In this day and age of rainbow babies, dyke Mums and gay Dads, when every second person you meet seems to be either holding a baby, wanting a baby or seriously thinking about parenthood -¦ all of which is, you know, just dandyÂ -¦ I would like to propose a toast to us lovely lesbians and gay men who have decided that, on the whole, raising children is at odds with our desire for lifelong debauchery.
Oh, don’t call us irresponsible. As Morrissey so eloquently put it, we’re doing our bit to keep the population down.
And some of us just aren’t equipped for the rigours of parenthood. Like me. I found myself nursing a toddler recently -“ I’m what you might call a funny uncle to the little blighter -“ and I was running out of things to say to him really quickly. In the end I resorted to reciting a few of my favourite quotes from the movie Best In Show to keep said ankle-biter entertained. But something was getting lost in translation. No matter how hilarious the quote (Hey, judge, I’m the best one!, Rhapsody has two mommies, We could talk or not talk forever, and still have things to talk and not talk about, etc, etc) he just sat there, open-mouthed.
Then he started to cry.
That’s the thing about infants: their incessant neediness. All that crying and carrying-on and baby-talk and needing to be loved -“ yeesh! If I wantedÂ to relate to someone like that I’d go out and pick up a twinkie gayboy at the Stonewall.
So I’m pretty ordinary with the kid right now, but I plan to really come into my own as a funny uncle once the sprog hits those difficult mid-teenage years. I’ll be a godsend to the sprog’s by-then totally insane parents by offering to take him off their hands for a summer season. I’ll do all those typically avuncular things: take the kid to the zoo and to the beach and buy him heaps of cigarettes and ice-creams. We’ll play video games and stay up late watching trashy old movies like Indecent Proposal. At the end of his stay, I’ll go back to my dissolute lifestyle and he can start resenting his parents for their inherent nerdiness.
Maybe that’s the greater part of the reason why I don’t want to have kids -“ perhaps it’s less about the nature of children themselves, and more about my desire not to turn into some fuddy-duddy.
But then I remember: kids do poos. And they vomit down your back. And they don’t listen to a reasoned argument, even when it’s put to them in a nice, even-handed way. And they’ve got no manners and they need to be reminded to blow their nose and wash their hands, and they’re expensive and you can’t give them back. Plus, there’s no quality control: for every genius born, there’s also a moron.
So I’m sticking with debauchery.