I know it sounds totally creepy to talk about masturbation in conjunction with anything having to do with children, but it's just for comparison of difficulty of explanation.
There's no overlap. NONE. They are discrete issues, as demonstrated by the above Venn diagram. I didn't exactly line up the circles because I had trouble with the circle-maker. But I don't think that matters.
As you see, masturbation is the blue circle and babysitting is the yellow circle, and they're floating around separately. They don't even touch. There is NO GREEN.
It just seemed like the best comparison for demonstrating attempting to explain stuff that you just can't explain to someone. In case you're ever asked to. Which you probably won't be.
And I know I'm going to get a call from Nick shortly being all, "What the hell did you put in your oatmeal this morning?"
The answer: Walnuts.
Let me sum up.
Nick is constantly telling people how amazing it is to be a parent, and how they should definitely try it if they're on the fence or even fairly solidly planted in the "don't really think we want to have kids" camp. He promotes having a baby, adoption, whatever. Just get your hands on a kid and parent him or her, because it's the best thing ever.
While I love being Jordan's mom, and I feel like my life is so much richer for it, I let people be. It's such a personal decision. And it's not like every moment is sprinkled with pixie dust.
Plus, until someone opens a baby kennel/hotel, your freedom is severely hampered for a veeery long time. Plus the money. And general every minute responsibility. And such.
So I started thinking about how impossible it would be to describe what it is like to have a child to someone who doesn't have one. Because while it's kind of like having a dog, it's so much more extreme. And a gajillion times more rewarding.
I was looking for a comparison, and I thought, well, it would be like trying to describe how much fun sex is to a virgin. How would you even begin?
But then I thought, yah, but just because you're a virgin doesn't mean you don't masturbate.
In fact, I hope you do. I mean, unless you think it'll make you go straight to hell. I'm pretty sure you won't, but I was raised a heathen, so what do I know?
Anyway. Back to the kids.
I also remembered that people babysit. That's like practice kid-having.
So if you wanted to have an idea of what it's like to have kids, you could watch one for a day, or even a whole weekend if you wanted the fire hose approach.
Going to Target for the afternoon is not good enough. You can't be able to leave while they fling themselves on the floor and screech. They have to be your responsibility.
Which made me realize that while you wouldn't have the full picture - you wouldn't get the day-to-day fun, or all the delicious joys of those small, unpredictable sweet moments, nor maybe the worst of the tantrums, in 48 or even 12 hours you'd probably get a pretty good idea of what it's like.
In the same way, with masturbation you aren't getting all the awesomeness and excitement that goes along with sex with someone...but you're also never going to be left with that I-can't-fucking-believe-I-shaved-my-legs-for-this irritation. You know? I mean, unless you are a virgin, or have only had amazing sex, in which case you don't.
Admittedly, sometimes it doesn't exactly work out despite your own best efforts, which is of course frustrating, but much less frustrating than when it works out just fine for the other person and then they're all, "That was awesome, and now I'm going to go straight to sleep!" and you're all, "Um?"
And then you totally lie there muttering epithets and thinking about stabbing them.
Which is why I'm massively in favor of premarital sex.
Because what if you didn't and you married someone selfish like that? And then if they wouldn't change, eventually you might build up so much resentment that you'd get them all drunk and set fire to them.
And then you'd probably wind up in prison. Which would suck.
All this to say, I really do think it's best that people know what they're getting themselves into.
Or maybe not. Don't let a weekend of babysitting deter you. Being a parent is wonderful.
I have this strong feeling that's my point. It seems like it could be.
Did this even make any sense? Should I just delete the whole damn thing?
Sometimes I make myself very tired.
Holy crap that's hilarious!ReplyDelete
Also, I'm kind of worried that I'm going to be a parent in several months and yet I haven't cared for a child longer than 8 hours.
Am I screwed?
I adore your randomness.ReplyDelete
Since I stopped the bc this month (more due to being tired of hormones than wanting a baby) AND we've set me being 30 as our "shit of get off the pot" deadline for babies (6 months away), this is very timely. I'm on the fence. After a happy hour last night FULL of screaming kids, B wants the Big V today! It's SUCH a hard decision. If I could get a great kid, we'd go for it today. But there aren't any guarantees....
damn that's good...tell us what you really think, why don't you?ReplyDelete
What the hell did you have with your oatmeal this morning???ReplyDelete
Ahh Nick I'd be sleeping with the fire extinguisher beside the bed if I were you just in case. lol
You made the point perfectly. I say, walnuts everyday!ReplyDelete
I conceived all four of my gems while I was on some sort of BC and never dreamed in a million years I'd be the mom of 4 kids. But apparently, God and my reproductive system had different plans. I can't imagine my life or my heart without them. And, while they do wreak havoc on every part of my sanity, my freedom and my wallet, they make my life have meaning that no animal ever did. My twin 2 year olds already do more than sit, stay and shake and definitely sleep alot less than 20 hrs a day. While I do wish the babysitter had come thru on more than one occasion, I never feel like I've missed anything!ReplyDelete
P. S. Love reading your blog Lisa, keeps me laughing! You're an awesome writer.
I totally get your point, but I'm with Nick. What the hell was in those walnuts this morning? ;-)ReplyDelete
I kind of hate people who are all "OMG! I just LOL'ed. You're so funnnnnyyyy!" But damn. I did just laugh out loud. And you are hilarious.ReplyDelete
Proselytizing about anything is tiring for others. Unless you're proselytizing about the benefits of masturbation, which you've outlined nicely above.ReplyDelete
Some people should never be parents. Most people, however, benefit from the occasional masturbatory session if only to avoid making really bad choices that might, in the extreme, make them parents.
You are hilarious. Keep it up! BTW, those walnuts may have been irradiated. I'm just sayin'...
I think there are way too many bad parents out there. Please don't encourage people who are not sure they want to have kids to have kids.ReplyDelete
I'm in the same boat as Miss Dallas - except a few weeks instead of a few months, and still no practice changing a diaper.ReplyDelete
Laying in bed with Nathan this morning (or ummm, at 1 p.m.) I got all choked up thinking we have maybe four more weekends just us, and where we are so leisurely that reading the newspaper is my main activity of the day.
So, don't delete your post...I need to keep hearing that being a parent will be wonderful!
Miss Dallas - You are going to be GREAT. You're a kind, loving person, and you've already cared for a child for 8 hours, which is 8 hours ahead of where I was when I had J. Admittedly, it is hard as all hell in the beginning and for me it took a while to think it was fun, but it is, it's so much fun.ReplyDelete
Tia - I completely understand your age deadline, but I also wouldn't get all stressed out about it. You totally have time to decide. You would have an awesome kid, because, as my friend Jane told me years ago, you get the kid that suits you. And whoever your kid is, I've come to the conclusion that you think it's the most amazing kid on the planet.
jill - I do struggle with voicing my feelings, I know. I'm working on it.
Go-Betty - Ha, he's safe. I totally checked him out before considering a marriage proposal. :)
kayare - Hugs for that! Thank you!
Melanie - Oh, hi hi hi! I'm so excited that you read my blog! You have a gorgeous family! I know - life is easier without kids, and I didn't feel like I was missing anything, but I feel like I have so much MORE than I did. It's exhausting, and so rich and delicious as well.
Keenie Beanie - I must mention that there was also some flax seed and blackberries in there.
Hillary - That makes me really happy! Thanks!
Stevie - Hahaha - I don't know. My acupuncturist said I need more protein, so I now have a giant bag from Costco.
And you are so right - there are lots of people who should just go ahead and wank rather than impregnating someone.
lacochran - I think the people who are rationally considering it beforehand are likely to be better parents than the ones who just rush in blindly or accidentally. But I could be completely wrong.
frugalveganmom - I was terrified of changing diapers, and it turns out to be very straightforward. There's no big trick to wiping off poo and smearing on butt cream and putting on a diaper.
It is true that your life is going to change oh so radically, and I do miss the days of tea and Sunday paper in bed for hours and hours. I never understood when parents would sigh nostalgically about their pre-kid lives, but in the next breath say they could never imagine their lives without their child...but now I do. I miss aspects of the old but Jordan is my world and I like it that way.
You might be tired. But I'm laughing. Thanks for that.ReplyDelete
This makes perfect sense to me.ReplyDelete
Also, my pretend kid puked all over me on Sunday afternoon. I think that counts as some real parenting practice.