the responsibility might be too much. Plus, I understand you're not allowed to use automatic weapons against them any more. Which is a shame.

So I have to rely on brother number 1 and his wife to deliver. If you'll pardon the expression. I quite like the idea of being the dissolute uncle who winds his nieces and nephews up and then delivers them back to mom and dad, over-excited and full of e-numbers. I'd be like the Yellow Pages - there for the good things in life, but not having to deal with the gritty disciplinary matters.

Moms and dads out there - I tip my hat to you all. I just don't think I can join you.


Jennette said...

You have described my constant struggle. I think I'd be a good parent but I can't be sure I'd have a good kid!!

tNb said...

My biological clock is obviously digital because I can't hear ANY ticking! Always comforting to know that I'm not alone ... ;-)

City Girl said...

When Hubster and I found out we couldn't have any without involving the Vatican we were much, MUCH more relieved than disappointed. And I LOVE being the cool aunt to sends random candy and gifts. I will forever be held in much higher esteem than my sister who actually gave life to my little darlings.

Anonymous said...

Goodness gracious!

Maybe you can find a doctor that will do both the tubal ligation and the vasectomy and give you a discount! :)

Tom said...

I have witnessed that of which you speak only this child (who was all of 8 or 9) would have rivaled a sailor with the filth spewing from it's horrible, horrible, nasty little pie hole. All the mother did was chase the little demon-spawn out of the store saying "But Billy, wait... Don't say things like that. Don't run out on me like that, it's not nice."

MY fallopian tubes were tying themselves in knots. I'm really not sure what good that was doing seeing how I have no eggs to travel down them, I think it was simply a pre-emptive measure.

Country Girl said...

Oh, dear. Says the mother of the 28/13/8 year olds. It's different when they're yours, because then you know what's wrong with can SEE Uncle Bill being an ass and you can SEE Aunt Clare squeezing those pennies. It also sort of redeems your faith in mankind because...there's something good in everyone and it's truly amazing when THAT LITTLE SHIT turns into a worthy human being. Just ask your mom. And I don't know about OTHER parents but the only reason I'm tolerant in public is that it's required procedure in WalMart to call the cops if a parent spanks a child. Not joking. The old adage, "Just wait 'til we get home?" Honey, you have NO idea.


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