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I Don’t Believe The Children Are Our Future.

8 May

Well, they are, on paper I guess. Those little smiling faces beaming up at you are our future politicians, binmen, scientists, poets, policemen. I very nearly absent-mindedly entered the word ‘gigalo’ in that list but my horrified consciousness hastily retracted the letters that escaped from my fingertips. Don’t want to set an inappropriate tone like that on the internet. Defo wouldn’t tag it.  But despite all that, I’m going to make a statement that we, as loving and wonderful members of society, are not really supposed to say. I really don’t like kids.

Where has this outburst come from? Well, the need to broadcast my feelings has come from a Sunday morning. As an avid fan of Lionel Richie, I like them to be easy.

God I love Lionel.

Easy means getting to wake up as the end credits of your dream are rolling with a nice warm sense of contentment before foraging for a delicious breakfast treat. Instead, today’s Sunday featured an abrupt slap of reality as whatever world my imagination was projecting in my sleep got dissolved by outdoor shrieking… much in the way that ‘the darkness’ creeps over and destroys Fantasia in ‘The Neverending Story’. For those that don’t know, the darkness is an evil and intangiable force, rather than being that pseudo glam rock outfit with the fella that sings like he’s getting his nuts twisted by an invisible monkey sex-pest.

As I awoke with my face screwed up in indignation, I pictured my mum going ‘aww’ to the happy voices that were echoing around the still morning air. From what I could gather in my drowsiness that there was a small group of little ‘uns enjoying utilising the slope of our road on their bikes…and they were having a wonderful time. Shrieks of joy and excitement and discussing tactics of what to do ‘on your next go’- all at 9.30 on a Sunday morning. I do realise as I indulge in some catharsis here that I sound like a miserable wretch. Of course it’s lovely that kids are out having fun. They can just do it more quietly while I am still adjusting to having to get up at 7am five days a week for a new London work schedule. The bottom line is, I just don’t like children.

People often ask me why. Children are genetically designed so that us big people by human instinct will look at their big bright eyes and tufty hair and naturally want to take care of them. Luckily, the urge isn’t so strong that we don’t feel the need to take on every child we see or we’d all be getting into trouble with the law quite frequently. Not to mention looking like the Pied Piper of Hamelin or a mother duck all the time.  I’ve always wondered… what did the Pied Piper do to all those kids?

Looking back he seems like a bit of a proto-Fritzl and I'm getting a little worried that the story about his magic pipe is a bit harrowing to be telling children as we tuck them in at night.

My problem with kids is that they intimidate me. It may sound ridiculous I know, but it’s how I feel. I have absolutely no idea how to talk to them. If I got left in a room with a six year old in my care I wouldn’t know how to break the ice. Whenever I see an adult talking to a child I rather ridiculously feel annoyed on the child’s behalf for the patronising tone… perhaps failing to take into account that I’m projecting my 24-year-old perspective onto said kid. But still… to have a grown up coming up and spotting a cuddly toy in the child’s arms and saying in a soft voice, ‘ooh he’s lovely, is that your bear?’ Part of me wants the kid to pipe up and say ‘well I hardly f**king stole it did I? My Mum’s a teacher and my Dad’s a doctor and they can actually afford to buy me my own bear you f**ktard. Of course it’s my bear you stupid f**king b**ch. Why else would I be dressing him up and taking him to the teaparty?’

With this mentality in mind, I find myself awkwardly asking kids what they’ve been up to, expecting them to regale me with their day’s activities as one might do recalling the day they’ve had at work.

‘Ah, you know. Same old, same old. Not too bad. Yeah, erm… you know Jonny Patton? Yeah, me and him we just knocked about down the sand pit. He was telling me about this new speedboat he’s looking to get from Toys ‘R Us. He’s a bit worried about what his train might think but you know, I just told him he’s got to go out there and grab these chances. His mum’s always spoiling him so yeah, looking good for him.’

Turns out, it doesn’t happen like that.
Looking the way I do, I often find kids like to stare at me. Particularly on public transport. It’s nothing short of unnerving having a face popping up over the seat in front and having two large eyes fixed on you for twenty minutes or so.  The other day I was in the park having a lie-down on the grass and a half-snooze in the sunshine. I heard two little voices circle me before descending to rest with their mum about a metre away from me. ‘Look at the purple lady! Look at the purple lady! She’s got purple hair, Mummy!’ Mummy shushed them. Secretly I thought it was actually quite cute. But then as I woke and got up I got pointed at and heard a shriek of-well, I’m not sure if it was horror or delight- and one little boy said to the other ‘George! She’s awake!!!’

I wasn’t sure whether I should feel like a princess that had been rescued from an eternal slumber by a handsome prince or a fearful ogre roused from the safety of my unconsciousness. In hindsight it was definitely more of an ‘IT’S ALIVE!’ tone.

I don’t hate kids. They can be pretty cute. And don’t go thinking that I don’t have moments of feeling broody. I’m as bad as the next girl with that. It is usually coupled with a sense of panic however when I fret about whether the father of my future children will support a different football team and the subsequent fights that would ensue. I’m terribly stubborn. I’m assuming that I will like my own kids. My mum didn’t have me til she was thirty-nine. She wanted time to be selfish and have a career and that so I oft think I may follow the same path. But until the memories of when I used to go face painting and wretched while removing crusty snot from underneath little noses have gone, I can’t envisage any little Lucy’s running around. Lucky you.