While riding the subway one day, a woman got into the car carrying a 176-count box of Pampers. According to the carton, it was their largest “everday” size. Apparently there exists another, larger “special occasion” box for some sad mother to lug through a retail outlet, then wedge into a car or maneuver onto a public conveyance. The idea that more than 176 diapers can be purchased at once, and contemplating a baby-pooping situation involving the rapid consumption of said diapers almost sent me into shock.
The mega box of diapers is why I’m not having children.
Okay, there are many more reasons I think motherhood is not in the cards, not the least of which is the fact that I’m 37 and single. Make that chronically single, and I can’t even imagine a scenario where I keep a relationship long enough to cultivate a Chia Pet, let alone gestate another human. Then there are pregnancy hemorrhoids, dirty diapers – over 176 of them – and potty training. I don’t mean to focus on the scatological, but you have to handle a lot of shit to be a mom, and I’m not sure I’m ready for it. And with having a baby comes the possibility of having your lady bits sliced open like a pig at a Carolina barbecue. Childbirth is nasty business; the only reason I can think for a woman to voluntarily endure it more than once is that she made a mistake with the first kid and needed a mulligan.
When labor and delivery are over, then comes the raising and disciplining of the offspring. I’m a big fan of discipline, having been spanked a few times in my youth and turning out all the better for it. But now, with all we’ve learned about pop psychology from Oprah and Dr. Phil, apparently you can’t spank your own kid for fear of going to prison for abuse. I’m not saying you should haul off and whale on your kids, but you ought to be allowed to tap a few bottoms without someone calling 9-1-1. Some adults actually need a spanking every now and then too, like Rush Limbaugh and any number of conservative blow-hards; they need to feel what its like to feel a little hurt, embarrassed, and bewildered like a toddler after his fanny gets slapped.
But back to my original point, which is that I think parenting would suck for me. Don’t get me wrong: I love babies. My cousin’s youngest son Trevor is my favorite baby right now. At Thanksgiving and Christmas, I held him and fed him and he was the best in the world. He’s got the cutest dimples when he smiles and the sweetest brown eyes you’ve ever seen. And he grips onto your finger when you talk and looks right at you…Wait: didn’t I used to talk like this about men? Could be that’s why babies are so awesome: they actually pay attention to you, unlike that jackass date from last night that didn’t even offer to pay for dinner. Plus baby Trevor gets to go back to his parents for whining, crying and anything else that works my nerves, which is a policy I can get behind.
The truth is, I have absolutely zero patience. I’m the person that uses the self check-out lane whenever possible because I’d rather scan my own groceries than wait for some disinterested knucklehead to do it for me. I’m also the one who walks up to anything marked “out of order” and tries it out anyway, just to avoid standing in line. Think my lack of social equanimity has something to do with why I’m still single? Maybe. And if I can’t stand the company of an adult male for more than a few months, what chance would I have with a toddler? I’m certainly not cut out for handling a two-year-old’s temper tantrums, or answering a never-ending series of “why, Mommy, why?” without losing my stuff. Since I know that about myself, it pretty much seems pointless to bring another person into the world hoping they won’t cause me a heart attack.
I’ve got some news for the people who tell me that I’ll change one day, or when I meet the right man, or that having kids changes you. Maybe motherhood does change you, when you become a mother in your 20s. But guess what? Women walking the gangplank towards 40 don’t change that much, unless it’s a hairstyle or a job. If you hate your hair, you can put a hat on it, and a crappy job seems less so when payday rolls around. But possibly raising a douchebag and sending him or her out into the world is something I’d never be able to tolerate. That, and waiting for them to grow up and move out of the house.