Beyond Babedom

We're (way) over 40. Deal with it.

PANK You Very Much

There is nothing more annoying to a woman without kids than getting the “So, when are you going to have a baby?” inevitable (and rude) question. Or so I thought. Now that I’m well past “child bearing age” (in other words, older than dirt), people don’t bother to ask that question anymore, though they do get the oh-you-poor-thing-you’ll-never-know-the-joys-of-motherhood weepy-eyed look when the subject of kids comes up between us.

And I do mean “come up” as in regurgitation, because now I’m sick and tired of hearing about everyone’s kids and grand kids and what they’re playing and how gosh darn cute they are and . . . you get my drift. Not to say I’ve got anything against kids. Hey, I was once one myself. But  PANKs (Professional Aunt; No Kids) like me want to know: When do we get to stop hearing these stories?

Look, there is a reason, other than bad biology, that many of us don’t have kids. It’s because we chose not to. We didn’t want the responsibility, we didn’t want the inconvenience. We wanted to be selfish and now everyone around us is trying to make us pay! I’m actually pretty lucky. Most of my friends actually have a healthy approach to parenthood. . .which includes not subjecting me to constant updates on Allison’s braces or Timmy’s ADHD.  Some of my friends still have small kids; but most of them don’t dwell on them (and I  can enjoy the occasional update). That’s not my complaint. It’s all this obsession over kids’ day-to-day that drives me bananas.

Did our parents ever spend this much time discussing our grades or being at our after-school practices? I think not. I don’t think anyone’s mother ever come to a cheerleading practice. . . and if she had, the girl in question would have been embarrassed as hell. And we turned out okay. So, what’s this with the “I have to go to every practice or. . .” Or what? Your kid will suffer irreparable harm? You’ll be singled out as the only uncaring parent? Your kid will think you don’t love her?

Please. What I realize about kids and teens today is that what they lack is not parental involvement. . . no, no, no; they have too much of that. What they really lack are social skills. Maybe if some of these mothers and fathers had dinner with their kids and watched TV with them instead of letting them watch their own personal TVs in their rooms (or spending hours online or texting) their sons and daughters might actually learn to have a conversation with an adult that wasn’t grunts and sighs. Even when they’re with their friends they spend so much time sending each other text messages they don’t ever bother to actually talk.

When I sometimes come across a teen working in a retail store who actually verbally interfaces with me (instead of totally ignoring me or barely getting out a word or two), I am surprised and impressed. Which is sad. Since when has simple, normal communication become the exception and exceptional?

But I digress. Let’s get back to my original rant about me being subjected to “kid talk” incessantly. When exactly can I expect it to stop? When my friends’ kids grow up? No; then they will have kids and it’s the grandma bracelets and other incredibly uninteresting paraphernalia that goes along with that. When their kids’ kids grow up? No; you know that with this damned longevity we’re bound to “benefit” from, I’ll have to hear about their great grand kids as well.

Maybe that’s why my Mom won’t wear a hearing aid.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, November 19th, 2009 at 6:08 PM and is filed under My Pet Peeves. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

  1. Terri says:

    hahaha!! Lucille, you are too funny! Hey even as someone with a kid, I get where your coming from. Now let me tell you the dilemma of dealing with parents when you have kids. When you are a parent then you have to deal with other kids very competitive parents. If you tell them something your kid did, then well, of course they have to top you with something their kid did. They are crazy! But in defense of us parents, I think we just love them so much and are proud of them when they accomplish something that we just have to share. Sharing and bragging are two different things though! I hope I am only guilty of the former, but it’s possible, that on occasion I am indulge in the later. BTW–Colin had a great football season, took up the sax this year and just made the honor roll! LOL I had to do it!

  2. Judy Herring says:

    It’s easy to talk about your children to other parents because it gives you something in common. WHen our children are little, so many things are milestones that it’s hard not to be excited. My daughters are both over the age of 18 and quite independent. I’m proud of their accomplishments – no doubt. However, I’ve taken a new road myself and returned to school to get a degree in the healthcare field, and I’M excited about that! BUT, that doesn’t mean I brag about it to my friends. As we “mature” I find we tend to return to doing things for ourselves, to improve ourselves. Perhaps because we have the time, the money whatever…. I agree with you Lucille – sharing and bragging are two different things and more people need to be reminded of that.

  3. Allegra in Baghdad says:

    As a fellow PANK, I’m glad to see this issue addressed… I generally like other people’s kids — because they’re not mine and I don’t have to take care of them : ). And there are so many other levels of fulfillment in life that we can all share in the joys of creation, nurturing and pride in our accomplishments — children or no children!

  4. Van Dusen says:

    Nothing worse than the annual family update that I used to get from my friends family during the holidays. Basically a big display of everything the family accomplished for that year. Yuk!! (lol)

  5. Bobbi says:

    Too bad for you. There is nothing better than having children and grandchildren. If we could skip the step of children it might be even better. Just kidding! I love my family and I understand how everyone else feels. There is no greater joy than loving your grandchildren! Sorry you feel so bitter about other pleasures! I know there are other great things to talk about but the feeling that you get when your grandchild smiles at you is like no other. They light up my heart! Deal with it!

  6. Camille says:

    It’s kind of like you talking about your dogs. You never tire of the joy your children, grandchildren, or dogs bring to your life…And you just want to share it. Deal with it!

  7. Lucille says:

    YOU may never tire. . . but others do. I talk about my dogs as an offensive measure . . . and I mean”offensive” as the opposite of “defensive” and as, well, offensive.

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