'When are you getting a baby?' my 6 year old niece asked recently. (I suspect she may be in training to be a nosey b@$t@rd…) But she's a little young to hear about the horrors of pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing, so I used a trusty 'I don’t know' in response. If it was as easy as getting a baby, from the shop, like you would a pint of milk or a nice new handbag, I might consider it, but I know too much. FAR too much. Thank you friends, family and far-too-intimate TV for sharing.
Don’t get me wrong. It's not that I don’t like small and miniature people, they can be great fun altogether when you know you can hand them back to their sleep-deprived parents at the end of the afternoon and skip off to the pub.
Therein lies the rub. I like children, but I like some other things more. These things include, but are not exclusive to, sleep, the occasional 5 minutes of quiet and TV that does not feature Barbie and/or Barney and/or 'bonkers' presenters (you know them - the 'I'm mad me!' types). And there are other things I do not need to experience directly to know I would not like one little bit. These things include, but are not exclusive to, cracked nipples, tearing (down there!) and projectile vomiting.
'But it's all worth it!' they tell me, at the end of another story about getting covered in poo, with a smile that doesn't extend to their hollow, exhausted eyes. I'm not really sure if it's me they're trying to convince or themselves.
I know I risk sounding like a self-centred cow, but rest assured it's not purely selfish reasons that keep me from boarding the broody express; I am also thinking of the children. ('Will no-one think of the children?!' I cry…) Sleep deprivation and copious amounts of hormones would not a loving, nurturing ginger make.
|Me + hormones - sleep = THIS.|
A womb, an egg and a few good swimmers may be all it takes to make a baby*, but it takes a hell of a lot more to make a mother (as the girls on 16 and pregnant so ably demonstrate).
*According to some of the nuns at my old school simply sitting on a boys lap is enough to get you 'in the family way'. Unless, of course, you place a telephone directory on said boy's lap first; if, for instance, you have to sit on his lap for a play or suchlike. Sound contraceptive advice from the Catholic Church there. And there are more pearls of wisdom where that came from... Ladies please take note - this is important - you should exercise extreme caution when wearing patent shoes with a skirt. Boys can and will see your knickers in the shine. You have been warned.
|Sage advice AND stylish head wear. Is there no end to their talents?|