Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I Don't Like Children. No, Even Yours.

Welcoming Desci back into the chair

I think more needs to be said about the Wonderful Specialness of Children.

Everyone thinks their child is extraordinary. It's sweet. To the parents, the child is their work of art, a product of their genes and nurturing. So often, whenever they can, they take the time to discuss said wonderful masterpiece. To the exasperation of everyone else.

The consternation isn't an exclusively childless person's thing: my mother, and other breeding people I know, have usually been the most vocal post-meeting mockers of the proud parent in question. It's a thing, it will always happen, get over it.

What I take umbrage at, (though I know I shouldn't - patience is my weakest trait) is when people think that THEIR child will 'convert' you.

I don't like children. Yes, there's something wrong with me, fine.

They wreck your stuff, touch things with their filthy little hands, ask relentless questions and are just boring. They're all the same. Some are fun for ten minutes or so. My cousin's kids are gorgeous and it's fun to hear stories about them, but more than 20 minutes with them and I'm shooting dust. It's weird, since I get along great with all different types of adults. But children - can't do it. Don't like them.

So I get the 'it's different when their yours' speech, obviously. But I also get the 'well, look at MY kids, though, see? SEE? NOW you see it, DON'T YOU.'

I was at breakfast with a few of my friends awhile back, and my friend's fiance had bought a workmate. The talk turned to children (the aforementioned fiance wants to have a family quickly - she's unbotheredly clocking in at around 155 kilos, so I don't think it's medically possible). The work friend asked me about when I wanted children (!) my partner laughed, we (he or I - I forget who) said we're not having them.

She asked why, of course, and I didn't have the energy to educate her, or play mind games like bursting into tears and telling her we're infertile. Yes, it's awful. But how dare she? If I had, maybe next time she'd think twice and save an actual situation like that happening, from a couple who'd been trying for a year and had just found out.

So I just said I don't like them. Cue 'Oooooh, how COULD you?' diatribe about the wonders of children.

Then, she showed me a picture on her digital camera. She whipped it out with a flourish that said 'here, now I have the ace up my sleeve that shall win this debate!' It was a picture of a child. From her colourings (blonde, blue eyed, pale), it probably wasn't hers (Mediterranean, olive-skin, dark/curly hair), but I'd bet it was related to her in some way. A niece, perhaps.

Anyway, it was a child. Not ugly. Not a cherubic angel. Just a child, like in a random google image search for 'child sitting with toy'. Fuck this, I thought.

'Eh,' I said. 'Oh! You pest!' She said, taking the camera back and trying to keep it all very light, but annoyed and taken aback a little. My partner, who had been talking with his other friend, turned around and asked what the picture was. 'Just some generic child' I said, to the consternation of the work mate.

She was expecting me to play the game. To say, 'oh, you're right, she is VERY cute, yes.' No, fuck that. I was hung over and this woman was getting right on my tits. If you choose to challenge my opinions, I should have the right to challenge yours.

Yes, I know, I should be more patient and humour people. And I know AOF would have handled the situation with dignity, grace and respect. But I just get so bloody sick of it sometimes.