Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Please don't make me hold your baby, I'm scared I'll break it

Baby op een weegschaal / Baby on a scaleI'm not good at children.

I don't just mean I'm not good with children, in the sense of caring for them or interacting with them, but at even being in their general vicinity.

I'm starkly aware of how breakable the little ones are, and how clumsy I am, and that it's not socially appropriate to shriek OH DEAR GODS NO! if someone asks if you'd like to hold their new arrival.  It's not that I don't think it's lovely, I'm just terrified I'll break it.

Plus they make a lot of noise, mess, and smell, and those are three things I just can't handle.  My doubts that I could handle the sensory challenge of looking after a small human was one of many things that played into my decision not to have children.

It doesn't get any better when they get older and stop squeaking.  I don't know how to talk to kids, I don't know what they're interested in or how to judge what language and level of understanding to pitch at them.  They're unpredictable, chaotic and loud.  They're scary.

When I'm in a supermarket, and a particularly shrieky child is making life hell, I tell myself the little one may in fact have ASD too, and they're having just as miserable time of it as I am.

Image: Baby on a scale, National Archive of The Netherlands on Flickr Commons