You might not believe this, but there was a baby in my house today and I didn’t break out in hives. I KNOW! Now, I’ve not experienced any great leap in maturity and thus realized that babies are not inherently terrible people; instead, this baby was just a good baby. I’ll enjoy pretty much anyone who laughs at my jokes and doesn’t scream/shit in my face, and this baby fit the bill. Also she has red hair and is not weird looking (don’t argue with me, I know our limitations), and she and I share the same name. Well. Technically. I referred to her as “Smaller Erin,” as did her father for the time she was in my house.
I don’t like a lot of babies for what I think are valid reasons. There’s the aforementioned not laughing at my jokes and screaming/shitting in my face, but there’s also the crying, the tendency to injure themselves on stationary pieces of furniture, and the way some of them stare blankly with their mouths hanging open when you speak to them. I realize that this last part might seem unreasonable, but really – I’m not asking a baby to discuss the works of Trotsky with me. I just want them to respond in some way when someone is speaking to or otherwise trying to engage them. When they sit there like a drooling lump of stuff, I worry that there’s something wrong in their soft little heads and it’s considered bad form to share those concerns with their parents.
With few exceptions, those friends of mine who have had children have remained interesting, reasonable, sane people. They require their children to have basic manners and don’t freak out about things like foul language or germs. Which is nice, because I curse a lot, and although I did vacuum today and am certainly more concerned about the state of my home than I used to be, nobody wants a lecture about the last time they disinfected their floors to make them safe for the children they don’t even have. And I admit that if I did have kids, I might be slightly more concerned about what they’d be capable of putting in their mouths, although I’d try my best to remember the biological warfare I probably encountered as a child and I still turned out okay.
One of my still-interesting, reasonable, sane parent friends is Vern, whose 30th birthday I will be attending tonight (happy birthday, Vern! You are one of my favorite people!). Holy shit, everyone. We’re turning 30. We have 401(k)s and houses and significant others and children and we’re turning 30. I mean, right now, as I type this, I have a mug of tea next to my laptop and am wearing my sweater cape that makes me feel like Dorothy Zbornak. And you know what? I like feeling like Dorothy Zbornak. It’s a shame that I have to imitate a 70-year-old lady in a retirement community to make me feel like a grownup, but I like it. She was the best Golden Girl, anyway.