Generally speaking, I'm in the middle ground when it comes to kids. I'm certainly not one of those people that instinctively hates every little kid they see and never wants to have them, but I'm far from the people that just adore little kids as if they're the best things possible in the universe 24/7. I'm sure when I have children of my own, I'm going to love them like I've loved nothing else in my entire life - but I'm still going to find the annoying things annoying, for sure. If I can be sure that my own children are not exempt from this, how do you think I feel when it comes to YOUR children? For each of you parents out there that want to waste your time promoting your kids to me, I submit to you this list of things about your kids that I could not give two shits about.
The "Cute" Things They Did
The amount of things children do that is legitimately cute is far outweighed by the things that adults market as being cute. The newer the parent (or older in regards to grandparents), the more likely they'll find something cute, to the point where damn near everything is being spoken of as the cutest thing ever. The baby coughed - so cute. The baby moved its mouth and I misinterpreted it as a smile - SO CUTE. The baby laughed - SO @%#$!* CUTE AHHRGUGHUGH!!! I know you think your baby is the most adorable thing in the world, but that's because it's your baby, so keep that in mind when expressing those feelings to other people. How many people that truly love their wives call them the most beautiful woman in the world? Now compare that to how many of them literally go around and show people pictures of their wives and say "isn't she the most beautiful woman in the world?" versus the amount of people that do that with their kids and how cute they are. On top of it, cuteness is an opinion. Some people think it's cute to see a kid dump pasta all over their head. I happen to think it's a perfectly good waste of spaghetti - something infinitely more awesome than a baby.
|Way to ruin dinner, idiot. The starving kids in Ethiopia don't think this is adorable.|
Yeah, ok, that might not have been CUTE, but you have to admit it was FUNNY. No, I don't. Most of the time when I laugh at something a kid did, I'm laughing at how undeveloped they are and how they did something flat out stupid. The same applies to my dog, a Yorkshire Terrier who is a complete moron that scratches my dishwasher for the sheer hell of it and is perfectly willing to eat sticks of chalk but refuses to eat the leafy part of Romain lettuce. I laugh at my dog's stupidity and if your kid does something stupid, I'll laugh too, but I'm not going to think it's a riot that your child made a silly noise in an attempt to be silly. Your little kid isn't a future stand-up comedian because they repeated a knock-knock joke they overheard on the Sprout Network...particularly if they butchered it and made it nonsensical. Little kids can't do observational humor - they haven't been alive long enough to observe anything. Slapstick humor is something I find dumb even when an adult does it, so no excuses there (sorry, Three Stooges, you bore the shit out of me and I find you horribly stupid). You probably shouldn't be encouraging your kid to pretend-fall anyway unless you're willing to put up with the tears afterward when they hurt themselves.
The Impressive Milestones They Hit
I'm glad your kid took its first steps. Really, I am. If God came and gave me full control over whether or not your kid could walk, I'd say yes, let the kid walk. I'm not cruel. But I honestly don't care beyond that unless there's something special to it. If the average time to say your first word is 16 months and your kid says "mom" in 15, congrats, but it's not the same as if your 2 year old changed the oil in your car. People are so quick to take credit and live vicariously through their children that they make a huge deal about little things and try to pass them off as major accomplishments beyond what normal children do. This leads us into the next category...
How Smart/Clever They Are
EVERYBODY just has the smartest kid in the world, don't they? Let's just look past how many of them are really going to be honor students, shall we? Your kid mumbles a bunch of nonsense and you attribute words to that jargon and suddenly your 1 year old is speaking fluent multiple languages. It's no grand feat if your kid is old enough to know something and they know it. So what if your 3 year old understands that flipping a light switch turns a light on and off? Again, it's not as if they built the damn thing. Once more, it would be a different story if you're talking legitimately abnormal cases. If you do in fact have a 2 year old that can do calculus with you, by all means, brag away and tell me more.
Your Predictions on their Future Job
Little Jimmy throws his football - he's going to be a quarterback some day! Sure he will. They're scouting young these days and maybe with a little training he can walk in a straight line without bumping into a wall. As with all of these, I'm lenient on this when it comes to certain things. If you notice that your 10 year old kid has tendencies to do certain things, I would definitely be trying to predict future job options for them. What I find stupid is when people take a kid too young to have any information about and blow things out of proportion and fill in the blanks. A toddler boy playing with a toy car doesn't mean they'll grow up to be a race car driver or a mechanic. A little girl playing house doesn't mean she'll grow up to be an interior designer or real estate agent. How many kids out there play 'doctor' and actually grow up to be a nurse or neurosurgeon or anything of the sort? When I was little, I used to like looking at bugs, I wanted to learn karate and be a Power Ranger, and I absolutely hated school. I've done nothing career-wise in my adult life in regards to animals or fitness/sports and instead, I've spent my time getting a teaching degree and writing. You can't guess these things.
Who They Look Like
You know who they look like? YOU. If they don't, you have a problem. If you're both Asian and your kid comes out looking like Morgan Freeman, I'm interested. If you're two Irish people with white freckled skin and red hair and you end up having an Irish kid that has white freckled skin and red hair, who gives a shit? I certainly don't want to sit there and pinpoint every little feature your kid has and compare them to the two of you and see which one matches up. Aw, look, little Jimmy has your nose, my eyes, and Dennis Franz's mustache!
|Who wants wallet sized portraits now?|
Infants and old people share the same 4 most dominated topics of discussion: how often they go to the bathroom, how often they sleep, what medical stuff they have going on right now, and what they've eaten recently. Your kid goes from formula/breast milk to baby food to eventual normal food, all the meanwhile coming across things they like and things they don't. There. I just saved you all the effort you ever need to talk about unless something weird comes up, like if your kid just can't satiate their craving for drywall or if they mistakenly ate cat food one day and would prefer that over chicken nuggets.
How Big They Are
This applies to both their size when they were born and whatever size they are now. I'm not interested unless your kid's a freak and I certainly don't hope that's the case, for their sake. If you somehow gave birth to a 250 lb 6'4 baby, good lord, you need to stop telling me and start telling the Guinness Book of World Records instead. Your kid is going to grow in height, so I don't care if the last time I saw them was 6 months ago and they've grown X amount of inches. It happens. If they shrank, that's worth talking about (as well as a premise of a movie and a bunch of sequels that were unwarranted). I certainly don't care about their weight, particularly if you're going to say they're a "big eater" and then start telling me about what they eat - we already went over that. Let me know when they're big enough in age to have a legitimate conversation and develop a personality so we can move past these pointless discussions of your kids.
Look, I'm not saying that you shouldn't be proud of your kids (unless they've done nothing to be proud of), nor am I saying that your kids shouldn't dominate your life. You're a parent, your kids are supposed to be the most important thing in the world to you. The trouble is when you forget that they're not equally the most important thing to everybody else.