Voices

The kids aren’t all right

I’ll come right out and say it: Children repulse me. They frighten me. They make me anxious. Babies all look the same, and they are all ugly. Toddlers are praised for doing ordinary things like speaking and waving. Children have a comment and a question about everything. And adolescents—if YouTube sensation Rebecca Black has taught us anything—are totally self-absorbed and completely lacking in any sense of shame. Each stage of development brings with it new things to annoy me.

I don’t understand why children are instantly adorable and appealing. It’s not okay for a strange man to stand next to me and hold my hand. Adults don’t stare at me with fascination on public transportation. And I am certainly not impressed when a fully grown woman colors inside the lines. Why should these things be permitted, even praised, when done by children? I would love to return to the pre-Victorian days, when childhood didn’t exist—children were simply small adults, and they were expected to act like them.

Imagine my relief when it came time to go to college, where, presumably, I’d be surrounded by people my age or older: peers, grad students, faculty, security guards—anything but children. Disappointment did not take long to set in once I arrived on the Hilltop. The appeal of Healy Lawn on a sunny day, the lure of New South hill after a heavy snow, and carnivals on the front lawn mean children infiltrate my campus on a regular basis, disrupting my day-to-day existence and making me ever more certain that not every girl is born with a maternal instinct.

The greatest challenge for someone suffering from a fear of children is navigating the surrounding neighborhood. Georgetown is, unfortunately for me, a great place to raise children. Fathers play with their daughters on our green spaces, pink-faced children play in the snow in their Patagonia jackets, mothers buy their sons candy in Wisey’s. Nowhere is free from the echoes of their jovial screeching.

Saturday morning walks promise at least one encounter with families on a stroll, where the daughter might loudly ask her parents, “Why is that girl so tall?” and the little boy might make lightsaber noises, spit flying from his mouth as he does so. Halloween means these creatures are knocking on doors all night, prowling the neighborhood like candy-crazed zombies. And that bastion of bacchanalia, Georgetown Day, is always tainted by their presence. What a total buzzkill to share the bounce house with seven year olds.

The many schools in the Georgetown area provide another source for the raging tide of youth that flows through our campus. The greatest threat to my sanity is not one of the many high schools nearby; it’s elementary school Holy Trinity on 36th Street. Their 10 a.m. recess always wakes me up in the morning. Their gym class in Yates totally disrupts my workout routine. The way they hang around the neighborhood after school makes me afraid to go outside.

I could muse on how the source of my discomfort lies in how the promise of youth that shines in their carefree eyes makes me lament my own loss of innocence, but it’s probably more accurate to say that these kids just suck. They’re loud, they’re obnoxious, they have too much energy, and they’re still learning how to conjugate irregular verbs. I have no time for that in my life.

The absolute worst and most jarring disruptions of my child-free existence are the weekly invasions of Leo’s by middle school classes on field trips. Sitting upstairs when they begin to pour into the foyer is one of the most terrifying experiences you’re likely to have at Georgetown. It’s like watching a giant army come over the crest of a hill, about to bear down on you with weapons ready. You’re helpless; you just have to sit and watch, and maybe scramble for one last fruit tart on Good Dessert Thursday before they lay waste to Leo’s supply of pizza, sweets, and ice cream. Your only hope for mercy is that they’ll sit downstairs so you can slip away unharmed.

My hatred for children is not crippling. I can make it through life coexisting with these little people under a ceasefire. I assume that they, like many predators, can sense fear, and will therefore leave me in peace. But there are no guarantees in life—not even the success of birth control. Here’s to hoping no little accident ever “blesses” my life.



28 comments on “The kids aren’t all right
  1. SC on said:

    Wow. Build a bridge and get over it. “Accident?” Is that what you think you were to your family?

  2. Jane Hoya on said:

    To be annoyed at a parent playing with their child? You lost me there. It’s the kids who don’t get that sort of love who turn into brats!

  3. Linda on said:

    I am you 45 years later. Despite the “OH, one day YOU’LL want to have children,” comments I never did, and I have never looked back. I did in fact miss the Mommy Gene, the OH WHAT A CUTE BABY gene, and the sleeplessness in pursuit of child rearing is rewarding gene.

    Most babies resemble Winston Churchill to me. Drooling is not adorable even if it is because you are cutting teeth.

    Toddler antics do not make my heart swell with love. Conversely, they make me want to run directly to a closet where they can’t find me to ask me the same repetitive question over and over, and put their sticky little hands on me to get my attention.

    No. I do not want to read Dr. Seuss to you. The man is an abomination and no one should have to listen to that drivel much less READ it aloud.

    My house is neat and quiet. I do not have to educate anyone, then have them move back in with me. I can drive a sports car, with no worries. My money is my own. I have no clue how “old” I am because I never went through my offspring’s life passages.

    Not having children enriched my life, and saved me from hours of conversation about getting Pooks into the RIGHT Pre-K. Here, would you like to see a photo of my dog? She’s only 3 and already knows about 50 words…………….

  4. Old Sneep on said:

    Oh God, a dog person. One of the most annoying forms of existence known to man….

  5. Funny (sort of) on said:

    I don’t believe that you really feel this way. Was this meant to be a comedy shtick? It reads like you want to be a correspondent on the Daily Show.

  6. Linda on said:

    Can’t speak for the author of the article, but yes, I really feel this way, and no, I have no burning desire to write comedy. Infants are tiny terrorists who can’t speak. Don’t EVEN get me started on pregnancy……

  7. Anne on said:

    Julie, you most definitely cannot hear HTS’s recess from our Village B apartment. London has warped your memory.

  8. whatever on said:

    Get a grip woman. Between this and the article you wrote about working at Disneyland (you hate kids and chose a job at an amusement park?) it’s clear that you’re well on your way to a lifetime of bitter grouchiness, like commenter Linda above. Your college years *are* when you’re least likely to be encountering children daily. If you can’t handle the minimal exposure you’re getting now you’re going to be *really* unhappy after you leave the college bubble

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  10. Walenty Lisek on said:

    I am extraordinarily happy this woman hates children. It makes me happy because it means in all likelihood she won’t be having any. This corresponds well to the general pattern of liberals having fewer children. Decrease in the liberal population is one of the few eugenic trends in our society.

    The liberal demographer Phillip Longman however laments this trend,

    “This dynamic helps explain, for example, the gradual drift of American culture away from secular individualism and toward religious fundamentalism. Among states that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, fertility rates are 12 percent higher than in states that voted for Sen. John Kerry. It may also help to explain the increasing popular resistance among rank-and-file Europeans to such crown jewels of secular liberalism as the European Union. It turns out that Europeans who are most likely to identify themselves as “world citizens” are also those least likely to have children.

    The great difference in fertility rates between secular individualists and religious or cultural conservatives augurs a vast, demographically driven change in modern societies. Consider the demographics of France, for example. Among French women born in the early 1960s, less than a third have three or more children. But this distinct minority of French women (most of them presumably practicing Catholics and Muslims) produced more than 50 percent of all children born to their generation, in large measure because so many of their contemporaries had one child or none at all.

    Tomorrow’s children, therefore, unlike members of the postwar baby boom generation, will be for the most part descendants of a comparatively narrow and culturally conservative segment of society. To be sure, some members of the rising generation may reject their parents’ values, as always happens. But when they look around for fellow secularists and counterculturalists with whom to make common cause, they will find that most of their wouldbe fellow travelers were quite literally never born.”

    The Return of Patriarchy: http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2006/the_return_of_patriarchy

    Patriarchy now. Patriarchy forever.

  11. Tim on said:

    I’m glad that my opinion of Julie — which is that she’s a raging bitch who needs a to find a hobby, or make a friend, or maybe get laid — seems more accurate every time I read something she writes.

  12. Larry on said:

    @Walenty Lisek:

    This “eugenic trend” you describe is the march to Idiocracy.

  13. K. Gibbler on said:

    “I’ll come right out and say it: Mexicans repulse me. They frighten me. They make me anxious. Mexicans all look the same, and they are all ugly. They are praised for doing ordinary things like working and not going to jail. Mexicans have a comment and a question about everything, so I have to press “1” for English…Each stage of immigration brings with it new things to annoy me.”

    So, how’s this Julie? 1st ammendment and all that.

  14. Will Bishop on said:

    Some people don’t particularly like children! OMG, breaking news! Aaaand that’s all you really need to say. But you apparently felt compelled to say more, which tells me that you have issues. Not being terribly fond of children isn’t an issue – I know plenty of people who choose not to have any. But being obsessed with your dislike of children to the extent that you wax prolific about it and parade it around as if not liking kids is something remarkable, noteworthy, even pride-worthy? THAT is a major issue. Get over yourself, and stop being just as self-centered and whiny as the kids you hate!

  15. foxywife on said:

    Really? You’re bitching about being woken up at 10 a.m.? This has to be satire. No sane person could write something like this seriously.

  16. Visser on said:

    Wow. Get over it. This is the most ridiculous and just plain retarded thing I have read in a long time. Thanks for wasting a valuable few minutes of my life.

    Have a nice, child-filled day!

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  19. l.w. on said:

    whoever wrote this knew they were going against the grain and were going to make people angry. so i can only conclude they’re just desperate for the attention (even if it’s negative attention) they apparently lacked in their own childhood. i’m not angry. just sad for this person.

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