I yearned for children for six years before Ali was born, and two of those years were spent desperately trying to get pregnant, then a few years later, we spent another year trying to get pregnant with Noah.

But. Had I known then what I know now, there are things that would have helped me pass my time of waiting with a wee bit more patience.

So I thought it would do the world a kindness to share these things. To help young couples to be patient. And to set realistic expectations.

On the Pondering of Offspring

For instance.

♦ When young couples yearn for the experience of parenthood, I don’t think that they put enough thought into the relative size of baby boogers, baby nostrils, and their own pinkie fingernail. Because Infant Booger Extraction is perhaps the most necessary yet impossible task ever required by the human race.

♦ Also. Do people ever consider the number of times that they’ll have to shove a rectal thermometer into a toddler’s butt to dislodge a stuck turd? Because some kids panic when things make it halfway out. And that’s where you come in.

♦ There are two words that should, but don’t, strike fear into every human on the planet. Swim Diapers. Swim Diapers alone should add a year onto one’s child-free life.

♦ Have they thought about the fact that they’ll never hear another song that overuses the phrase “all night long” and not think about a colicky baby? Because it’s not nearly as much fun to party all night long with an infant. But it actually does occur, as opposed to the implication of all of those songs, which also happens to be what creates those babies that actually do keep you up all night long.

(Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?)

♦ Limo Glass. Or Taxi Glass – whichever you want to call it. Once you have kids, you will wonder at least once a week why all cars are not outfitted with soundproof glass to separate the front and back seats.

♦ Once one’s toddler has, on the stairs in a high-traffic downtown building, leaned down with lightning speed and licked a black spot, one can never look at the floor in the same way ever again. Or a toddler’s mouth.

On the Pondering of Offspring
Are you ready to be responsible for the human that would willingly taste this?


CRS. Or Continual Repeat Stage. I have recently been exposed to CRS-C for the first time, and it is a dangerous strain indeed – it is when the toddler in question makes repetitive statements in a completely unchanging monotone that is loud enough to be unignorable, but quiet enough to chip away at deep, subconscious levels of sanity, AND DOESN’T QUIT WHEN ANSWERED OR SATIATED.


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy? Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Is this Seven Bridges Road Mommy?


Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy? Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy? Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy? Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy? Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy? Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy? Can you turn on Seven Bridges Road again Mommy?


I wonder if young couples spend any time pondering the fact that brain cells formerly occupied by thoughts of their own will now be occupied entirely with trying to find all matching pieces to toys, trying to keep up with the various identities and characteristics of your child’s imaginary friends, and wondering what’s really going on between The Man With the Yellow Hat and Professor Wiseman.

♦ I wonder if people desiring to be parents realize that one day, their innocent flower of a child is going to pick up a heavily used athletic cup at the Thrift Store, and only after studying it for a minute and a half, turning it over and over in their plump, soft little hands, will bring it to your attention to ask what it is and why it’s so greasy.

(For the record, I did that one to my Mom. And I still remember the complete inescapability of that greasiness.)

And finally, I wonder if young couples realize that no matter how many times a week they do CrossFit, they cannot possibly be in shape enough to wrestle an unbroken Wildebeest, which is the skill required to clip a male toddler’s toenails.

So. Are kids worth it?

Every single stinkin’ (literally) moment.

But it never hurts to have a realistic vision.

On the Pondering of Offspring

27 thoughts on “On the Pondering of Offspring.

  1. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or clap or just slowly nod in agreement. Each statement till the last is 200% true. Thanks for the smile ths morning.

  2. Poor little guy – did you ever think that maybe he was paying attention to the road you were traveling on? Maybe he loves that road? Maybe you just didn’t understand?

  3. The subject of limo glass was brought up twice in the last week in our car. WHY WHY WHY is this not a standard feature!!!

  4. We’ve been married six years and don’t have kids, and may not ever have kids (for a lot of reasons, one of which is a genetic disorder I’m a carrier of). Another thing that put a nail in the proverbial kid coffin was when my then-21-year-old boyfriend’s mom (now my mother-in-law) had a surprise third child at age 45.

    My husband was a regular babysitter for about two years while he finished grad school, and I think previously he’d had a lot more abstract view of babies and toddlers. After he saw reality and got an idea of just how much work kids can be, his “no rush” turned into “well… maybe we’ll adopt someday”.

    1. If it’s any consolation, it is more rewarding to take care of one’s own child than someone else’s. Even when poo and Black-Spot-Licking are involved.

  5. Hahaha, these are so true I don’t know whether to laugh or cry! But people trying to have a baby won’t believe you. All they see is beautiful, snuggly, soft little fingers and toes that you kiss every moment and rock to a peaceful sleep each night. That’s how I felt when I was wanting a baby so badly and trying to get pregnant. Now I know the bitter truth! :)

  6. I don’t have kids yet, but every day I feel the urge to have a baby. But after I’m actually around children (which is rare), I feel the urge dampened somewhat as I realize, “man, kids are annoying.” But it always comes back. I can’t help it.

  7. I pulled a dried booger out of Roark’s hair yesterday, and I didn’t give it a second thought. I’ve picked his nose for him so many times in the past four years that it doesn’t even register anymore. :)

    1. Children become an extension of ourselves, in that way. Whatever we have to do for ourselves, we have to do for them, and we get over it!

  8. hahahaha I LOVE THIS! I can TOTALLY relate to SO.MANY.OF.THESE!

    CRS is driving me out of my mind right now! (Especially since thing 2 is now repeating everything that thing 1 (the 3 yr old) says, i live in a world of broken records. Ha!)

    I’m glad to know that I am not the only one having to wrestle a wildebeest to clip toe nails (although this also extends to using an inhaler, taking a rectal temperature, AND utilizing a snot-sucker bulb).

    I also think pre-children adults should consider the enormity of the explosive diaper syndrome (EDS) prior to having children… this was QUITE a shock to me (and still is on occasion).

    BTW I wouldn’t trade my kids for the world (except maybe for a brief nap), and I agree that every bit of it is 100% worth it!

  9. JC and I have discussed the necessity of glass barriers in cars many a time. It should come standard in minivans at the very least.

  10. This was encouraging and depressing as we are dealing with a 2 week old who is not wanting to sleep. I’m encouraged that its worth it and yet depressed that they don’t get any easier :) I will have to come back and read this in 2 years so I can know that my kid is normal.

    Ps every time I pump it tells me something different. I’m growing quite fond of conversations with that machine (sign of sleep deprivation?)

    1. It does get better. EVERYTHING is easier than dealing with an infant that doesn’t want to sleep, because you can handle any situation better when YOU’VE had sleep. So I promise – it gets WAY better!

      Seriously though – if you need a super-honest, I-promise-I’ve-had-every-crazy-thought-that-you-are-having-right-now Mom to talk to, I will give you my number. First babies are a shock to the system, but I promise it gets better.

      1. Thanks for the encouragement! It’s hard to see even to tomorrow sometimes, but I know that it won’t be like this forever. And I don’t want to wish away the little bitty baby stage….hopefully he’ll remember how to sleep and we’ll be on track soon. It does make you crazy sometimes though :)

        1. And PS I think I will take you up on an honest talk sometime. This kid is humbling me and making me admit that I can’t do it all by myself!

  11. Haha(: my desire to have children is still going strong! Also, I’m around children like yours all the time… and it always makes me sad to leave.

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