A few years back, I saw a documentary on childbirth. It scared me more than The Exorcist did. Watching this movie, turning a delicate shade of green, my friend similarly horrified by my side, I could actually feel my legs moulding shut. When the newborn alien-thing catapulted out, covered in vernix, shredding the poor woman on departure, my friend and I looked at each other and gulped. I recall thinking, I don’t really need to have sex again, do I? I mean, I could be celibate, it can’t be that hard…
As you may guess, I don’t have the baby gene. I don’t even have a baby chromosome. In fact, I may have been born fully grown, smoking, swearing, and drinking red wine. I don’t have baby DNA. Me and children go together like fish and vagina. I wonder how many times I can get away with saying “vagina” in this post. Vagina.
I wanted to title this post “paedophobia”- the fear of children. However, that looks too much like that OTHER word. I played around with google looking for a suitable title. After typing “fear of what childbirth does to your vagina” in, my computer blew up in a small puff of smoke.
I may have googled “vagina” too many times.
I write this now Hunter S. Thompson style, on a typewriter.
Anyway, kids are cool, don’t get me wrong, I’m not Cruella de Ville. Also, there is something about seeing a man with a baby in his arms that twangs the ovaries of even the hardest woman.
I probably could have gotten away with using “vagina” there.
But, I have no desire to spit my own children out.
I mean, hippos are cool too, doesn’t mean I want one tearing through my house.
Or my vagina.
When I get asked if I would like to hold a baby, my gut reaction is always no. Hell, no, to be exact. To the mothers who don’t ask me, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my black little heart. Maybe you sensed something. Maybe you saw me spill the fruit platter on the ground, earlier. In any event, putting a small human in my arms is never a good idea. It’s not that I don’t like your baby, it’s just that saying, “uh, do you still have the receipt?” doesn’t work if I drop your child the way I just dropped your iPod. I hate holding babies, hate it. There I said it. Vagina.
Also, baby showers, I don’t go to them. I would rather have extensive, unanaethetised vaginal surgery than play nursery games with a group of ovulating women madly sucking on dummies while hysterically surfing a wave of oestrogen.
I went to one, once. Bought a bottle of wine to it. That went down well. I thought we would all drink. It was a party, right?! How the hell was I supposed to know that getting drunk and vomiting in the bassinet was poor form. They shouldn’t have gotten her a white one, looks far too much like a toilet. I now know that BYOB probably means bring your own baby, not bring your own bottle of wine you silly little alcoholic.
Back when I was first starting out as a nurse I worked a shift in a maternity ward. Note that I said “a shift” as in one shift. A shift that, I am proud to say, I got through without touching a single newborn. If a mother asked me to pass her the baby, I would look flummoxed, splutter, “just a, yeah, um, hold, minute, on, will back…” I would then scurry out, find a midwife and ask her to do it. This often earned a look of pity and incredulity, the sort of look you give a lame dog that has learnt to ride a unicycle. I didn’t care, there was no way I was touching a newborn. I would have been more comfortable touching a suitcase bomb.
Funnily enough, they never put me in that
vagina ward again.
I told a friend about this and he laughed at me. Rightly so. He pointed out that most women would want to kidnap the babies. I told him that I often try to kidnap my aunts cat, but he won’t stay in my handbag. Actually, I believe that the baby gene that normal women have manifests in a strange form for me.
I was sitting in the park earlier this week when a Scotty dog started sniffing my feet. My heart melted. This dog was gorgeous, like he had leapt straight off the Chum can and bounded over to me. The owner came up and we had a conversation that contained the phrases: “how old is he?”, “they are so cute when they are that age”, “how is toilet training going?”, and “it’s so important to get them into a
It occurred to me that perhaps I don’t want to have children because I have always had a furry surrogate child to satiate me. Where most people put pictures of their children on Facebook, I posted ones of my dog. I would talk to her. I would reason with her. I would compliment her (“that’s just people speak for awesome…”). She wore doggie clothes. I bought her souvenirs from my holidays. You may look at this as pathetic, and you have every right to judge me after a small human has clawed it’s way from your vagina. However, I never had to book a baby sitter, I never had to give her the awkward “where did I come from” talk, she would be happy with just a bone for dinner, and she never once told my ex that it was me that finished the Tim Tams. All in all, perfect.
But, as you age, you question things in life.
About four years ago, I discovered that I have a half brother and half sister. My sister has two kids, making me an overnight aunt. They are gorgeous, and I felt almost instant affection towards them, partially because they are awesome and partially because they are blood. Living the majority of my life as an only child, “Aunt CC” is a role that I never thought I would fill. So, I want them to like me, but the problem is that I am not sure how. I am incredibly awkward around kids; hell, if I am honest with myself I am incredibly awkward in life in general. I can pass my social nervousness off to adults as shyness or kookiness, or I can masquerade as a Manic-Pixie-Dream-Girl type. I have gotten used to the bizarre looks I get when my mouth is moving, anyway.
The thing with kids is that they are perceptive, and they see through your bullshit. If they were older I would bond with them over a double espresso and rant about my favourite authors or take them out, get them blind on Jagermeister, and dance badly to revoltingly catchy pop music. Unfortunately, supplying alcohol to minors is illegal and my sister may just kill me. I look back and think about the adults I liked as a kid, and what characteristics made me like them. I liked the adults that paid attention to me- a sentence that speaks volumes about my personality. Vagina.
I watch my Dad play tea parties with my little niece and it is quite endearing to behold. I can’t do that. I’d feel ridiculous man, and I’m so clumsy I’d probably scald myself with the imaginary tea.
So, perhaps I am too serious to be good with kids. Maybe my sense of humour is too black, my ideas too out there. Vagina. In any event, I think that there is something brave and ballsy about marching to the beat of my own drummer on this issue. I am too selfish, immature and arguably unstable to have a kid, so I won’t have one. Going through life periodically uttering the phrase “no, I really don’t want children” is exhausting. And frustrating. And it can shatter relationships like glass. But I stand firm on this. I will never have kids. Love me or pity me for my decision, it’s mine and my uterus is my business.
As is my vagina.