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May 25, 2009

Babies: Part 7-Eleven/Part Sweat Shop

Konor and Lisa spent overnight with me on the weekend. Baby. Baby. Baby. As you can see, he's a beautiful little guy. But, alas, he's still a baby and there are very good reasons why some of us never did get around to having children. Well, in my case there are many reasons but not getting around to it was definitely the right choice.

Don't get me wrong. I find babies fascinating...for about an hour. I love little toddlers and when they come into the office I definitely want to interact with them. But, let's be honest. Babies can't go kayaking. Babies don't really care what's on at ArtSpring. Babies don't have funny stories, know how to pick good wine or restaurants or have great cars. They haven't travelled. They're not really good conversationalists.

Babies are a full-time job where the overtime is never ending. They're like combo sweat shops/7-Elevens. They're "Big Gulps" mixed with a never ending routine of overtime that pays less than minimum wage in developing countries.

The fact that most women work and care for babies is just mind boggling to me. The fact that so many babies are raised by single parents (mainly women) is mind boggling to me. It's like self-inflicted solitary confinement.

Juggling lessons should be mandatory for all new parents. Maybe, in fact, they should be one part of an extensive test to determine whether you're really up to the challenge. Forget the condoms, watch a few episodes of Super Nanny, that should work.

If you can't juggle two bottles, a booty, a diaper, a breast pump and a stuffed animal at the same time while screaming to your husband who is always in the next room so that he can fetch one of the gazzilion items required by the baby then you can't have a baby until you can. You're just not ready.

I think of what it must have been like for my mother - not one but two babies, twice. Two sets of twins. And, back then they didn't have all the techno-gadgets that they have now. They didn't even have disposable diapers and believe me, my Dad was not Mr. Mom.

He couldn't be. He was working overtime himself to provide the circus tent called home for the set where the dysfunctional family episodes would unfold which by the way he diligently caught on 16 mm film.

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