Ellen had a post that I had to put my two cents worth into. (You've probably noticed how much you all influence my thoughts. Remember that. Be careful what you post. You never know who you'll influence!) She was explaining why she didn't have kids. I understand perfectly. As a matter of fact, every time I remember I have children it floors me. Seriously.
When I was growing up an only child I wanted siblings. Most kids do. I don't think I wanted them for the normal reasons… for someone to play with, but rather I wanted someone else to take the heat from the 'rents. When you are an only child and something gets broken, you have very little wiggle room. There is "me" or "the dog" and "the dog" usually wasn't the culprit. You don't have the allusive extra child living in the house… "Notme". As much as you would like to have "Notme" living in the house, when you are an only child "Notme" doesn't come around. At least, if he does he certainly doesn't stay long.
As I grew I became convinced I never wanted to get married nor did I ever want to have kids. I'd seen what a balls-up job my parents did of their marriage (yes, still married even to this day… happy? the verdict is still out on that one.). I also wasn't too crazy about their child-raising skills and from my angle I certainly didn't want to make that trip with another human being.
In my teens I babysat. A lot. If that doesn't convince you not to want kids, I don't know what will. I did maid service for some people in the neighborhood, too. People who I also watched their kids sometimes. Let me put it this way, I would rather clean their houses.
Of course as the saying goes, "we make plans and god laughs"… He/she/it was laughing long and hard. I'm in my second marriage (I'm much better now) and have four grown kids. One even has a kid of her own! I'm not sure how it happened. Turns out I was one of the 0.3%. Twice. That makes me special, right? You know, the Pill is 99.7% effective? Now you understand? Let me be clear. Once I began the process, there was no turning back and I've seriously never regretted having kids. But it was rather ironic that I would be such a fertile myrtle, doncha think?
My first was not an easy baby. She was a premie by two months and only weighed 3lb 6oz. Luckily, she had very little trouble and after a couple of months in the NICU to get up to the 5lb release weight (like she's a fish…hmmm..) she came home. That's where she became work. Premies that little will literally sleep to death if you let them. They don't have what it takes to wake up and eat. So, every three hours I would have to wake her up and try and get an ounce of formula down her. This involved rough treatment – flicking the bottoms of her feet, rubbing her head, basically all the things that would really piss off a normal baby. It would usually take at least an hour to get it done, then back to sleep for another two hours until the next feeding. 24 hours a day. Not only the feedings, but back then they didn't have such a thing as premie diapers or clothes. Newborn ones were huge on her. I had to fold newborn diapers up to make them fit, and an aunt gave me doll clothes for her to wear. She rarely was out of the little sleeper sacks, because it was the only thing that would fit!
When my second baby came almost exactly two years later, he was such an easy baby by comparison. He would eat, sleep, and grow all on schedule and it was such a change. Of course, by the time he came along my first was only just starting to catch up so at one point it was almost like having twins. Is it any wonder they grew up being close?
~~to be continued~~