New Person, extending their hand:
Hi! I’m so-and-so. Nice to meet you!
Me, shaking their hand:
Hello :) I’m Shannon and I don’t babysit.
Everybody who knows me is aware of my distaste for children. They are not the first people I want to hang out with if given the option. I prefer teenagers, adults, old folk, animals, and inanimate objects before children.
“That’s an awful thing to say!” Yes, I guess it sounds bad but I’ve heard people say that they don’t like being around old people (they drool, have trouble keeping food off their face, stare at you blankly, move funny, smell funny, sound weird… hey, wait a minute, that sounds like children!), hippies (too loosey goosey), punk rockers (unpredictable!), teenagers (spazzy), quiet people (Una-bomber?), bikers (scary), men (they’re not women!), women (so emotional!)… you get the picture.
So, yeah, I’m not a fan of kids. Other people are fans of kids… YAY! At least I’m honest and you know up front why I’m ignoring your kid every time they stick their toy in front of my face or clutch onto my leg, waiting for a horsey ride. Some people aren’t dog people, some aren’t cat people, I’m not a kid people.
However, there are times where I, gasp, put aside my dislike and help a kid/parent out. I’d rather take your noisy/distracting kid out of a meeting and entertain them in the hallway than sit in there frustrated that I cannot concentrate on what is being said by the teacher/speaker because you think nothing of letting your little one wander the room (Hey, it’s a curtain! Hey, it’s a piano! Hey, look what’s inside this lady’s purse! Hey, I’m walking across the front of the room!) and babble/giggle noisily. (But, if we’re being honest, and I’m all about honesty, that’s your fault not the kid’s so I can’t blame them and that’s why I’m trying to be nice to them.) If you ARE the kind of person who tries to keep your child/baby quiet or occupied so they’re not disruptive and they happen to make some noise then I appreciate the effort and I’m not blaming you. It’s the people who believe (here I go making someone mad) that it’s OK for the baby/kid to do whatever they want and are inconsiderate to others around them.
Oh, you say I’m crotchety and should get over it because babies are beautiful and should be revered as such? (If you don’t say that, ignore the rest of this paragraph, it’s not for you.) How about you get over that I’m crotchety about this and don’t agree with your view on something. This is my OPINION, just like you get to have yours. Because we have differing views doesn’t mean one of us is right/wrong.
For instance, my children got into a fight a while ago. The 8yo, on purpose, threw a glass magnet at her 11yo brother, so he chucked it harder back at her putting a decent welt on her foot. At first, not knowing what happened, I was mad at the 11yo for hurting his little sister. But when I learned that he was retaliating (not that he should have, I don’t condone violence unless it’s in self-defense), I had less empathy for her pain. They both got in trouble for what they did (he CERTAINLY shouldn’t have retaliated, and she shouldn’t have chucked it at him in the first place), and I gave my daughter an ice pack (minus sympathy).
Yes, they’re kids, and kids will be kids… that’s what they do… I did the same thing when I was their age… they don’t know any better… they’re figuring out life… this is how they learn to deal with people… they’re JUST KIDS!
I know all the arguments but I just don’t have a maternal instinct to put up with all that. I am paranoid about my kids safety, yes. I worry about what they’re doing, choosing, seeing, hearing, etc. But the part where people get warm fuzzies being around kids isn’t innate to me. I wish it were… really I do!
Kids are hard for me. Making the right decisions for them isn’t easy. Knowing what to say when they need me to is almost impossible. I don’t have pearls of wisdom like I know other people do. We don’t have activities planned, crafts to create, outings scheduled, or bonding time checked off. I try to love them as best as I can and hope that makes up for the lack of warm fuzzies.
So if I have so much anxiety about my own kids, you know I’m going to have less patience for other people’s kids.
But I’m not a meanie (all the time) and I have been known to be nice (sometimes). And I’m BEYOND grateful for people who ARE kid people to my kidlets and are nice to my kid’s even though I might not be :) They certainly need to get it from SOMEWHERE! So, thanks :)
And a lot of kids, especially babies, seem to be drawn to me. I’m like a beacon, saying, “Hey, you child, I would rather you NOT be near me so come on over here and sit on my lap so I can read you a book!” Wanna know a secret? I will admit, I’m really good with babies. Which is weird because I don’t care for babies. You can’t REASON with them.
“Hey, baby, why are you crying non-stop?” I’ll ask. And they’ll respond with, “Waaaaaaaaaahaaaaahaaaahaaahaa!”
I don’t know what that means. O_o
P.S. I find it ironic that I happen to have babysat this morning… and it was (gasp!) MY IDEA! O_O See, I’m not crotchety ALL the time ;) To prove how good I am with babies (she’s in the midst of I-only-want-mom-or-dad mode), here’s a before and after photo…
In case anyone gets the idea that they should ask me to babysit… this was framily (friend’s who are like family) who came to town for a wedding and didn’t have ANYONE ELSE to watch the baby. So there. Don’t ask (or you can and I’ll just say NO so why bother?)