Monday, March 3, 2008

Subway and Children

The other night I went to Subway to pick up some dinner since I had a buy one, get one free coupon and I love Subway. The store is about 600m from my house, so I figured I would be in and out in no time. Naturally, I was wrong but in the process of being at this Subway for 30 minutes I learned some things.

First of all, the scene in there upon my arrival was frightening and I almost bailed immediately. There were 5 people in line in front of me and several of these people had young-ish kids with them. There was only one person working which just compounded the wait and everyone in front of me kept making all these really complex orders. Throw in the fact that as I approached the front of the line the bread supply was down to about 4 pieces and things started getting pretty edgy in line. It was like some scene out of the third world where people were fighting over the scraps from the aid trucks. People were bartering for line position behind me and the poor guy working had to inform everyone coming in that they were essentially out of bread. Not only did this excruciating wait watching the bread dwindle in front of me and people stumble over their orders teach me a lesson in patience it made me acutely aware I am nowhere near ready to have children.

Having kids changes your entire life. I have no idea exactly what this feels like, since I have no kids, but I can imagine it is something you can't really wrap your head around until your right in the middle of it. You can't do anything quickly with kids I learned. They are small, and slow and their brains don't operate as fast as they will once they grow up. Ordering food with kids is like pulling teeth because they are too shy to talk to the person behind the counter, so they have to relay the order through their parent. Don't even think about ordering for them either, as that is a huge insult likely to result in a tantrum. They also like really weird combinations of food items that only kids would like; pepperoni, bacon, turkey, tomatoes, oil and vinegar and mayo? what the hell?

They are also small and in the way and find a reason to be underfoot at all times. Kids are constantly banging into things, other people, each other; it's a 24/7 cluster fuck with them.

Given my current lifestyle of inhabiting other people's domiciles on the weekends, liking to take off on a whim and always looking for a way to shirk responsibility having kids would essentially ruin that. I mean, I had to take care of the cat for a week on my own and that derailed lots of small travel plans. I couldn't take it with me, but I couldn't abandon it for a week and hope for the best either. Nor could I afford to pay someone else to care for it, let alone the fact that I don't like strangers being in my apartment. And this is all with a cat, human children are easily 1000x as needy as a cat.

Needless to say, I haven't reconsidered my overall life plan of fathering children and being a stay at home dad someday, but I think that day needs to be a little further down the line given this experience. I just kept thinking that if I had kids right now, they would probably starve to death or drive me to commit a violent crime on some stranger out of sheer frustration.

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