Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On parenting

Know what I love? Babies. Those things are neat. I get babies. I know how they work. I have a secret for putting them to sleep. I find them precious and adorable and all those awesome things. I am one of those women whose voice goes up an octave whenever I speak to an infant, and science reassures me that it's normal and even helps development.

Know what I don't love so much? Eight-year-olds. Can we talk candidly for a second about those guys? Have you ever met an eight-year-old who wasn't kind of a pain? I have seen home videos, and can therefore attest that I was an incredibly obnoxious child. I recall pretty clearly that my siblings were pains as well. All the eight-year-olds I've ever know have been kind of obnoxious at best, and downright douchey at worst. And eight is the very beginning of that terrible ugly-duckling stage, where their teeth get all weird and overgrown, and they outgrow their clothes every ten minutes and insist on wearing the same battered sneakers for a year, and then just when you think it can't be any more annoying, BAM. That once-precious baby is now a teenager. Joke's on you.

Andy and I are starting to talk about a timeline for procreating. I like the idea of producing an heir, because I have a lot of neat stuff that needs to go to someone, so I'm down with that. I also like doing it, so it's a pretty neat deal. And I'm the one who initiated the whole conversation, so it's with some surprise that I note that my brain is going, "Man, babies are awesome! Let's get us one!" but also, "Man, I hope those endorphins you hear about are enough to keep me from punching an eight-year-old who insists on telling the same not-funny knock-knock joke nine times in a row then laughing hysterically, because I feel like that might be justifiable."

Is this normal? I feel like now that we have committed to trying to make this a thing within the next year, I'm starting to think of all the things that suck about parenting. Grubby little hands all up in my stuff. Juice spilled all over the joint. Gaudy plastic toys advertising characters I don't recognize. Pages ripped out of books I've had since I was a kid. Snot. Barf. Sass. Ugh, what if we have a baby and then it grows up to be a fifth-grade bully? What if we have one of those kids you see on Maury where the mom (where are the dads?) is all like, "Maury, I tried everything. She is too WILD." What then?

I think this is that whole afraid-of-change-thing that's totally normal and human and stuff, right? Because babies are great.

Any parents reading this thing? Are these normal fears, or am I going to be the most neurotic parent ever?

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