Kids are off limits!

Though it is cliche, it is so true that once you become a mother (or just a parent, really) you see the world completely different.  You really do begin to see the world through the eyes of your child.  And that can sometimes be such an ugly picture.  24ded4027616eaac89a9018a4ab9189e

In an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians (of course I am referencing KUWTK – I happen to love it) Kim Kardashian and her mother went on a trip and she also carried her (ever so beautiful) daughter, North along with her.  When they returned home from their trip, Kim and her mother were telling her sisters about a very rude and obnoxious lady who was on the flight with them who apparently was shouting very rude and racist comments about her and her baby at them on the flight.  Kim’s sister Khloe’s response was “I would’ve punched her in the face”.  I am not ashamed at all to say that I share the same feelings that Khloe did, and unlike Kim, I truly believe that I would have punched the lady in the face.  
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Thankfully, I would assume that in the situation with Kim Kardashian, her daughter was too young to even realize it but sadly, this is not always the case.  
 
What sometimes makes situations involving children so much worse is that most people do not realize how sensitive children are and how something that may seem simple to an adult can negatively affect a small child.  Because young children are usually egocentric, they truly believe that the world around them is literally just revolving around them.  A few years ago I was working in a preschool and each afternoon the children would go to the school cafeteria where the school’s cook, Mr. Carlos would give them their afternoon snack.  The snack menu changed on a daily basis and there were usually snacks like yogurt, Oreos, cheese puffs, Goldfish, you name it.  One of the snack choices was Cheez-its.  Those are these hard cheese flavored crackers and the children really didn’t care for them much.  One week, there had apparently been a problem with the school’s snack order and the children were given Cheez-its two days in a row.  The next day, which would have been the third day, we got to the cafeteria and much to their disappointment, they were given Cheez-its again.  With a sad face one of the children looked at me and said, “Miss Kim, is Mr. Carlos mad at us?” I had no idea why this child would think that because Mr. Carlos is probably one of the sweetest people I have ever met and all of the kids loved him.  I told the child that I didn’t think he was and I asked him why did he ask me that.  His response – “because he keeps giving us Cheez-its and we don’t like them.”In that situation of course it was not intended to hurt the children’s feelings, but it just goes to show how little ones think.  My daughter, who is two years old has had her poor little feelings hurt by an oh so immature ‘adult’ a few times, and whats sad about it is, it was intentional and for reasons that are so petty and stupid and have absolutely nothing to do with her.  A former acquaintance of mine, who had a very close connection to our family felt the need on a few occasions to snub my precious child.  This person and I used to be pretty close; we hung out a lot and as I said there was a close connection to my family so my daughter actually was very fond of her and referred to her as “Aunt”.  Once me and this person were no longer speaking, for very silly reasons as I said, she then apparently stopped speaking to my daughter as well.  What makes this so much worse is not only the fact that my daughter is only two years old, but the fact that she noticed that this person now ignores her whenever she sees her anywhere.  On the numerous occasions that this happened, each time my daughter would say to me, “Her not say hi to me” or “Her not talk to me anymore” and this makes me so upset.  6794dc95c92747db28a08b685ab86cceMy child is practically a baby and someone who is supposed to be a mature adult, and who is also a mother, feels that it is cool to behave this way toward an innocent child.  It leaves me to wonder, who is the child here?
 
I think that it is so moronic and insane to think that it is okay to hurt (in ANY way) an innocent, defenseless child who literally is not even aware that there is or even could be a problem; but that’s just me.  I know that everyone is not an expert in dealing with children, and by no means am I one either, but I do think that we as adults could sometimes be more aware of how something that may seem so simple to you could be so major to them.  You might not even realize that the reason you think the way you do or do certain things the way you do could be because of something that happened and influenced you when you were a small child.  
 
So the next time you feel inclined to say or do something rude to a child, no matter how simple it may seem, remember this – they are just an innocent child and if you get a kick out of hurting them, you truly do deserve a kick – in the ass. ce9b050cdbf9e16502afbd5808599fec
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Against An ‘Ingrained’ Notion of Motherhood Desire

In the past, I recall a particular scenario that has repeated itself over and over again, in different places and spaces, with different people, different genders, ethnicities and nationalities (though predominately Bahamian, most particularly so). Indeed, it has occurred so many times that it is almost etched into my very psyche.

I avoid this topic, this conversation with every being in me because it makes me so uncomfortable, so angry that frustration and flustering are immediate. What am I talking about exactly? Well let me first recount a typical scenario.

Upon talking to a few colleagues, in my old place of work, we were talking about children. Many gushed that they couldn’t wait to settle down and pop a few out. One wanted 6 children. Another 2, because 6 was too many. Another wanted 1, but wouldn’t the child be lonely? What about 3? Do you want girls? Boys? Should you have a mix? Too many boys are bad. But too many girls are a problem. And on, and on it went till it was my turn. And unto them I answered: I don’t want any children. There was a quite moment when a man smiled and said, oh, but you’re so young (I was 23), wait till you’re older, you’ll change your mind. My colleagues were around my age, so let’s say we had a pool of 20 to 30 and 2 who were over 50. Two men to 5 women.

Every single one of them said the exact same thing, that of course, I am mistaken, I must surely want children, that my hormones are just temporarily frozen, and I shall feel that urge to procreate upon maturity.

Insulting My Faculties

Let me first say, that the above scenario is inherently insulting. It is condescending and overly personal. And to make it all worse, I’ve heard it so many damn times I just roll my eyes and keep on going. Let me ground you a bit. I’ve always felt detached from children, even so as a child I didn’t connect with my peers. This solidified as I entered my teens and 20s. I do not want children. I have no desire to have children. I will never, biologically, birth my own children.

So to imply, that my desire to not procreate is:

  1. A lack of maturity is immensely insulting. I know many mature young 20s that have childrenand it’s great! I know a few older individuals who have children that are clearly unprepared, not ready and indeed almost emotionally neglectful towards their kids. So what does this men? That age ain’t nuttin but a number. Desire to have children is evident in the very young to the very old. Now the ability to have children, is, yes, a bit limited by age but I submit that age or maturity has nothing to do with the sheer desire (or lack thereof) to have children. My faculties aren’t broken, if I do not want to have children that is an irrevocably personal decision to do with being 24.
  2. A symptom of not being female-enough, is also incredibly insulting. I do not believe that there is a biological gene that requires I desire children. I can physically, birth a few kids, but there is no darn gene for this desire. I am against a biological notion of motherhood, to do so isolates so many women that are deemed less than for not having children for personal or physical children! My great-aunt could not physically birth children and growing up in the 60s, this was hard for her. She was isolated. Deemed as a broken thing. And for this to continue today? My femaleness is intact, my femininity (or perceived lack thereof) is not a cause or system of something that is wrong. Desire is not biological, it is personal.

I Am More Than My Ovaries

This is backed up by (or used as an excuse when persons choose to cross personal and emotional boundaries by demanding to have some reason, some physical reason as to my brazenness) the fact that physically, I have a serious hormone problem that makes it near physically impossible to do so. But of course, the doctor broke this to me very tenderly, like I was a fragile doll, and upon my complete lack of interest in this news, referred me to see a psychiatrist because surely, a woman who does not want to have children is utterly broken).

However, I use it primarily as an excuse to avoid overly personal, boundary crossing questions. That is my being complacent, I know, because instead of educating I seek a shortcut out. I will also state that before my hormones decided to go a bit wonky, I did not want children. I didn’t want them then, I don’t want one now, and I can pretty much surmise that I will not want them when I am in my 40s, 50s, or 60s.

I will not regret this decision, I am not doomed to eternal loneliness, a life filled with emptiness because I didn’t produce a few genetically similar beings. I am not sick. I should not be fixed, so please, please, do stop trying.

Cultural Phenomenon

This whole thing frustrates me, and I wonder if it is cultural? Being Bahamian, I have seen the righteous indignation upon my statement of a childless-future most predominately amongst Bahamians, both equally between men and women.

Women are confused, why would I not want children? Isn’t that what we are supposed to do (again, I submit, I am not some breeding chattel, I am a human and far above my breeding purposes)? I do not ridicule women who want to or have had children. I admire them, it is hard to give birth, and it is hard to nurture. I admire these women and think that having children is just another facet of life, and that the women who chose not to have children are also to be admired. Having or not having children means nothing about the woman’s choices or personhood. She is still a human being. Funny enough, the really personal, heartbreaking insults tend to be from fellow women. Sad.

Men are just horrified. Why wouldn’t I want to fulfill my womanly obligations to society? I get a few bible quotes every now and then, and I just ignore them. Some men seem to think that the biological argument is more reasonable, surely, I should want to have children? (On a side note, why do some men think it’s attractive to come onto a woman saying he wants to have babies with her? Did I miss a biological memo?).

Why do we as Bahamian (or world citizens at large, I would love to hear from everyone) seem to think that women should want to have children (or raise them, because I also don’t want to adopt. No. Children. Regardless from where they come from). Is it religion? Is it tradition? Is it Darwinian feedback?

ClaireSig