I want a kid with the same amount of desire as I want an XBox: I think it would be cool, for a while – plenty of things you could do to entertain yourself with it, especially when friends come over – but I imagine that the novelty would wear off quickly, and it would eventually sit in the corner and collect dust / starve to death.
I’ve been thinking about this lately because the BFFF recently got herself a nephew, and this seems to be a reasonable compromise: hold it and play with it for awhile, but when it starts to malfunction / shit itself, give it back to its original owner.
Is this selfish? No. Not at all, because there are people in the world who will make good parents, and then there are those of us who are already keeping an eye out for teeny furry fedoras so that we can one day dress a six-month-old like he stepped out of Pimps Up Ho’s Down.
By not having children of my own, I am saving potential human beings from a childhood whose sole purpose is to provide entertainment to its mother. But Julie, you’re saying, Didn’t your mother try to dress you up like Tina Turner and teach you the words to Proud Mary so you could entertain the family at Christmas? And didn’t you turn out “okay”- so to speak?
Yeah, well. Still: It could have gone either way. No sense in chancing it. And anyway- I was a strange child with a really fucked-up sense of what made me “cool.”
The way I see it, the world needs people like me: Fun “Aunts” who have no idea how to properly interact with small children and thus have no choice but to teach them stud poker and the words to I Like the Night Life. Were I tasked with raising a productive member of society with appropriate social skills, well, let’s just say I’d be in over my head.
Maybe one day I’ll change my mind, or it will be changed for me, but until then I recommend not leaving your small children alone with me unless you also happen to want an 8 x 10 of Junior dressed like Marky Mark.
Edit: Actually, Marky Mark isn’t much of a challenge. Bandana, no shirt, jeans all falling off like a fool. I really ought to just find a pair of children, and go for a Peaches and Herb kind of thing:
Baby Brother and I were the inventors of many
weird unique games when we were kids. There was Slap Ball, Carmen Sandiego (still don’t remember the rules to that one – I think it involved running around like idiots and yelling the theme song for the show), Roadway, Front Yard Baseball, the Toilet Paper Game, I’m Thinking Of A Person* and the pièce de résistance: Hallway.
Hallway was reserved for days that were spent indoors, perhaps as a result of some sort of airborne plague or hurricane (as almost 99% of my childhood memories take place outdoors**). For this game, we would lay a kitchen chair on its side to block one end of the hallway of our home. Then we would proceed to gather every pillow, blanket and sheet in the entire house and fill the hallway. For us, that amounted to quite the tonnage of bedding.
Then, we would….
Wait, what did we do?
Thinking back, the primary objective might have just been to gather up everything and then… I don’t know? Lie in it?
Maybe our goal was just to block others’ access to the bathroom?
Okay, so this sounds much more strange in the retelling.
Except you should try it sometime. Maybe not with your own hallway, per se, but with a dedicated corner of your home. Maybe inflate an air mattress, use all your pillows and blankets, and create a nest. Maybe do this in front of your TV. Maybe while TBS is showing, like, forty episodes of The Big Bang Theory back-to-back. And then maybe keep your setup there indefinitely because this is awesome! and why didn’t you think of this sooner?
And then maybe blog about it later.
* Obviously all of our imaginative powers went into creating the games themselves, not in naming them.
**I sure hope my hypothetical children are the same.
First: A couple names I found on some “Crazy-Ass Names with which Celebrities Have Cursed Their Offspring” list that I actually (kinda-sorta) like.
Harlow. Saffron. Sailor. Story.
I think they’re all girls, but I could be very, very wrong… which brings me to my next point:
Sometimes I wonder why people begin to associate certain names with one gender or another, especially names that (seem to be) created by stringing together a few pleasant-sounding* syllables. Say I told you that I had a friend named Jayleen. You’d probably say something like “Oh, how do you know her?” without giving it a second thought. The suffix -leen is, in my particular cultural circle, traditionally feminine. If I corrected you and said, “Actually, he and I share a parole officer,” you’d be taken aback. For several reasons.
But it’s not always so clear. There seems to be some sort of Naming Trend lately involving the suffix -den. Right now, I know children named Jayden, Jaden, Caden, Kayden, Hayden, Aiden, Braeden and Raden (see also: Future Names For My Sextuplets).**
Pop quiz: how many of these are boy-children? How many are little girls?
Could go either way, right? I mean, technically. Connotatively, we know people with these names and we automatically make assumptions: Duh! A Jaden/Jayden is a boy, because that’s the name two of my friends have given their sons. But if my friends had little girls named Jayden, would my Duh! would be different? I’m not sure.
Then there’s that whole thing about names that used to be for one gender, but have been appropriated by the other. A boy named Ashley nowadays? It must be a) a family name or b) the result of his mother’s displaced anger.
I almost typed “These are just my observations, I don’t have an opinion – good or bad.” But what if little Saffron from my opening paragraph turns out to be a little boy, after I assumed he was a she? I guess that’s some sort of opinion, right?
Even if that opinion is “Your mama is cray-cray, son.”
*Sometimes pleasant. Sometimes.
**Okay, I don’t know a Hayden personally; I know one who is a friend-of-a-friend. Oh! And Hayden Pannettenette–whatever. That girl. The cheerleader.