A Public Service Announcement for Parents

Parents: we need to have a quick chat.

Look, we get that you love your kids. Really, we do. That’s why we read your umpteen updates on Facebook that alert us to your daily agendas, which include ballet lessons, karate lessons, bible school, and that “healthy” dinner of Hamburger Helper made with light sour cream.

And we love your kids because we love you. So, we’re kind of obligated.

Know that, despite our not being inclined towards kids, hearing your story about them FINALLY having a firm bowel movement after a week of diarrhea, or that their first words was “This,” even though we’re pretty sure that you just heard one of their gibberish words and glommed on to whatever word it most sounded like, there are limits.

So we ask you, a quid pro quo. We will continue to listen to your endless tales about the size of the corn kernels in their crap, if you understand a few things on our end:

1. Your kid’s growth percentile: First of all, we don’t give a shit that you have a fat baby. You may not realize this, but like, literally all kids that we hear about are above the 80% growth percentage, and you’re not somehow fooling us into thinking that you have this unusual baby who’s showing early signs of a competitive edge. To be clear, that doesn’t mean that all kids are above your kid’s percentile, it means that we are apparently not friends with deadbeats who starve their kids. And it seems that stupid percentile chart don’t mean much anyways.

2. If you want us to be even slightly interested in your kid’s progress, stop giving us your kid’s age in months after the first year. We do not care enough about your baby to do math in our heads. Especially if we’ve been drinking. Which, in order to listen to an hour-long discussion on baby poop, we probably have been.

3. EVERYONE’S FUCKING KID IS WEARING A BIGGER SIZE THAN DESIGNATED ON THE CLOTHING LABEL. Can we agree that, like, every 3 month old is probably wearing clothing for a 6 month old? And seriously, how fucked up is it that we place such value on fat babies, and stick thin teens/young adults. Warped.

4. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT, start a sentence with, “Tell Jess about your trip to the __________________”. End it with whichever trip you’d like: zoo, park, San Diego, France, a bukkake house. I have several friends who tell their kids, “Tell Jess about your trip to the zoo.” and then I have to sit there while their kid, who is barely fluent in our language, takes 15 minutes to tell me about a trip to an establishment with which I disagree anyways. Put it this way: I give more of a shit about the welfare of those caged polar bears than your kid and his misguided learnings about how it is perfectly ok to make a mockery of wild animals who are being forced to live in a fake habitat for human amusement. Do not make us sit through your kid’s shitty, garbled, grammatically incorrect stories about trips and adventures.

We all know that, with the fact that he’s in the 90th percentile and wearing clothing for kids 6 months his senior, he’s destined for a sad future on “The Biggest Loser” anyways. Let’s not operate under the pretense that he’s remotely interesting.

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WINK Wednesday: A Review of Jen Kirkman’s Hilarious Book About Being Child Free, “I Can Barely Take Care of Myself”

Me: I need like, an hour warning before you come home from work today so that I can shower.
CAH: k…
Me: I realize that sounded shady as shit. I want to have dyed my hair and already showered before you get home, but I’ve been reading that new book by Jen Kirkman, so I am procrastinating doing it.
CAH: Oh ok!

This is what happens when I am half-reading, half-IM’ing my husband. I sound like I’m trying to get my side piece out of the house, and shower in time for the husband to come home.

I knew I wanted to do a review of Kirkman’s book for WINK Wednesday as soon as I heard about it, because it is about choosing not to have kids from a very funny lady who I first heard on my second favorite podcast, Ronna & Beverly. Since it IS WINK Wednesday, and this book involves not having kids, it seemed the perfect pairing.

Jen-Kirkman-Book-Cover-ICBTCOM

Speaking of pairing, WINK Wednesday means that there must be wine involved. I’d say this book pairs well with a wine juice box and some Vicodin.

BEFORE I CONTINUE THIS REVIEW THAT INCLUDES MY OWN COMMENTARY:

I want to mention some great mom friends to whom the upcoming commentary does not apply*:

1. Persephone

2. Spectacu-tits

3. Misty

4. Blah blah

5. Tanqueray Trickmommy ***

6. Magic Mountain **

7. Ham Sandwich

8. El Chupa Mombra

9. Shannon

* In the interest of privacy, I have changed all their names. But those of you mom friends reading this, you know who you are and feel free to assign yourself whichever name you’d like.

** Yes, I know, this is the name of a sexual position. It’s actually how her kid was conceived.

*** To S: I know you will want to be Tanqueray Trickmommy, but in my head, you’re Spectacu-tits.

Jen Kirkman hit the sperm on the pill-protected egg when it comes to being a woman who doesn’t want kids in today’s overly-obsessed baby society (that sounds obnoxiously book-reportish, but I’ve rewritten it at least 6 times, so it surprisingly sounds less book-reportish than the original sentence). It’s like she emptied my brain and put it on paper, but peppered it with her own stories, which are way more interesting than mine.

Here are some key takeaways from Kirkman’s book:

1. Pretending you are a few weeks pregnant at a nail salon may just get you some free neck massages AND a free mani/pedi from the overly-baby-enthusiastic salon workers, which is fucking brilliant. (Don’t judge. How many of you pretended you were pregnant just to get your ex-boyfriend to call you back? This is nowhere near that on the “Fucked up things you’re trying to get out of faking a pregnancy” scale)

2. I’m not the only one who finds that mothers inappropriately talk about their own bodily functions, as if the rest of us non-parents are OK with listening. I totally get that, once you’ve given birth and all of your self-pride and ability to be embarrassed are out the door because you’re crotch-up in front of an audience with every concievable bodily fluid spurting out like a Twirly Whirly Sprinkler, you have a way different view on bodily functions. But for the love of God, stop feeling free to be flatulent in front of me, or talk to me about you pooping. Because I have not had a drink of that Kool-Aid and I find it disgusting.

3. My favorite quote of the book: “I think that childfree by choice is the new gay. We’re the new disenfranchised group. People think we’re irresponsible, immoral sluts and that our lifestyle is up for debate.” THANK YOU! I know, you’re reading this thinking, “But being gay isn’t a choice and having kids is.” It’s all about how we live our lives and what makes us happy. If having kids makes you happy, great, but don’t assume it’s for everyone.

Jen Kirkman has some great new insight into the life of women (and men) who don’t want kids, but perhaps what I love best is that she echoes a lot of things that many of us DINKS/WINKS have been saying for ages. I find the echoed sentiment just as important as her own unique insight because I’m hoping that, if enough of us unite and continue to repeat the same stupid questions and commentary we get, eventually it will get back to the twat waffle moms and, the minute they open their mouths to regurgitate their proclamations over how we are wasting our lives, they will realize it is, in fact, cliche at this point, and just shut it.

The truth is, there are a lot of great moms out there who aren’t self-righteous twat waffles. And in reality, self-righteous twat waffle moms are just self-righteous twat waffles in general, but now they have a new lens through which to project their twat-waffliness.

And let me end with something that has been popping up a lot recently: those of you saying that being a parent is an underappreciated job, or a full time job, or a thankless job. I’m actually not going to debate that you’re probably unappreciated, overworked and totally tired. I just wanted to let you know the definition of job, because I think you are confusing “job” with “self-imposed responsibility.” A job is a “paid position of regular employment” (dictionary.com). It is where one trades goods and/or services for money. Unless your baby is helping me pick out a cardigan to go with my new red Gap jeans, this is not a job. Your child is of absolutely no service to me or society. And don’t give me the whole, “Well, s/he could someday cure cancer,” because s/he may also be the future Florida face eater or Joseph Kony (I finally got to mention that guy’s name and can now point to a useful reason that I watched that fucking video).

It is a responsibility of huge magnitude, there is no denying that. But it won’t be long before your kid asks you for a new pet. You will likely grant that child their request, on the condition that they promise to help take care of it. When, 3 months down the line, the kid complains about the responsibility because it is cramping their X-box/dolly dress up time, you will remind them that it is something that they wanted and that it is their responsibility. So for those of you complaining now, let us remind you that, those kids are something that you just HAD to have and we TOLD you it was going to be a big responsibility when you drunkenly confided in us over martinis that you stopped taking your pill a month ago and hadn’t told your husband. We are not going to applaud your decision for having unprotected sex just because your suddenly feeling unappreciated for your choices. We TOLD you!

To the above mentioned 9 ladies I know personally, you’re all doing a great job, don’t change a thing.

Get Jen Kirkman’s book, I can barely take care of myself.