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bad parenting

When I close my eyes it feels like my eyeballs are going to “flame on” and burn a hole through my eyelids.

Oh the joy of running a fever.

It would seem that my unfortunate favorite pastime of licking the shopping cart handles at my local Wal-Mart has caught up to me and yet again, I’m sick.

This time I managed to escape without my typical strep throat, but I’m still stuck with a nasty sinus infection coupled with tonsillitis and a cough that could wake the dead.   According to the doc I’m in for 17-20 days of this fun, but he took pity on me and gave me some cough syrup with the good drugs in it, so at least I get to be in a coma for a solid 50% of it.

Luckily, trips to the doctor (ie our friendly neighborhood urgent care clinic) always result is some excellent stories, so you my readers are in luck.

People watching at the doctor’s office is pretty much some of the best people watching around.  Yesterday was no exception.

As I was filling out my paperwork, a woman about my age entered with six (count them SIX) children ranging in ages from two to eight.  That’s a lot of back to back procreation my friends.  The two eldest needed to get their physicals for school.  She and her brood sat down so that she could fill out paperwork and for the next 10 minutes I witnessed what could only be described as the seventh circle of hell.

Was it the seventh?  Is that the one where screaming waterfighting minions take over?  Maybe that’s the fourth.  No matter…

Her six children ran screaming through the waiting room.  They discovered the drinking fountain, and proceeded to have a water fight.  They climbed on chairs and counters, then jumped off exclaiming that they could fly.  Their mother didn’t even look up, or bat an eye.

I cowered in the corner for fear they might start breathing fire or announce their plans to take over the world.

At this point, one of the nurses came out and told the kids they could not behave that way.  She explained to the parent, and her children, that jumping off the furniture was dangerous and could cause accidents, and that having water all over the floor in a medical facility was a real hazard.  The nurse then proceeded to get paper towels from the bathroom to clean up the mess, all while keeping a watchful eye on the children.

Only when she finally walked away did the mother finally speak up.

What pearls of wisdom did she have for her children?  How did she use this moment to teach them the appropriate way to behave?

She hollered at them, “Ya’ll are so BAD!  I hate all of you!  I can’t take you anywhere.  They always ask me to leave because of you.  Is that FAIR?  IS IT?”

Her children were quiet for a solid 10 seconds before they started their antics again and she went back to ignoring them.

I was more grateful than I can even describe that I had my headphones with me.  While children make me crazy, in this particular instance, it was the mother I wanted to throttle.


There are worse things


I accidentally swallowed a cherry pit yesterday.  I’m concerned that this will result in either (1) even stranger things happening with the already strange poo I have going on or (2) a cherry tree will grow in my stomach and sprout out of my mouth.

I’m actually more concerned about the latter, no matter how unlikely it may be.  In fact, the idea of anything growing inside me really freaks me out.

Yeah, that includes babies.

I’m not sure it will come as much of a surprise that I don’t want children.  Now please, please don’t get all offended.  I’m not saying I don’t like children, or that I have any negative opinions of anyone who chooses to have children, or anything of the kind.  I simply do not want them.

You may have noticed my immediate need to defend myself once I expressed my desires.  This need has evolved over the past 10 years of being torn to bits in various ways when I say I don’t want kids.  Since I’m not actually a heinous person who chews the face off everyone I eat (most of the time), I’ve grown accustomed to people’s reactions when my lack of desire for a family comes up in polite conversation.

But in honor of my potential cherry tree baby on a Monday, here’s what I really want to say when confronted with the top three remarks every person on the planet seems to have when I tell them I don’t want kids.

Remark 1:  What do you mean you don’t want kids?  Kids are wonderful, they bring you a lifetime of joy.  If you don’t like children you must be evil or an atheist or something.  You kick puppies don’t you?  You evil Satan worshiping whore.

What I say:  No no, I love children and I go to church religiously whenever my grandmother guilts me into it every 5 to 7 years.  Children are wonderful and beautiful.  I’m just not worthy of having such a beautiful cherub to call my own.

What I want to say:  Of course I don’t want kids.  Look at yours.  One is eating you shoe the other just vomited on your shirt and both are screaming for you attention.  I can’t even hear the second half of your judgmental rant because of all the noise they’re making.  I walk around my house stark naked pretty much all the time, kids would totally cramp my style.  Am I selfish as shit?  Sure, but don’t worry, I’m happy.  Very, very happy.

Remark 2:  No children?  Who will take care of you when you get older?

What I say:  I know, it will be such a problem!  I guess I should start saving for retirement now.  You’re so lucky that you’re such a wonderful parent that your children will be there for you then just as you are there for them now.

What I want to say:  Probably a hot male nurse named Sven.  I’m well invested, and because I don’t have hundreds of thousands in expenses of raising a little mini mutant and putting their ungrateful ass through college, I’ll probably be a millionaire here right quick.  I figure, by 50 hubs and I will retire and move into some swanky community where all I have to worry about is what designer swimsuit I’m going to wear to the pool and my spa appointments today.

Remark 3:  Don’t worry, you’re still young, you have plenty of time to change your mind.

What I say:  Yes, you’re right.  Of course you’re right.  Thank you so much for believing that my uterus hasn’t yet dried up and my hopes of future spawn haven’t yet died out.

What I want to say:  Unlike you, I’m not a total flighty twit.  First off, I’m not that young.  I’m turning 30 this year and I haven’t wanted children, EVER.  I am fully capable of making a decision and standing by it.  I would never be condescending as shit towards you for your decision to start a family, and it’s really effed up that you feel the need to be so towards me about my decision not to.


In closing, I love that you love your children.  Heck, in some cases I love your children.  But seriously, I don’t want any.  Stop trying to sell me on the idea, all it does is piss me off and force me to bottle up my emotions and then drink heavily until I can’t feel my feelings anymore.

You do your thing, and I’ll do mine.  I’m happy that you’re happy.  Be happy for  me too.