On Family Planning

>> Nov 10, 2009

    I went through my entire adolescence and early twenties adamant that I was not, under any circumstances, having children.  Ever.  And then of course I met the man, etc etc, yadda yadda yadda, and it all changed.  Suddenly the thought of procreating and popping out lots of little me and hims was the most wonderful thing in the world.  I didn't just want one or two, I wanted seven or eight.  I wanted to fill the house with them.  I really couldn't think of anything nicer.  Maybe I was making up for all that lost time of wanting them in my youth. 
    And so we had the first, a little girl, and I found out very quickly how much work it is.  How draining, tiring, and demanding they are.  How was I ever going to get anything done again with this little person hanging off my trouser leg all day along?  People started encouraging me to have another.  I thought they were mad but they had one cunning and effective argument.  It was easier when there were two.  Two could play together, they said.  Two would entertain themselves, they said.  And so, we had another.
    It seems however that I neglected to read the small print in this argument. 
    Yes, whilst they do for the most part entertain themselves, I certainly don't have much extra time on my hands.  All that 'free time' they talked of so enticingly is now spent cleaning up after them as they run amok, always one room ahead in the endless 'lets trash the house' game.  It is whiled away splitting up arguments and fights and removing the dangerous things -like the odd knife, electric wire or nuclear warhead- that the eldest has just handed to the youngest to play with, or hiding in a corner with my fingers in ears singing 'La, la, la, I can't hear you.'
    As I find myself pulling out more and more grey hairs in the bathroom mirror, not showering for days on end because I just don't want to waste my precious free minutes doing something so mundane and counting down the years until I can legitimately throw them out on the street to start looking after themselves -bearing in mind that they are only 1 and 3 at this point- I am beginning to think that maybe I had the right idea in the first place.  And so I have reached this stage.

Yup, the stage of packing up all baby things and too small clothes to sell or otherwise dispose of after realising that never again do I wish to swell up like a balloon, carry around then push out of my vagina something that at the time feels like a small hippopotamus and then spend the next countless years cleaning it, cleaning up after it and feeding it.  My mental health just couldn't take another one.
    And whilst the feeling of relief at having made the decision is enormous, I still couldn't help oohing and ahhing over the tiny and oh so cute baby clothes whilst asking myself the two inevitable questions.  'How did they ever fit it to such tiny little clothes?' and 'How the fuck have we accumulated so much crap in three short years?'
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