That’s it. We’ve had our baby girl Cordelia one full year. I’ve written a book’s worth of text about the creature. And since that’s more than I would ever actually want to read about babies in general, let alone one particular baby, that’s enough.
I have observed that it is customary, when writing a record of one’s offspring, no matter how fuzzy or how dark, to end with a bit of sentimental goopiness. I’m supposed to write about how, even though I occasionally sounded pessimistic, or bleak, I still really, really wuv my Snuggly Wuggly Cutie Pootie Happy Slappy Fuzzy Wuzzy Widdle Baby Boo. And how it has changed my life for the better and I am a new person, and blah, blah, blah.
Fuck that noise. Frankly, if you need to be reassured that a parent loves his child, you should stop reading this, because your mouse probably has one too many moving parts for you.
And if you need to be told that having to spend all your time, 24-7, chasing down a highly mobile ball of dopeyness and keeping it from eating carpet tacks changes your outlook on life, well, you’re an idiot.
So. Just because we’ll be having none of that doesn’t mean that I am entirely done. I do still have something I want to close with:
The Three Main Reasons Being A Parent Sucks.
One. Your Life Is Over.
If you are the sort of blissful shut-in who can’t imagine anything nicer than shutting yourself up in your home with a pack of sproggen, looking at their vacant faces for day after day while the world continues on its merry way outside your door, skip to Reason 2. You are already lost.
The rest of us, sometimes, obtain joy from interacting with the world around us. Movies. Plays. Going out with friends at midnight for coffee and dessert. (Or beer.) (Or drugs. Whatever.) Following current events. Dancing. Swinger clubs. Paintball. Barhopping. Blowjobs. Long distance running. Creating and hoarding weapons of mass destruction. Just relaxing. Living life the way it was meant to be lived.
And that is OVER. O. V. E. R. Over! Even if you are ever able to take an active part in civilization again, you will be doing it alone. Your partner will be at home, parenting, stewing in resentment, and plotting revenge.
And let’s not even get into what happens to the fucking. You’re going to have to slip out of the house at 3 AM and hide in the garden shed just to jack off.
It’s a gruesome situation. And that’s even without the occasional childfree wanker who’ll gloat at you.
Two. You Are Doomed To Disappointment.
I believe that practically every parent has this moment: You go into your child’s room, late at night, and stare down at his or her slumbering form. And you imagine what that child might be. Every parent (well, I HOPE, every parent) looks at the kid and thinks: “This one might be president. Or an author, or a scientist. This might be the child that CHANGES EVERYTHING.”
No. It won’t.
Think, for a moment, about how stupid and irritating other people are. And realize that your child is, despite its dependency on you and the genetic material you provided, one of those OTHER PEOPLE.
Forget about raising the child that changes everything. I suggest you aim for, say, raising a child who doesn’t end up married to someone in the sex or lard rendering industries. Forget about grandchildren, forget about raising a doctor or lawyer. Heck, forget about your child even liking you when it gets old. Just aim for raising a kid who knows the difference between bricks and dinner rolls.
My guess is, if most guys saw how their relationships with their children would turn out, they’d give themselves vasectomies with ballpoint pens the moment they got their first boner.
I may sound a tiny bit pessimistic now. It’s OK, though. Reality is far, far worse.
Three. You Will Never Feel Safe Again.
I know now that I did not truly understand terror until I got myself in a position where I loved someone who thought staples were food.
Children are perverse, self-destructive creatures. They run out into traffic. They climb onto the roof and jump off. Sometimes they just stop breathing. And, just when you think you are finally safe, they end up like me, with an unexpected brain tumor at the age of 19. I lived. Many don’t.
There are a lot of important relationships in my life. With my wife. Friends. Parents. Licensed massage practitioners. These all have one thing in common. They were all capable of looking after themselves. My wife is exceptionally good at looking after herself. She can go for whole days at a time without killing herself. That was why I was so kind as to let her have sex with me.
But Cordelia is different. She is completely at the mercy of, well, pretty much everything. One minute of my inattention, at the wrong time, could be the end. That’s so stupid! How did I let myself get into this position? What could I possibly have been thinking?
Even if you don’t care about becoming a prisoner for 18 years, even if you don’t care that you child might grow up to despise you and everything you stand for, there is always this. Children are fragile and dopey, and you will not always be there to look after them. You only have to look away for one minute…
Try not to think about it. You’ll fail. But try.
In Sum. Don’t have kids?
Run! Run, while you still have the chance!!!
And That’s It.
Thanks for listening.