Let me start by saying that I love my kids more than I ever thought I’d love anything. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I daydream about what my life would be like if I never had them. If my days weren’t spent reading Sandra Boynton books, attempting to teach animal sounds, telling my toddler not to get into the cupboard for the eightieth time, cutting grapes into tiny pieces, reminding my 5-year-old to go the bathroom, sweeping up Cheerios, wiping up milk, finding lost pacifiers, squeezing Polly Pockets into stupid rubber clothes, sneaking away for five minutes to text my best friend and check Facebook to see what’s happening on the outside…
Yes, sometimes I wonder if I would have had kids if I had really known what having kids entailed.
So, here is a warning for anyone who is contemplating having kids. I’m here to tell you: Don’t do it! Unless…
1. You believe the best way to spend a night is in short bursts of sleep interspersed with changing soiled bedsheets, soothing irrational fears, and locating pacifiers in the dark.
2. You can picture yourself saying things like, “Don’t put Daddy’s shoe in your mouth,” or “Please stop licking your sister!,” or “How did you get cheese in your eyebrow?”
3. You think it would be charming to have another human spit up directly in your mouth.
4. You’d enjoy eating all of your meals while attempting to balance a squirming creature on your lap.
5. You love to repeat yourself. I mean, you really enjoy having to ask someone to do something at least five times before she even acts like she hears you.
6. You loathe the concept of personal space. Really, if someone could be touching you in some way at all times, that would be best.
7. You’d like to be asked to prepare a snack for someone approximately every 20 minutes.
8. You think it’d be delightful to have a Wiggles song stuck in your head for days. (Mahshed bah-nah-nah, mahshed bah-nah-nah!)
9. You’ve always wanted to spend several tear-filled hours teaching someone with no patience the intricate art of tying one’s own shoelaces.
10. You firmly believe having someone spend four minutes painting a butterfly on a kid’s cheek is worth $15. Wait, glitter is available for an extra $3? Yes, please!
11. You can refrain from swearing audibly when you stub your toe for the third time on a toy you told someone to put away an hour ago.
12. You would find your car far more appealing if it’s backseat were coated in a sticky mixture of cracker crumbs, old juice, and broken crayons.
13. You think your abdomen is a bit too muscular. In fact, you are just too fit entirely – you should really stop going to the gym altogether.
14. You don’t think it’s unreasonable to watch the same movie 15 days in a row.
15. You’d like to do all of the Christmas shopping, wrapping, and stressing and wouldn’t even mind if all the credit went to some non-existent, bearded guy.
And most importantly,
16. You want to experience immediate, unconditional love.
So, yes, I guess I would have had my kids after all.