bootsy

Posts Tagged ‘babies’

three showers too many.

In awkward, childfree, heh, new moms on October 30, 2013 at 4:06 am

i received the following email from a reader:

I’m married for 6 years, my wife and I have been together for 10 and one of the things that brought us together was the fact that we definitely do not want children and in fact go out of our way to avoid them. Your readers, I’m sure, are of the same mind as you and I so I won’t go into the specifics of exactly what makes the little buggers so loathsome.

My younger brother and his wife are about to have their first sometime in January, I think. These two are outwardly very nice and successful people, but they are very sheltered. His wife grew up wanting for nothing, and my father (who’s divorced from my mother) spoils them rotten. They have an apartment in Manhattan they couldn’t possibly afford on their own. So the arrival of their baby was, of course, greeted as nothing short of a minor miracle between the two families.

As the curmudgeonly oldest son, I’ve dealt with the family and society’s consequences of choosing to be child-free, and my wife and I are secure in our choices and recognize the good and the bad. However, we never really expected to have someone else’s child impact us as now we’re all but ignored by our family, who are all in on this thing, so much so that the mother is having three separate baby showers in two months, in three different states. Needless to say, I’ll choose one to attend and leave as early as I can.

first of all, my condolences. really. good luck. i hope you don’t have to play (or even witness) a rousing game of ‘what’s in the diaper?

second, congratulations on finding a quality lady. let me assure you, we’re few and far between…

as a proud auntie, let me promise you that the fun is just beginning with the showers. do you live near the elated couple? just wait until the babysitting requests roll in. or the birthday party invitations. or the christmas cards or the stories of baby’s first haircut, baby’s first steps, baby’s first potty… and wait’ll they offer you a chance to hold the little miracle; heaven help you if you decline!

i know the pain of being ignored in favour of the siblings with kids. they’re more fun at holidays, on the weekends, apparently all of the time. my siblings often get together for playdates and don’t even consider inviting me (it’s a mixed blessing). but it is easy to feel a little left out of the family now and then. most of the time, though, i’m thankful for the reprieve.

good luck, my friend. if nothing else, this experience will help you enjoy your sound life choices that much more…

new baby ≠ joy.

In childfree, heh, new moms on October 28, 2013 at 8:34 am

i just ran into a friend while i was out running errands. he and his wife just had their second baby. a month ago (i’ll spare you the fact that he told me in days how old it is). let me tell you, he looked terrible, and the mother even  worse. when i asked how they were doing, well, there wasn’t much positive in his response.

what’s all this about the joy of a new baby in the house? because seeing my fellow human beings like this really isn’t selling it.

dear bootsy: where my friends at.

In childfree, lessons learned, new moms on October 21, 2013 at 5:21 am

dear bootsy,

what to do when everyone around me is either having kids or planning on having kids?

it seems like recently a whole bunch of my friends have either announced their pregnancies, given birth, or been talking about how they can’t wait to get pregnant and give birth. i shouldn’t be surprised, i guess. we’re at “that age” (whatever that means – personally i think we’re all too old, but i digress) and i knew it would be coming at some point in my friendships, but i’ve been in denial, dreading the day that my friends would share their baby news with me, and just wishing it wouldn’t happen. you see, i like my friendships just as they are. i probably wouldn’t have become friends with my friends in the first place if they’d have had kids at the time. i’m a happily child-free individual who has no plans to have any children.

ever.

i simply do not care for them.

sadly my friends are clueless when it comes to having children, thinking that nothing will change, that parenthood will be a breeze, that it’s just “living your life with a baby/toddler/kid around”. (wtf, right?). however, pretty darn immediately into this whole having a kid thing, my friends are going to realize that it is no picnic, and our friendship will fall to the bottom of the dirty diaper pail, just like i knew it would. and really, at that point, it’s not like i’m losing much, except for the opportunity to listen to my friends talk endlessly about their kid, and how hard it is, and how tired they are, yet how rewarding it is, and how they never knew what love was before having a kid and before you know it little tayo/cadence/nevaeh/ or whatever other ridiculous name they’ve given it will be up from its nap and i’ll be left sitting alone on their couch beside a pile of 2 week-old laundry thinking, well, yes i’m fine, life is grand, thanks for asking, NOT.

so, i know what you’re going to say, that them’s the breaks, and i should make some friends with like-minded child-free sensibilities. but it’s hard, you know, to make new friends, and it really does seem like everyone i meet is baby-crazy, and it’s such a letdown. believe me, when i meet someone who expresses child-free sentiments, i glom on to them and hope we’re compatible. it just seems like child-free peeps are few and far between. am i missing something?

sincerely,

l.m.f.

(losing my friends)

dear losing my friends,

thanks for your letter, and welcome to the The Way It Is. as soon as a baby pops into the picture (even before it’s born) priorities change. and, as you’ve learned, as much as your friends say they want to stay friends, or that the  kids won’t change anything, it’s all lies. the road to hell is paved with good intentions, isn’t that what they say? well, i happy to think that the road to broken friendships also is.

i have plenty of friends who, in an attempt to bond with me, agree with my anti-child sentiment, only to dash my hopes of a lifelong friendship by popping one out. how many times have we all heard, ‘oh, but i’ll never be one of those mothers…’

good luck ever having a phone conversation again. hopeful that that could be an alternative option to actually seeing my friends in person, with kids in tow, it’s no good – every call will be interrupted by a baby screaming on the shoulder (directly into the receiver) or else by the mom constantly shouting direction at a kid playing the background. and seeing them in person, well, all eyes and conversation  must be directed at their bundle of joy, lest you risk offending the new mother by glossing over the miraculousness of it all.

perhaps you should count yourself lucky that your friends who have kids slip out of the picture when they do. i recently received a party invitation – not an afternoon in the garden kind of party, but an all night, drink til you pass out kind of party; one of the invitees replied asking if they could bring their little one who, apparently has no problem staying up until 2 with everyone else – she actually loves a good party! well that puts a different spin on the night…

no, in many ways i’d rather let the ones with kids go – maybe they’ll come back in 15 years, but by then i plan on having a whole host of new, much radder friends.

so here’s my advice to you. be kind but slowly, and quietly step back. send birthday cards in the mail, and wait for them to phone you. tactfully turn down all invitations to the baby’s birthday parties (trust me on this one. or else be prepared and attend with a large, freshly filled flask). sooner or later, you’ll stop hearing from them. when that happens, count yourself lucky. if they really want to continue a friendship in a few years after things blow over, they will. but in the meantime, find new people who are equally as awesome as your childfree self. go to art film events, attend cooking classes, join a group to make some home brew with. do what you love and, no doubt, you’ll find some new people who also love to do those things.

good luck. and hey – you know i’ll never let you down. childfree for life, yo.

xo, bootsy.

ps i’ve saved the most important advice for last: save your sanity and find an excuse – any excuse at all – to avoid going to any baby shower, no matter how close the friend. throw yourself down the stairs and break your arm if you have to… trust me on this one.

question for you.

In childfree on October 8, 2013 at 4:27 am

ok, it’s honesty hour up in here.

so do you judge women who have several (more than 2 or 3) kids? because i kind of do.

i don’t know why… maybe it’s because of articles like this that hint that only less educated women are having larger families these days. or maybe it’s because for whatever reason, i kind of feel like they must have nothing else going on for them so they might as well keep busy somehow…

why bring this up, you ask? well, because i hate being judged for not having kids. and so i don’t want to be just as bad for judging those who have an excess of them.

places babies don’t belong.

In awkward, babies in adult places, childfree, manners, new moms on October 4, 2013 at 3:08 am

  • workshops
  • pubs
  • work
  • my house
  • dinner dates
  • liquor stores
  • anywhere around where i am
  • living in condominiums
  • the gym
  • public swimming pools
  • counters
  • restaurant tabletops
  • luggage carousels
  • grocery store checkout belts
  • airplanes
  • long bus rides
  • wedding ceremonies
  • funerals
  • events where there is a speaker
  • the spa
  • class
  • lectures
  • book club
  • girls night
  • pool halls
  • casinos
  • beach resorts
  • tanning salon
  • hair salon

use your inside voice.

In awkward, babies in adult places, new moms on November 28, 2012 at 5:36 am

why is it that parents (especially the new ones) always talk about 50 decibels louder than is appropriate for the environment. it borders on some kind of manic display to convince everyone around that your baby is the cutest and that this is the best decision you’ve ever made in your life and oh, you’re just oh so happy that you’ve finally discovered what real love is…

good. you’re talking to your baby. but you don’t need to talk so loudly! babies have very sensitive ears. as do some of the rest of us.

sure, it’s a pretty one-sided conversation. but you can’t be so strapped for things to say that you need to exclaim about how wet your baby’s adorable onesie is, or how full its diaper is. learn what’s appropriate in a coffee shop, ffs.

just keep it down. that’s all.

 

workplace + childfree = i’ma go apeshit soon. 5.

In awkward, babies in adult places, childfree, heh, manners, new moms on November 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm

ok, since i read this, i’m officially finished complaining about any baby incidents at work. until something else happens.

but thank god no one at work brings their kid in every single day. like this italian mep, licia ronzulli. she started taking her baby to work at 6 months – and has continued ever since! omfg. the baby’s now a toddler and there are even pictures of her voting in parliament with her mother. let’s hope those votes don’t count.

it turns out bootsy really doesn’t have much to complain about after all.

and furthermore, why the heck is offbeat momma giving her a “two thumbs up”? there’s no explanation, only a summary of the story that originally appeared in the guardian. but i can’t imagine any situation where it would ever be ok to have a baby sitting on your lap while in parliament. either you have a job, or you’re a mom. i appreciate that women are capable of doing both, but please – if you want to be taken seriously as a professional, and to keep from marring the reputation of all womankind – please, please don’t intersect the two roles. the rest of us struggle hard enough to be taken seriously by our professional male peers.

condo baby.

In babies in adult places, childfree, heh, manners on September 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm

if you’re thinking about buying a condo, first think long and hard about whether you’re going to grow your family. your neighbours don’t want to listen to your toddler having regular evening meltdowns. just saying.

stuff n’ things.

In about me, babies in adult places, childfree, new moms on June 15, 2012 at 4:59 am

what is wrong with the people? has the world gone mad???

babies in restaurants, i’m sure, is a topic i’ve covered before on this blog. and if i haven’t, well, then i’m guilty of a monstrous error of omission.

don't change diapers in the restauranti know that parents always say, ‘never judge us until you’ve been through it yourself.’ i’m here to tell you today that i will never, ever, at any point in my life, feel that it’s ok to change a diaper in a restaurant, on the booth seat, on the table, or even on the floor anywhere near where food is consumed. if that’s what you want to do in the privacy of your house, fine. just don’t invite me over to eat. at what point to these perfectly respectable humans, raised by their parents and grandparents (now probably rolling over in their graves) to have grace and dignity, suddenly find themselves thinking, ‘hey – you know what? the bathroom’s too dirty for my little precious. i think i’ll change his little bumbum right here beside all of these other diners.’

stop it!!!

i’m here to tell parents to wake up:

  • your kids waste stinks to other people (even if you’re too whacked out by hormones to think so).
  • it’s not hygienic - pee is pee, poo is poo (i’m sorry for being crass here). i don’t want to come in contact with it and i certainly don’t want to develop any food-borne illness from your baby’s dung on my seat.
  • privates are private. i don’t want to watch some toddler running around my table in all his free-spirited glory. i would like to go out for a meal and enjoy the food, some scintillating conversation, and a relaxing atmosphere.
  • this goes for restaurants. but it also goes for airplanes, food courts, libraries, pretty much any public surface that isn’t going to regularly disinfected.

and another thing for the new moms.

i’ve said this before and i’ll say it again. new moms – don’t stand there and look around for praise all the time every single time your kid looks around. i see this wherever i go. the baby makes a cute noise and the mom looks at me with an expression saying, ‘oh he’s so precious – why are you cooing yet?’ because i’m not going to, that’s why. if i wanted my own warm little 9lb entertainment center i’d go and make one for myself (it’s not like it’s that hard to do).  i’m never going to be one of the crowd gathered around to see what ghastly noise is going to escape your precious one next. and on the airplane, when i’m sitting behind your new family, i certainly don’t want to star at your kid because he thinks it’s funny to play peekaboo over the top of the seat. in fact, i find it obnoxious and distracting from the work i usually love having the time to do when i’m travelling. is it so wrong to ask you to ask your kid to stop staring at me?

people come down on me all the time and say i’m a baby hater. i’m not. in fact, i probably treat babies and kids with more respect than a lot of parents ever will. you know why? because i treat them like people. with all of the rights that go along with that (right to privacy at bathroom time being one of those rights). i think that everyone deserves to be treated with dignity. i can’t even remember the last time i took a dump in the booth at mcdonalds.

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on another note, i’m back. i’ve been pining to updating this blog for so long. it’s been a busy few months with lots of changes. i hope you haven’t given up on me, or worse, thought i’d changed my mind about this childfree stuff. it’s a relief to finally be getting my rant back on. thanks for your patience!

in the news.

In babies in adult places, baby names, childfree, manners, new moms on January 15, 2012 at 10:35 am

i’ve come across various articles lately and put them aside to comment on later. now it’s later. i decided to compile them into one blog post for your reading pleasure.

the Baytown Symphony Orchestra recently asked parents not to bring their children to performances. i’m torn on this subject. i think it’s incredibly important to expose children to cultural events at a young age. i attended many symphonies and ballets as a young child, and loved it. however, many parents do not have the sense to gauge whether or not their kids will behave appropriately. i’ve been to too many performances when the parents and children whisper throughout the performances and the kid needs to sit on their own seat, and then on their parents’ laps, and then back on their own seat, and the go to the bathroom before the intermission… i can certainly  appreciate this ‘no minors’ stance. that is, after all, what matinees and special children’s concert series are for.

i’ve been known to have a strong opinion about the names parents are giving their children. i have to say i like this trend of naming children no after yourself or your grandparents. that is, of course, no need to give them a name that doesn’t belong to anyone else on the planet (read on to the next article…)

1. i can’t believe that weaponry has become a naming trend. didn’t guns used to be named after the men who invented them? 2. video game names? oh no. imagine if that had been the case when we were kids? how many luigis there would be today! 3. typographical symbols? no. the poor kid is going to have to spell his/her name every single time they talk to anyone. on the plus side, unique names would make for easier securing of their domain name.

i’m not sure what all the fuss is about here. i grew up watching sesame street and don’t remember a single instance of any babies eating anything on the show. what i do remember? big bird, oscar and slimey the worm. these are the exciting, not-so-everyday things that will make an impact on kids. i do agree that breastfeeding, when possible, is always best for the baby’s health – but why is this a hot topic for sesame street? i think what i’m lacking here is context – maybe i need to watch a couple of episodes.

here are some of the public’s reactions to facebook’s response to pictures of breastfeeding. unless i’m wrong, facebook has changed it’s policy around reporting inappropriate content. they’re trying to aim more for community and if you want to report something, unless it’s spam, they make you either unfriend the person or tell them yourself that it’s offensive. perhaps this whole brewhaha happened before this policy change. whatever the case, someone, somewhere didn’t appreciate having gigantic boob appearing in their news feed. and this is exactly why i tend to block people from  my news feed (without having the awkward unfriending conversation) pretty much as soon as they get pregnant. because i know stuff like this is inevitable and i know that i don’t want to see or hear about it. and let’s be frank – if you’re going to use facebook, a free service, you have to comply with their terms. if you don’t like it, go find a different social network, or create your own. just as they can shut down your account with no explanation and no chance of you ever reclaiming it, they can moderate what type of content you’re posting. user beware.

it’s as one reader states: i can’t afford a cat so i’m not going to go out and get one, expecting the government to pay for it. very little planning seems to go into having kids. i feel like i do a lot more life planning than any of my child-bearing friends. and i don’t get anything for it from the government. there’s no congratulatory, hey-good-for-you-for-making-responsible-life-decisions monthly payment or tax breaks.

ah, the best for last. i’ve long sworn off attending any baby showers whatsoever. so when i read this article i nearly flipped my lid. ok, i actually did flip (just a little). so now it’s not bad enough that we have to be awed by the woman’s gigantic belly and pregnancy tales, now we have to endure passing the ultrasound pictures around over dinner? and what if one of your best friends asked you to attend this ultrasound viewing? what would you say? (oh, i think i have a work thing that afternoon…) what also concerns me is the author’s question: ‘does this escalate the thinking held by some that a foetus should have a life of its own before birth and, therefore, have rights of its own?’ in terms of women’s reproductive rights and freedoms. if these foetuses are being viewed as individuals with rights, where does that lead the pro-choice debate?

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