Ok, non-breeders, it is time for a confession.
I find that A and I have bonded frequently lately over counting other people’s children and scowling at them. That sounds super petty when I read it back to myself, but it is true.
I mean really, do you need 5, 6, 7 kids? Do not even get me started on that show 17 and counting or whatever number she is up to at this point. Is this jealousy? Possibly, but I’ve also always been a bit dramatic over injustices.
There was this couple, most likely a very nice couple, sitting with their brood of children at the dining area of the local grocery store here in town. I couldn’t see them, but I read it all over A’s face. He was disgusted, which is really interesting because usually it is me who makes this sort of observation. He shared that the couple had 7 kids and looked in their direction with contempt. I glanced over my shoulder and caught a few in the corner of my eye. Later they got up and congregated by the door, one of the younger ones grabbed a child’s grocery cart and started down the produce section with his mother tailing after him. As I watched them, I understood what A had been thinking to himself because I was thinking it too. For Pete’s sake what I would do just for one child. Just one.
There is another place that we call the playground. It is a pizza joint that has a bocce ball court that is essentially the town sandbox. The patio calls our name and typically we try to sit away from the bocce ball court. Since it was that hour of day when it crawls with adorable children under the age of 5, we wanted to sit on the other side of the patio but it was full and not in the sun, so we parked it by the sandbox. Surrounded by little people and their parents who seemed so smug in their abilities to procreate (projecting, totally projecting).
I love children, which I know sounds like a stupid thing to state on a blog dedicated to my attempts at creating a child. I love children and I love to be around them. I don’t mean to brag, but I am sort of a kid charmer. I can get the most reluctant to come out of their shell and talk to me. I get on their level and see the world from their point of view. I am one kick-ass aunt to my niece and nephew for that reason. These are not accolades I am throwing on myself, honestly. Others have noticed my child-whispering ways.
This is all to say that when I see a huge family with children under the age of 7, I get a bit pissed. I get moody and distant. I want to cuss loud and drink heavily in the presence of those kids. I judge the parents for their parenting skills. I know this is a really bad reaction and I try to temper it in myself. The new thing is that it is starting to come out in A too.
The other night we were carrying our divorce rescue dog over to the emergency vet because she was attacked by the stray A picked up during our snow storm before last (because there is nothing more annoying than a person complaining about huge families when that person has FOUR dogs-for the record, the stray is NOT staying). On the way there, A says “Maybe I should just start being an asshole.” I think that over for a minute, figure out where that is coming from, and say “No, no you should not just start being an asshole.” But then I think, maybe we should. I know plenty of assholes who have kids. I know plenty of assholes who don’t owe large sums of money to CareCredit (for our dogs) or Attain (for our attempts at having babies). I know plenty of assholes who use drugs and have 5 kids from 5 different fathers. Ok, so that is just one asshole I know. But you get the point. I know plenty of assholes who don’t raise their kids right; I see the effects of it on the faces of my students. So I get the point he was making that night. Why does it seem the guy who was just trying to do the right thing by keeping the dog from being ran over get rewarded with a $700.00 emergency vet bill? Why does it seem that the guy who just wants one kid sees an asshole with 5, 6, or 7 kids in tow? Why can’t someone just cut the nice guy some slack?