Monday, October 19, 2015

Arms Wide Open...

With arms wide open Under the sunlight. Welcome to this place. I'll show you everything. With arms wide open. Now everything has changed. I'll show you love. I'll show you everything. With arms wide open. With arms wide open. –“Arms Wide Open” Creed

I do not have children. I will never have children. This is not to say that I would not have liked to be a mother. I would. I just think that it I was meant to have one, I would have had it by now. I suppose at 43, I am still physically able to have a child or that I could adopt one. However, the older I get, the less I feel as though it’s something I want to do.

Physically—let’s face it, I’ve had WLS and am planning on having extensive plastic surgery.  My obesity was like a noose around my neck, and I can’t run the risk of ever being like that again.

Fear—I hate myself for saying this. There is a part of me is that is really fearful of having a special needs child. I know that young women have special needs kids, and that that older mothers have perfectly healthy babies all the time.  Nonetheless, that is a real fear for me. 
Selfishness—right now my life is my own. I do what I want, when I want and the way that I want.  If I were to be responsible for a child, my life and the way in which I live it would have to change. I value my personal time and personal space and think that maybe, I don’t want to share it with a small person who needs me all the time.

Finances—my financial situation is a delicate balancing act. At any moment, it could all come crashing down.  Adding a child to that situation would not help matters any.

When I stop and read the words I’ve written I feel a sense of shame.  All those reasons are things that I can over come, but I just don’t think I WANT to all that much. I’m ashamed that I don’t have the “stuff” to over come those obstacles.  I am certain that NOT having had a child will be the biggest regret of my life.

At the risk of sounding like someone who subscribes to the Back-seat-drivers-school-of-parenting, I am going to say this.  I am a live functioning person, with a certain level of intellect, empathy, logic, and good old common sense.  Sure, I’m not a parent but I know certain things for fact.  Here we go:

My girlfriend Nicole has a little boy with special needs. He doesn’t brush his teeth. He’s 5, almost 6.  That’s not ok. She speaks of “picking her battles” I’m not sure what battles she’s picking. He seems to run her and their house. He’s a super picky eater. (Lots of kids are, and he’s special needs. I get it) She lets him eats what he wants and leaves it at that. I don’t need to be parent to know that her kid should be brushing his teeth. I don’t need to be parent to know that his diet is horrible and that he is going to be malnourished and vitamin deficient if this goes on much longer. He also doesn’t take vitamins. He gets lots of services, Occupational Therapy included; I’ve asked if she’s talked to them about it. She has not. And has decided that she’ll just have him put to sleep and take him to the dentist. Umm, that seems like the wrong way to go. But whatever, I’m not a parent.

My boyfriend has a daughter who is 14.  She’s basically a good kid.  A little spoiled, but really, not bad at all and I like her.  There a few things with her that I don’t understand: 

1.     She REFUSES to bathe.  
Last summer we were away for a week and she took TWO showers.  This past summer she took ONE. Getting her to bathe is a BIG DEAL. He’s started giving her an allowance—the deal is the she unloads the dishwasher (I should be getting some of that money because I do that more than she does) and takes a bath ever other day. When I found this out I said “You PAY her for bathing?” His response: “Don’t judge me, I’m doing what I have to do.” There is lots of begging, and cajoling. I don’t need to be a parent to know that you need to wash your ass every fucking day. Her hair is positively disgusting. I remember once I was standing next to her and not only could I see how gross it was, the smell was appalling.  I had to tell him and when I did, he just looked really sad and said “I know”.  You know? You know? Get the fuck out of here, “you know”. Make her wash her ass and hair!!!!! If she doesn’t there will be some kind of hell to pay. 

2.     She refers to herself as a “CWG” (Common White Girl). 
Her father is Black and her mother is Latina.  At MOST she is biracial. I don’t need to a parent to know that her referring to herself as a “CWG” will bite her in the ass, HARD one day. She’s asking to get her feelings hurt. This is his fault and I’ve told him as such. 

3.     There are no consequences to her action or inaction. 
Recently she told her mother to get the “fuck” out of her room.  Did she get punished? Did she get in trouble? Nah… she got an iPhone 6plus the following week.

I have friends who have children who don’t say hello. Doesn’t matter that Mom and Dad said to hello to April. They just don’t do it. I am all for not making your kid kiss me if they don’t want to. I was forced to kiss people and I hated it. Nothing worse then kissing a stranger who smells like coffee and Vicks Vapor rub or mothballs. But Goddamn… say hello---your parents are right there telling you that it’s ok. Anything else is rude as fuck.

I had a friend tell me once that her kid was “a little asshole” followed by a sigh and a confused laugh. Ummm that’s YOUR kid. The fact that he’s a “little asshole” is funny because?

Another friend posted a video of her daughter being a real smarty pants, down right nasty. The caption was “She doesn’t listen to me LOL” LOL? LOL? REALLY? Fuck. Outta here. You suck as a parent. 

colleague that I admire and respect admitted, proudly, that she was a "helicopter" parent.  She said if she hadn't been her kid wouldn't have gotten out of college. This kid got in trouble almost every year with something. Plagiarizing, drinking and hazing.  "I was able to get him out of every jam he got himself into". Your kid sounds like a tool.

My parents were terrible at making me feel good about myself. I grew up feeling like the love I received was conditional and that there was nothing all that special about me. In fact, not only was decidedly UN-SPECIAL, I was a tremendous disappointment.  My mother would often look at me tell me “We wasted our money on you”.  If were to call her on it now, she would say that she was only kidding.  Uh huh maybe, but that’s not what if felt like then. Interestingly enough, I now know that I am loved by my parents. However, when I needed to feel that way, I didn’t. Which is a bad thing. It affected my behavior and decision making. I’m still paying that price. So that sort of parenting is not the answer. Don’t be a dick to your kids. However…

What I am seeing now? Entitled, spoiled, rude, the whole world revolves around me, aren’t I special little bastards and I hate it. It makes me hate them but it really makes me hate the parents.

I work at a university and I have seen with my own two eyes what happens to these spoiled, entitled kids. They are disgusting to be around. I had a parent tell me that her kid shouldn’t take a class because  “He doesn’t like to write”. Oh bitch. WHAT? He’s in college. Maybe he should have gone to technical school---which is not a bad thing---I’m just suggesting that perhaps traditional college is not always for everyone. Because at this school? There is writing, which you have to do in order to graduate. What this parent doesn't realize is that she is doing her child a GRAVE disservice:

I’ve asked friends and relatives about the behavior of their children. I get the same response from just about everyone: “I pick my battles”. Followed by the look. The You-don’t-have-kids-so-you-couldn’t-know-my-struggle-look.

You got me. I don’t have kids. I have NOT A CLUE about the struggle of a parent. However, here’s what I DO know:
  •  You don’t brush your teeth? They will fall out. 
  • You don’t wash your ass and hair? They will stink. People will talk about you behind your back and eventually word will get back to you that you are the smelly kid. The “smelly kid” label is a label that sticks. Just ask Vicky Costello. She was the smelly kid of my youth. That label stuck with her till she left High School. No one knows what happened to her after that.
  • You refer to yourself as a race other than the one that you belong to? You will get found out and your feelings will get destroyed. 
  • You get your parents to pay your way through life? Eventually they won’t be able to and you’ll have to stand on your own 2 feet---and get what? You won’t be able to. 
As much as I wish that I had been a parent, a part of me is glad that I get to avoid all of this. I would HATE to think that I would have a kid that a professor would look at and think “I hate this little asshole” and that I was the one responsible for putting yet another little bitch or asshole out into the world.

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