Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kids. Shudder.

I am not, repeat NOT a kid person.  The problem is, me being a female opens the door to the vast majority of the population who are convinced I don't know my own mind.  My parents and male siblings used to volunteer me to babysit nieces and nephews.  This was a duty thrust upon me.  The joys of being the youngest.  Now if we are to consider the fact my oldest niece and nephew are closer to my age than their father, my brother, was and take into account I was nine when it all began you can see where I had little say.

Despite how often I voiced my lack of desire to have anything to do with children my folks often contracted me out to their friends or coworkers.  Capitalism be danged.  I didn't care if I was getting paid.  All I wanted was a way from those freaking kids.

Naturally as I entered into my late teens people began asking when I was going to settle down, get married and have kids.  Various guys who were considered good providers were pointed out or introduced.  The whole time I'd be going "hello, has anyone been listening to me?"  What is so hard to understand about I don't want kids?

In my twenties I constantly butted head with neighbors who seemed to feel my maternal instincts would kick in if I babysat their brats.  The word "NO" was alien to them.  They didn't comprehend.  Instead they sent their offspring over to my place, "go visit Aunt Debi".  Once the kid was out of sight the parents would run for their car.  Oh they thought they were being clever.  They assumed I'd play nice.  If the brat's parents managed making it out of the parking lot, well, then they were in for a rude surprise.  I had no qualms calling the cops and/or Child Protective Services and reporting an abandoned kid. 

Twice in my thirties I had the occasion to look at my boyfriend and ask "just how long have we known each other?"  Jeff decided we needed to start looking at houses.  He wasn't talking marriage, at first but I was cool with the idea of living with him.  We discussed number of bedrooms, bathrooms and floor plans.  All of a sudden Jeff mentioned school districts.  A warning flag went up in my brain.  Next came a comment about a pediatric clinic; he heard they're one of the best.  I stared at him long and hard and asked "how long have we known each other?"  Jeff stammered but came up with a figure pretty close to the correct answer.  "When during that time have you heard me say I wanted kids?"

We did not move in together.  About a year later Jeff got the great idea to try again.  The scene: dining room of a 3 bed 2 bath on quiet street in Aloha, OR.  We had walked around the house noting yards, patio and room either to park an RV or cultivate a veggie garden.  We began the tour of the inside of the house making it as far as the dining room before Jeff got dumb.  He said in a wistful tone, "can't you just see all of us sitting down for dinner?"

Me: "Who is us?"
Jeff, ignoring the question: "I like this room.  It's inviting and cosy.  I can see the kids doing homework or when the weather's bad all of us playing games like Yahtzee."
Me: "There's that all of us again.  And what kids?"
Jeff: "Our kids; our family."

Me: "Who are you planning on having kids with?"
(the real estate agent's eyes got huge and her jaw dropped to the floor.  she gave a little squeak.)
Jeff: "Why do you have to be like that?"
Me: "How long have you known me?  When have I ever said I wanted kids?"
Jeff: "I've known you long enough to say it's time for you to settle down and quit bouncing all over the place."  Then he stupidly referenced my biological clock and more than eluded to how I wasn't getting any younger.

(the real estate agent gasped and began looking about for a weapon to bludgeon him.  she was getting more irked than me.)
Me: "I do not have issues with my biological clock.  I do have issues with you."
Jeff: "Like you keep pointing out, we've known each other a long time.  We've had our fun.  It's time we settle down and raise a family."
Me: "I have no intention of having kids with you or anyone else.  Why is that so hard to understand?"

Let's skip the ugly part except to say I suggested he marry a brood mare.  Obviously this was the end of my relationship with Jeff.  But the question persists.  Why is it so hard for people to understand I'm not a kid person?

Everyone has limitations.  I acknowledge and accept mine.  Thankfully I born in the latter half of the twentieth century in a country where I have a say in the matter.  Personally I think if my situation had been different I'd end up in a padded room, eyes roving independantly and a thin line of drool oozing from the left corner of my mouth.   

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