I want to note, before I begin this post two separate things. First, I will be referenceing my previous post "Give Me an NC-21" you might want to skim it first. Also, and I know there will be a lot of people out there who are going to make this assumption: I don't hate children. In fact, I quite like children of a certain age. I just like the idea of enjoying their company and sending them on their way. There are a lot of reasons for this. But keep in mind, I DO LIKE CHILDREN. No part of this post should be construed as me saying having children is bad or that children are evil. I simply do not want any.
So here we go. As you can judge by my preface, Kitten,Oscelot and I are child-free. This is a decision that we made as a family, after much discussion. Part of it is that children who have parents of an alternative affinity orientation have a difficult time adjusting. I know that there are a lot of successful gay parents out there and I applaud them every day. I really do. Unfortunately, there is a lot of "otherness" to deal with when you are a child who was either conveived or adopted by two (or in our case)three women in a relationship. We live in what is most likely the most conservative part of the US and I don't think it would be fair to subject a child to that kind of heartache.
One of the other reasons is that Kitten is not terribly partial to children. She needs them in very small doses and they have to be well behaved.
The third reason is the cause of this post: I think if I had a child they would hate me. For a lot of reasons. I know that I would be a terribly over-protective, over indulgent but incredibly strict parent. This isn't a great combination for most children of the 2k generation.
Some of the things I think that would cause our children to dislike me:
1. Decisions about activities would be made as a family. If my children (we'll call them Joe and Sally) want to go to a friends house, we decide as a family. This means Sally can't ask Kitten, get a no, and then come ask me. It also means all parents have equal responsibility for the children, which I think would likely make us more strict. I would be a strict parent, Oscelot would be a strict parent and I'm pretty sure our kids would nickname Kitten "Hitler" behind her back.
2. Books, Movies, Video Games and Television shows will be screened. Heavily. I know kids wouldn't like this because I didn't like it as a kid. My parents were strict. There was no Simpsons in my house. I didn't watch an episode until I was nearly 17. Beevis and Butthead (yeah, I'm showing my age) were curse words in my home. Any book my children read would be read by me first. I would expect to go see movies and watch television shows before my kids got to see them. That way if I were to drop Jow and his friends off at the movie theater I would be able to ask them about specifics of the movies. No sneaking into higher rated movies for my kids, no sir, no mam. Questionable video games would be reviewed by us as parents and by friends I know who are into video games. I'm not giving my 7 year old child a video game where the object is to kill people or steal cars.
Now, I'm not saying video games and movies cause violence. That's like saying frogger causes jaywalking. What I am saying is there is a certain level of maturity that is required to understand certain books and movies. If my kids want to kill for fun, I'll teach them to hunt, and actually respect the life you are taking.
3. Outdoor activities would be encouraged, heavily. This is another one from my childhood. If I wanted to read on a nice day, I had to go sit on a blanket outside. Active children are more healthy and as a family they would be required to bond with us while we hike, canoe, or fish.
4. Dress would be monitored. Now, I wouldn't be nearly as strict as my parents and grandparents. Pants were not something a lady never wore. Frills were encouraged. In the grand scheme of nature versus nurture, I can almost see why I went crazy with the butch clothes when I was eighteen. Then again, now I actually like wearing skirts and dresses.
BUT I do not approve of the clothes that most of the children wear now. Sally will not be allowed to wear skirts that show her little underoos. There is no reason for there to be little girl thongs for sale at the mall. And I'm not kidding, they make them. Low cut tops aren't okay. Showing your belly is not okay.
My son is not going to be wearing baggy pants and sideways hats. He will dress like a clean-cut young man. If he wants clothes from nice or popular places at the mall, that is fine, but he will, by god, wear clothes that fit.
When my children get old enough to buy their own clothes, they will still be on approval. I will require receipts and proof of purchase from my children so inappropriate clothes can be returned. I understnad the want to fit in, but Sally will not look like a slut and Joe will not look like a giggolo. No sir, no mam.
5. My children will only go to age-appropriate restaurants. See my previous post Give me an NC-21. That does not mean I would give up going to nice restaurants. That means my children would be going with schoolmates and their parents (we would rotate of course) to an age appropriate restaurant while we go somewhere we want to go. And they will be taught table manners. There will be no "WE WANT ICE CREAM" shouted at the table. There will be no throwing food on the floor unless they want to clean it up, once they are old enough.
6. If we go on vacation somewhere that the children would not be able to behave, they will stay with family or friends. Now I am all about Disney World and trips to national parks and stuff like that. I want my children to have a good time and a lot of memories of going cool places with their family. But if I want to go with the ladies to The Louvre my kids are not coming with me. 5 year old Sally will not appreciate the Mona Lisa. Joe is not going to understand the importance of the Eiffel Tower at 10. They will stay home.
7. Friends and friend's households will be screened. I know some kids can't help their family. I get it. They can come to our house. But my children won't go to the homes of people who do drugs, or who won't clean, or who allow their children to run wild. It takes them out of the safe environment that I have created for them and give tehm liscence to do stupid stuff when I'm not looking.
8. Jobs will be mandatory at age 17. Work builds character.
9. You will earn your first vehicle. And no, it won't be a BMW or Lexus.
10. When you want a new toy, or outfit, or something frivolous, you will make your case to me and tell me why you want or need it. If we decide you do, you will take an old outfit, toy or equal frivolous thing and donate it to charity. It's important to remember that there are people less fortunate than you in the world.
11. Our children will eat healthy food. Cake is not a breakfast food. Its not even someting you get on a regular basis. Candy is a treat, not a food group. Chips will be an occasional snack. We would bar far prefer that our children eat vegetables and fruit. There will be no "I don't like that's" unless I'm certain you have tried it first. Also, you will clean your plate. I don't work hard to put food on the table so you can throw it in the trash or feed it to the cats. And dinner will take place at the table. Sally and Joe will set the table and help with dishes afterwards. Eating out is a luxury. Kiteen Oscelot and I don't eat fast food as a general rule, so our kids won't be getting a lot of happy meals when we don't feel like cooking.
12. My teenage children will have a curfew. And it won't be midnight either. If you are late you will call or all prileges will be taken away. Permission will be given before they go out. We will have contact numbers for the other children in the group of friends they are out with. When there is a sleepover, we will be calling to check and make sure the parents are home. I'm not stupid, I did that stuff as a teenager.
13. If you have a cell phone, it will have limited text and calling. You will not take it to school with you. You will not take it to bed with you. It will be given to me at the end of the night to charge in my bedroom. You will not password protect your phone, and we better know everyone in your phone contact list.
This is only the beginning of a long list of things I am pretty sure my child would hate me for. And chances are, they would do things to hurt me and themselves in an attempt to retaliate. I don't want this to happen. Honestly. I think it is a much better option for me not to have children at all.
I'll make a great godmother/godaunt whatever. I'll buy candy and take to amusment parks and the theater and all that once they are old enough. I'll go to ball games and plays and buy flowers and tonka trucks. But you get to keep them.
Love your kids, those that have them