Why I’m NEVER Having Kids

Why I’m NEVER Having Kids #5: No Prep Time Necessary

March 7, 2008 · No Comments

Here’s a great reason to never have kids: no prep time is necessary.

Allow me to clarify: whenever I want to go someplace, visit someone, go out to eat, etc., there is very little prep time needed for me before I go out and do what it is I want to do. Having kids, however, significantly lengthens the amount of time a parent has between thinking of an activity and executing the actual plan.

Let’s say I’m at my apartment, and I think to myself: “gee, I need to go to the store downtown and buy some groceries.” Here’s how the trip would go for me without having kids:

* I put on my clothes, throw on my iPod, walk to the bus stop, catch the bus to the train station, catch the train to the other bus station, catch the bus to the store, buy the items on my list, pay for the items at check-out, walk back to the bus stop & wait for bus, catch bus back to train station, catch train back to original bus station, catch bus back to my apartment, and put up groceries.

Now, that’s a lot of steps, and that trip could easily take me 3 hours alone. Having a kid would lengthen each one of these steps – let’s see how this trip would look if I have 2 kids:

* I think to myself, “I’m going to the store to buy groceries.” I then begin to ponder what the temperature is like outside, and whether or not I should make the kids put on jackets. I try to put them on, but one of the kids insists it’s not that cold outside, and refuses to put a jacket on. Meanwhile, the younger one – about 6 months old – is ready to go, and is now crying. Delayed time: 10 minutes.

* I finally get the older kid to put a jacket on, but he still doesn’t want to leave the apartment without his favorite toy, Mr. Scruffles, which he has misplaced in his room. I’m ready to leave, but I also know he’ll be crying the whole time if he doesn’t bring his doll with him, so I start looking for it. Delayed time: 15 minutes.

* I finally find Mr. Scruffles under some dirty laundry, and we head out towards the bus stop (we’ll assume I have a car by now, but it’s in the shop for the week). At this point, I notice a distinctive smell coming from the 6-month old. Crap – he crapped. We walk back to the apartment so I can change his diaper. Delayed time: 7 minutes.

* FINALLY, we head out again towards the bus stop. The bus pulls up, and I have to fagangle the baby stoller onto the bus, and into a position that won’t interrupt anyone else trying to get on. We sit down, and my older son starts talking to his doll – LOUDLY – which annoys the other passengers. I tell my son to quiet down, but he doesn’t seem to get that his voice has levels to it. Sigh…

* We get to the train station. In my non-kid days I would jump off the bus and run to catch the train. However, my older kid’s legs don’t run that fast yet, and I have to push a stroller. Just as we’re about to catch the elevator up to the train platform (I can’t catch the escalator since I have a stroller), I hear the annoucement that the train I want to catch is now pulling up to the station. By the time the elevator reaches the train platform level, the train is gone. Now I have to wait for the next one to come. Delayed time: 7 minutes.

* The next train comes. We get on, and ride it to the next bus station. While on the train, my 6-month old decides now would be a good time to stretch his vocal cords by crying for no reason. Annoyed time: 12 minutes.

* We get off at the next bus station, and catch the bus to the nearest Wal-mart. I have a list of 8 things to buy; however, despite my insistence to my older son that we aren’t buying anything extra, he proceeds to ask me for various snacks, cakes, pies, chocolates, etc. I keep telling him “no,” but you know how persistent kids can be! Were I able to shop without interruption, my actual shopping time would probably take 10 minutes. Delayed time: 20 minutes (including the 17 times I had to explain to him why I wasn’t buying the extra items he wanted).

* We get to the check-out lane… and my son runs off somewhere in the store. I realise this after I’ve placed my groceries on the belt, and ask for the cashier to page my son. He comes running all the way from the back of the store – the electronics department, of course – with the newest video game system. “Ooh, daddy, I SO want this, can I please get it? Please, please, PLEASE?!?” I tell him “no, you’ve already got a system at home.” He replies it’s out of date and he needs this new one, but I tell him “No!” He starts to cry, which makes his younger brother start to cry. Sigh… Delayed time: 15 minutes.

* We finally get out of there. We walk back to the bus stop. My younger son has stopped crying, and my older son is giving me the silent treatment. Ah, finally, peace and quiet. We head back home, all in a bad mood. As we’re walking home, we pass the local ice-cream stand; my son’s eyes get wide-eyed. “Ooh, daddy, look – ice cream! Ice cream! And it’s only $2.50!” Eh, why fight it – I hand him the money, and he gets himself an ice cream cone. He takes that first lick… and the scoop falls off the cone, and right onto the ground. Now I have to buy him another one. Delayed time: 10 minutes.

By the time we finally head home, the total trip has taken almost 5 hours – 2 more than if I had done all this without the kid distraction. DO YOU SEE WHY I DON’T WANT TO HAVE KIDS, PEOPLE?!?

This is just a small example – almost anything you do with a kid needs prep time. Wanna go to a movie? You can’t just go – now you have to call ahead to see if the movie is appropriate. Wanna go to the amusement park? Better plan ahead to make sure you’ll be able to feed the lil’ munchkins when they get extra hungry! Want to see a new exhibit that’s in town? You can’t just go on a whim – you have to convince your kids to want to see the exhibit first, then see if they want to bring a friend along, THEN make sure they’re strapped safely into their car seats…

Some people may enjoy doing all this stuff, but for me it’s just too much!

-A.P. Taylor

Send your “Why I’m NEVER Having Kids” stories to neverhavingkids@gmail.com.

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