The wonder of kids

My writing time is sparse and precious. I have a child.

During one of my very few and far-between spaces of time without that child demanding my attention in one form or twenty, I escaped to Starbucks (okay, can I just get one of these stores installed in my living room, please?) and let my fingers fly across the keyboard. What joy it is when they move like that on their own -uninterrupted and unhindered! But, of course, not even this sweet, mocha-flavored bliss could last long; I have writing interruption karma stacked up against me, it seems.

Because in walks a very young couple with the most adorable newborn infant cradled in one arm. Apparently they knew one of the baristas personally and a very loud conversation about the cuteness of said baby ensued. I hate to eavesdrop. I really do. But people, I promise it simply couldn’t be helped in this instance.

Boy holding cute baby: “Yeah, marriage without kids is completely pointless. Why bother? Go forth and prosper!”

Barista: “Some day I’ll have kids, but not now. I just have too much I want to do with life first.”

Young mom of cute baby: “You can still do them with kids! Imagine how much more fun they would be if you shared them with your child!”

Boy holding cute baby: “Exactly. Having children doesn’t change your life. We go everywhere with her. We go on dates and take her with us, even. (glances down at comatose, unmoving infant) Some people LET their kids ruin their lives, but that’s not a necessary thing.”

At this point, I was digging furiously through my bag to find my iPod so that I could block the sound of idiot from my precious ear drums. It was either that or run the risk of standing up, walking over to cute baby’s parents, and making a horrible scene. That wouldn’t do. Where were those head phones?!

Boy holding cute baby: “If you love your kids, they can’t interfere with your life. They only make it better.”

Oh that does it. Fingers in my ears.
Why was this conversation upsetting me?
The young, impressionable barista was buying what was perhaps the biggest load of bullshit ever irresponsibly spouted by a pseudo-adult.

Kids definitely, unequivocally, and irrevocably change your life.

When they’re newborns, they stun you by showing you the true depth of your ability to feel fear. You never had anything to be afraid of before – not really. But you do now. Because this tiny creature could get hurt, she could get lost, she could get stolen. She could die. There was no terror in existence before now.

As infants, they introduce you to the joys of exhaustion. You stumble from the bed and into the nursery for the fourth time that night and realize that you could pull five all-nighters in a row, give yourself alcohol poisoning, and catch the flu and you would feel better than you do now, after a single month of nightly feedings, diaper changings, fever monitorings, and collick visits to the ER. And this is just month one. Wait until month nine. Or thirteen.

When they’re toddlers, they show you the true depth of your patience. You had no idea you could read Brown Bear, Brown Bear fifty-seven times in a row. You are utterly flummoxed at your ability to calmly and quickly leave the fourth busy restaurant that week with a kicking and screaming three-year-old under one arm. You’ve missed how many new movies? Thirty-nine? Wow. You barely noticed. How long has it been now since you’ve slept through the night? Four years? You’re a super-hero. Check you out.

And it goes on like this, your child teaching you what you never would have guessed about yourself. You’ve never had a single life lesson that made it through your thick skull as well as the ones your child has in her curriculum. And believe me when I tell you that this changes things. Life will never be the same.

And I REALLY want to be a fly on the wall when the young Starbucks couple with the adorable baby is the young Starbucks couple with the precocious five-year-old who knows damn well what it is mommy and daddy are trying to do alone in their room – and will have nothing of it.

Oh well. At least it’s a form of birth control.

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7 Responses to The wonder of kids

  1. Holly Newton says:

    not for me! I agree that my first kid made me psycho-paranoid and to this day I am still more paranoid about his safety than that of my infant but I guess thats because everything he does is new and with her its already a “been there” attitudue.. plus she is extremely docile for a baby.. which also makes me think of a slew of other paranoid things like.. could she be autistic? But I agree 100 percent that having kids does indeed change your life.. and if it doesn’t then their is propably something wrong with your parenting lol.

  2. Eris says:


    I think their biggest shock will come when they realize that the baby will some day have a voice and some very loud opinions about everything – most of them against them.

    When my kids were babies, it was so easy. If the diaper was wet, I changed it. If they were hungry I fed them. If they cried and needed comfort or a nap I gave it to them. Sure you can take them anywhere, but only because they haven’t learned how to vocalize objections!

    Then that baby becomes a TEEN!

    That “baby” will learn the art of argument and become one of the most skilled, unpaid attorneys on the planet. Things you said to them that you once thought was “wise” or would be somehow helpful to them will come flying back at you like bunker busters.

    Teens will twist dialog like an artist twisting sculptures, and don’t think for a minute they won’t remember every single mistake you ever made or word you said. I swear, Sony engineers designed recording devices by viewing the blueprint of the brain of a teenager! The only thing missing on their brains are a pause and stop button.

    The teen will let you know every chance they get that life is about one thing and one thing only. The teen.

    That’s right. The entire workings of the universe is centered on your teen and you had better get with the program!

    Pleasant family vacations? Hahahaha! If you love constant complaining, or fights with their siblings I guess. Dates? What’s a date?

    But you have your own busy life you say? Pshaw! How dare you? Don’t you know you are now the chauffeur, the cook, the host, the shrink, the doctor, the teacher, the maid, the cheerleader, the manager, the money tree etc.. for your kid/kids?

    It’s all so easy until they become a 13-sided Rubix Cube with no solution.

    You can’t fix broken hearts, or social angst, self-image struggles and when you can’t fix those things, your life can quickly start to grow smaller and smaller. Why? Because when that precious little non-speaking baby was sleeping he/she rearranged the universe in his/her sleep. That’s why! Goodness help that couple when they decide it’s so cute they want 3 more just like the quiet little angel they have now, then they can enjoy their soon-to-be teens in surround sound. 😉

    Their lives will be put on hold so quick they won’t know what hit them. If I had been sat there listening to them talk. I’d have probably blown a nice sip chocolate cappuccino out of my nose as I died of laughter.

    All that said, I love my kids but these people are delusional if they really believe their lives will continue with little or no interference. Some day they will schedule their entire lives around that of their “angel” (and hopefully more angles *wicked grin*) and they will wonder where their own lives went.

  3. Eris says:

    Pardon the typos. The entire time I was trying to make a single post I was being interrupted by…

    Yep! TEENS.


  4. pilar says:

    they are a universe of one- a wonder, a miracle, a snot, a bundle of whatever, etc…..but i did notice that as parents age, so do their kid (s) and sometimes……the circle completes and they can become, though always your child, more of your friend. the doctor never told me, as the umbilical cord was cut, that there was this other one- the ‘bungee’ cord- it will always be there. then there where those magic ‘awww’ moments when ther surprised you with something they said or did- that tends to disipate the other experiences. either was- yes- they kdo change your life- forever- and no- i would not change anyone of them……….welll….there is this writter…….

  5. pilar says:

    please excuse MY typos too- no excuse- just can’t type- oh well……

  6. Monica says:

    I could only laugh. That had to be their 1st.

  7. Cassandra says:

    Amen! Go forth and prosper! LOL!!! Would have loved to be a fly on the wall.