Thursday, October 18, 2007

The last of the baby-free women

So it’s official. Every woman I know is pregnant, nursing or done having kids because they’ve already had so very many of them and done the “having babies” thing so very well that there’s no reason to ever do it again. I’m now not only the only single woman anyone knows, but also the only one without various smaller versions of me in tow.

I’m of mixed feelings about this. Truly I do like the idea of having a kid. I’d kind of assumed that I’d have one at some point, but it’s one of the few tasks that is actually not at all possible without a little help from a guy. Or at least some guy-ingredients. Simply put, it’s the only thing I want to do that my single status has blocked. The only thing. It’s just that it’s kind of a big thing.

It’s also one of the few things that has a built-in expiration date. Like I can’t keep saying “I’ll just wait and see” too much longer, because soon enough my system will take the question out of my hands. And I’ll admit that I find this pressure kind of… what would be the word? Let’s go with nauseating.

For instance, I can’t be honestly happy for other people when they confide in me that they’re having a kid. I want to be. I want to be all giddy and do the standard “Eeeeeeeeeeeee!” squeal with jazz-hands and then touch the tummy with wonder and awe, even though there’s nothing there but half-digested chicken enchilada. But the best I can manage is “Wow, that’s great! How do you feel?” and then while they explain whatever symptoms their suffering through the listening part of my brain shuts off so that I can divert energy to the silently envying and hating parts of the brain, where I silently hate and envy this lovely friend of mine because she’s pregnant and by the way I’m not. Nor is there any chance of my being so any time soon. Which I already knew, but am now all aware of because of the baby, or chicken enchilada, she’s got in her belly area. And since she's here and so danged happy I might as well just blame her.

This is a very small and not-so-good way to feel. Because of these not-so-good feelings and other minor panic moments I’ve researched what it takes to have a kid with the assistance of a turkey baster and UPS delivery from “Wigglers R Us” I’m so the poster child for “sisters are doin’ it by themselves, baby!” so the idea of being a single mom by choice just kind of fits.

Plus I do think I’d be a good mom. I think I could use all the excellent parenting techniques that my parents used on me and make a pretty cool person. That’s what they did, my parents. They used their excellent parenting techniques and made two pretty cool people. (yes, I’m one of them, and by the way shu- uh-!)

Sometimes, though, when I’m feeling crappy (like I was on Friday) I think about how if I had a kid I wouldn’t have had the option of curling up on the couch with my bag of potato chips and my flat Pepsi and my goofy TV and tell everyone to go hang. There would be some little person demanding things like attention and energy. And food. And the occasional diaper change. And I couldn’t go “Honey, come and get your child and make it leave me alone!” because I’d be it. And that’s something to consider.

I guess I’ll just wait and see.

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