In a natural progression on from my talks about marriage, next come the wee ones popping outta you. I would like to start this entry by saying a big public congratulations to Miss Laura Nesbitt and Mr Joe Foster on the arrival of their first son Leo Foster, who is two weeks old tomorrow. Leo, you are the inspiration for a little discussion about babies and truth be told a much needed inspiration at that, nothing too excited is happening in my life so you have provided a talking point! For that I thank you, and I would like to emphasise that if I say anything mean about babies, it’s not directed at you, of course it isn’t. Also, we really should meet sometime; give me a call.
Now Leo is the first little bairn to be born in our circle of friends, so it of course got me thinking about our want for children around this age. I guess this moves on from feeling like marriage is a natural progression from dating someone for a number of years, babies inevitably is the next hot topic. I think it’s weird that the want for children can differ so much from person to person, particularly from woman to woman. Laura, Leo’s mother, told Joe around about a year and a half ago (or thereabouts, correct me if I’m wrong guys!) that she was thinking she wanted a baby, which made her around the 23/24 years old mark. Now I’m currently 22, and I couldn’t think of anything worse than having a baby in two years time.
From the age when us little girls can just about walk, it’s pretty standard that someone will thrust a toy doll into our hands to have as our own. Is it just me or isn’t this actually a really strange tradition?! Just children ourselves, hardly much older than the age that doll is supposed to depict, our role as a mother is projected onto us so very early in life. Perhaps this dates back to a few hundred years ago when a woman was predominantly there to procreate and be a mother, first and foremost. Along with those miniature fake plastic kitchen’s you get because a woman’s place in pregnant and in the kitchen! I don’t mean to go all radical feminist on you all here, but I’ve got to say, giving a little girl a simulation of a baby seems a little weird to me. Especially the ones nowadays that imitate going to the toilet; that’s the worst bit of parenting. If it’s supposed to be make-believe for this little girl you don’t need to put that in! Trying to make these dolls as realistic as possible is quite scary as we’re really trying to give these young ladies a taste of what it’s like to have a baby. (Although you could leave this one on a roundabout in a park somewhere and not have social services come down on you, maybe that’s the next horrific step in the production of these toys, Doll protection?! Madness.)
Don’t get me wrong, I loved my dolls so much when I was little, and my miniature fake plastic kitchen was my pride and joy. These things probably aren’t linked to my lack of want for children any more than it is linked to Laura’s earlier want for babies, as I’m sure she adored her toys just as much. I’m just thinking that little girls should be little girls for as long as they can whilst they are still little. Without another little (fake) person attached to them.
One piece of advice that sticks in my head when it comes to this subject is something my ex-manager’s mother told her when she was my age. (A tenuous link yes but stick with me, I am very close to said ex-manager!) That guidance was to never have children until you’ve done everything in your life you wanted to do, and I think she couldn’t be more right. For me at this time I can safely say that my twenties are my own to enjoy. Once you have children, you are sharing that life with something you’re linked to in many more ways than you could be with anyone else, even a boyfriend or husband. So for me children aren’t my gig right now, or for a very long time. That is of course no judgement on anyone who does have kids right now, if that’s what they feel is right. I have a few friends, Laura included, that are just made to be Mumma’s. They’ve done everything they’ve wanted to do, and having a wee baby is their moment to shine.