Friday, June 1, 2012

people with children irritate me

My DH and I are in the late stages of negotiation on fencing for the front yard (he wants a fortified ten-foot stockade and I want a 30-inch white picket fence; we're approximately meeting in the middle) and so I am on the hunt for stockade (i.e., solid) board fencing in five-by-eight foot panels with a concave profile on each panel.  Nobody seems to sell this; at least, not anybody around here.  So, clearly, I need to go to the Community Forklift, but this is a mysterious and fascinating place that lots of people have an interest in seeing, so I think I should go with a group.  And my friend who is always game to look for house and antique stuff isn't even answering emails or text messages, because she just had a stupid baby and will never be interesting again.

I even found her a truly fantastic stove on craigslist - she wants electric, so she was going to settle for a reproduction, and I found her an original electric stove from the 1920s with new wiring.  For $1450 less than her budget for said item.  After she didn't answer that email, I sent it to her husband (because who knows how long this thing will be available, and I bet they really do want to know), and he responded, "Thanks for thinking of us."  Which is sweet and all, but it means he didn't open the link.  Or probably even read the email.

Well, it's their $1450.

Of course, many of my friends without children have failed to be adequately interesting to go to thrift stores or flea markets with me, which is ALSO boring, but this girl is an antique nut.  Was an antique nut.  When (if) she resumes her antique-shopping ways, no doubt they will be ordered around breastfeeding and naptime, and if I want to go with her I can expect to have conversations about Chippendale legs and mortise-and-tenon joinery interrupted with neverending Tales of Maternal Bliss, punctuated by Tales of Maternal Woe, punctuated by a screaming infant.

I need to actually start work on befriending the local gay community.  I know some of those people are into antiques.


  1. And that's one of the reasons I have gay friends: not much chance of them having a baby! :)

  2. Hopefully you don't find a gay couple that happens to have a kid -- I have a gay friend that seems to have invented motherhood.

    If you lived closer I'd go shopping with you. :)

  3. Granted, your situation merits magnitudes more frustration than mine, but I am experiencing something similar. I have a friend who absolutely coddles her baby and cannot do hardly anything for fun anymore. And if she does, always with baby in tow, the little one screams bloody murder if you so much as look at her at the wrong moment. And never have I experienced someone making breastfeeding the least attractive thing in the world. That nearly 6 month old girl eats almost constantly, must have silence, and only will eat for mere minutes at a time before getting cranky. Such is the effect of coddling.

    I'll pray your friend settles into parenting well, can get out of the house and not talk only of her child, and doesn't end up being lame.

  4. Wish you were closer, I'd go antiquing with you.

  5. I love antiquing! But alas, I have do have to work around nap's true :(. Sounds like you might be on to something with the gay friends, lol.

    And Meg, how exactly do you over coddle a 6 month old?

  6. Meg, it's probably less coddling and more colic. Either that, or it's another growth/developmental spurt. Some kids eat constantly when one of these is about to hit. You can't spoil an infant with too much coddling. Toddlers are another story. :)

    Speaking for the one with children, it is hard to find a balance between the life that you once had and the one you have now. You really have to work to maintain your own identity while raising a child. It takes some doing. Mind you, going antiquing for an hour or two or three and letting the LO at home with daddy would be an excellent way to do that assuming the LO can take a bottle. That personally sounds like fun.

  7. With all due love and respect, if people want to have a mommy-wagon-circling, you're going to have to do it elsewhere.

    (1) You can coddle an infant if you deliberately (or stupidly, but I think it's usually deliberate) mis-evaluate its needs so that you can make your response seem more essential. I have anecdotal evidence that this correlates with PPD, but I'm sure it also correlates with being a flake. That's not to say that infants don't HAVE high needs. But there is perspective, and some mothers deliberately abandon that to draw increased attention to themselves and their status as mothers. I didn't say all...unless you have signed a joint defense treaty with all other mothers (in which case you can enact that on your own blog), you need to develop perspective when responding to comments about mothering behavior. My stepmother, who became truly unhinged by the time she was out of her first trimester with my sister and has gotten steadily crazier since, would LEAP OUT OF THE SHOWER with shampoo in her hair and eyes because she heard my 3-month-old sister crying. My sister had been fed, changed, and rested moments before my stepmother started her (very rapid) shower; she was crying because she got cranky whenever she couldn't SEE my stepmother. And that was why my stepmother was leaping out of the shower, even though she hadn't showered in a week, and even though my other sister and I (both adults) had not set the baby down since my stepmother got in the shower. She had to respond in that irrational way so that she could demonstrate to anybody who was listening that she was THE MOST NECESSARY PERSON ON THE PLANET and the baby COULD NOT LIVE WITHOUT HER, even for ten minutes. That crying wasn't idle; the baby was DYING without her mother there. Guess what baby didn't learn to sleep out of her parents' bed until she started school? Right. She wasn't manipulative at 3 months, just selfish and flimsy (like every 3-month-old), but of course she became manipulative very rapidly. It's the adult's job to separate needs from wants and decide when wants have to be let slide for a bit in view of other priorities. Some adults don't want to do that. Those adults raise children whom all other humans hate.

    (2) News flash: MEG HAS AN INFANT.

  8. I may be stoned for saying this, being the ignorant childless that I am, but I absolutely learned first-hand while nannying a 2-month old through 14 month-old for an average of 14 hrs a day, that indeed, the child could be (and was) over-coddled. I had that kid eating, playing, napping, etc. without so much as a fuss but when its over-coddling mother or grandmother tried, it was met with screams of bloody murder and subsequent coddling.
    But in either event... yeah, I don't even speak to my old friend who has 2 kids and 1 on the way, anymore. She's always on playdates. I'm not invited. I wonder why.

  9. PS, the lesbians 2 doors down from me (with whom I get along swimmingly) are always talking about how they very purposefully chose never to have kids. Um... really?? Cuz I sorta thought that was already a given, since you're a lesbian, and all.
    (It always pisses me off when they say it.)

  10. Misfit, I'm sorry we disagree. Please understand: I like you - I really do - and I respect you, but news flash: I have a toddler, and I know you know that: you've commented on my blog before.

    Some infants are high needs to begin with, but that doesn't make them coddled. Believe me, I studied up on this a lot to limit any possibility of my daughter's becoming a spoiled brat. However, once children grow to an age where they're aware that they are separate beings from their parents and the world at large and they can manipulate their parents, then it's possible to both coddle and spoil them. What that age is varies by child, but it generally doesn't start until they enter the toddler years.

    But again, I think it's a wonderful idea for parents to be able to get away from their children now and then just to be adults and retain some sense of themselves.

  11. PfH, I've made no comments on your raising of your daughter, which no doubt has been flawless. I note you are commenting on my sister - whom you've never met. She's going to have a very hard life, which will be a burden on me and the rest of my family, because of how she WASN'T raised. I'm glad you feel your toddler makes you an expert on all possibilities for what other parents you've never met have or haven't done, and that you know better than Meg, who also has a child, and TCIE, who's studied early childhood education. But you're wrong. Have a lovely day!