Monday, 2 April 2012

I think I get it now

I think I've made my position on parenthood quite clear. If I wanted to be constantly anxious, sleepless and financially ruined, I'd have a crack habit instead. I know that children are supposed to be a source of constant joy. So they say, at least. But I'm ever so slightly cynical - the 'they' in question only ever seem to be existing parents.

I can't help thinking that they want the misery to be shared amongst others.

I'm fully aware that my position in this respect goes against common sense. The species needs to continue, after all.  But last time I checked, we seemed to be doing a pretty good job. Some might say that my view is contrary to nature. I normally ask these people how they square Mother Nature with being able to make such comments on a website with a complete stranger hundreds of miles away. That tends to do the trick.

I'm not anti-child, though. It's just the whole concept of babies I find completely alien. You essentially give up the fun things and have to be responsible for this little person that is completely, 100% dependent upon you. Katie and I can barely look after ourselves. Put an infant into the mix and quite frankly it'd be a recipe for disaster.

Babies are, effectively, machines for making a terrifying amount of poo. It's what they do. When you're six weeks old, that's pretty much all you're going to have on the CV. Pastimes? Pooing. Oh, and crying. And while I've been in several situations where bodily fluids and yelling were on the agenda, it's not something I'm keen on choosing as a lifestyle choice.

Another thing - babies are just exhausting. I've written about this before. It's just relentless. The effort you have to put in is immense. I wouldn't mind, but you don't even get much in the way of conversation on the weighty matters of the day.

And yet. And yet.

Yesterday I spent a little time with my niece, who is about a month off her second birthday. It was a sunny afternoon in the garden. She had her white sun hat on, and went "Uh-oh" every time it slipped off.  She laughed and giggled at her Aunt and Uncle, flashing ocean-blue eyes at us both. Running after a tennis ball was the funniest thing in the world. Seriously, if I could get adults to laugh that easily I'd have a career in stand up.

So here's the thing. I'm still not sold on parenthood. But I learned something. If you can manage to keep a baby alive for a year or so, it turns into a toddler.

And toddlers are the best thing in the universe.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Love this Phil . I was heartbroken when James said pretty much the same thing about our very own gorgeous Oliver. Given we are way passed the baby and almost toddler stage (weep), I have to agree with you both


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