Won't Somebody Think Little Of The Kids!

So, you meet someone, get on well enough, have a few drinks, and then eventually your DNA combines, creating a tiny little human. One of you ejects it from your body and you raise it in a loving family unit/become increasingly bitter and ruin each other’s lives. Standard stuff. Now, before all this happens, you had a life. You did stuff, went places and were your thoughts and actions incarnate. You were you. Presumably, this You had at least considered what being a parent would be like. I imagine that you were aware of the time and emotional cost of producing your heir. Then you make one and suddenly you’re spending fully too much time banging on about how having a child has changed your life. It’s made you a new person. It’s made you see things anew. Everything – EVERYTHING – is different now. Which, yeah, fine, but no, it isn’t.

Same air, same dirt, same constant clawing in the back of your mind, whispering that you’re doing it all wrong. I don’t get it. Why are you telling everyone that it’s life changing? Nobody gets a puppy and proceeds to bore everyone they meet with how much more spiritual they are now. And, much like a baby, you need to feed and water the puppy to stop it dying. Clean up its shit. Buy it little outfits. If you’re a tit. It’s not quite the same as having a baby because, if it gets really sick, you can put it down. But it’s similar. And, unlike a dog, which you can buy pretty much on a whim if you fancy, and are an idiot, a baby tends to come with around a nine-month waiting period. That’s if you’ve not been planning it for ages. So it really shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Just another little (holy) accident.

You can’t be shocked that it’s taking up a fair amount of your time. It’s not news that there is a lot of crying and feeding and pooping and crying and crying. You aren’t the first person to have one, so you are in no way special, and they don’t even really do anything for about a year. Bare minimum, you should be absolutely, theoretically prepared for what Junior brings. It’s hard to be truly prepared for sleep deprivation, for the mind-altering effect of REM deficit, but you should probably have at least considered how you’ll approach life as a husk, before being hollowed out.

Anyway, what do you mean life changing? What do you mean the scales have been lifted from your eyes? Whole world view altered?! What sort of a monster were you before? Going around burning school children, pillaging, spot of rape. Then BOOM, a child. Suddenly you’re looking at schools in the area in a non-questionable way, getting dewy eyed at their first GBH and telling the other inmates that they’ll all understand when they get out and knock the missus up, rather than about. It’s not magical, it’s not wonderous, it’s not poetic or spellbinding. It’s just nature continuing our reign. It’s easy. Anyone can do it. A lot of us probably shouldn’t. If anything, making new people is too easy, maybe China were onto something. By which I mean there are too many of us, not that we should be drowning our daughters. 

Ultimately, everything you do changes your life. Yes, bigger stones cause bigger splashes - Metaphor, not calling your kids fat – but anything you do will have an impact. A new job can shake things up more than having a kid and buying a house can be infinitely more stressful. A house doesn’t grow up to be a massive shit, either. A new haircut might radically alter others perception of you. We shouldn’t attach such a weird mysticism to biological parenthood, basically. It’s just a new haircut that lasts 18 to 40 years. And sometimes makes your face look stupid.

Don’t get me wrong, kids are great. I’ve got one and she’s pretty good. Like, not perfect, but it could be a lot worse. Having a child reminds you that you used to be one yourself, that life can be about imagination and hope, rather than crushing defeats, massive expense and creaking joints. It reminds you of your own mortality, that one day you’ll cease to be, and the next wave will crash against the jagged rocks of adulthood. It can be life affirming and joyous and all that stuff. But it’s no more Life Changing than many other things. It doesn’t make anything all that different, and unless you’re a closed off, unable-to-think-ahead total idiot, you should have been able to see it all coming. So, by all means, stare wistfully at little Johnny or Janine or Sri Llama, or whatever you’ve deigned to call it, but don’t expect anyone else to give a shit. Especially me. Mine will be considering boys as a viable hobby soon. I’ve got my own worries.

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