Another Guy Browning article
How to… Have children
Saturday June 17, 2006
They say that children are noise covered in dirt. Actually they’re fast-moving noisy dirt. That’s why they’re best when they’re asleep, because that’s the only time they are quiet, clean and still.
Children have an enormous amount of energy. They get this directly from their parents, who have precisely no energy by about 8.30pm. This explains why mindless rubbish TV is so popular at around this time. Children are nature’s contracep- tives. A baby crying in the night is the exact opposite of a Romantic Moods CD.
Unlike a CD player, there is no remote control, so you have to get out of bed to adjust the volume. Once you’ve started having babies, the phrase “Let’s make love” becomes associated with “Let’s change more nappies” and that’s not necessarily apowerful aphrodisiac. One of the great things about having children is that you get to know another human being for the first time – your parents. Every parent vows not to make the same mistakes their parents made.
Unfortunately, having children in the first place was their big mistake and you’ve already made it.
Girls and boys are born different. Boys come out wanting to play withanything round. Girls come outknowing that their arrival will change the dynamics of the family insubtle and possibly useful ways. What children growing up needmore than anything else is aconstant, stable environment that willnurture and comfort them.
The TV plays this role in most families. When children grow up a little and require a higher level of interaction, they can then go online. The quickest way to grow up is tohave children. You can try and remain childish, but your children will then have to grow up faster to compensate. When you become aparent, you often become worryingly like your own parent. You startusing the exact phrases they did, such as, “You must eat that so you’ll grow up big and strong” – even though you ate it and grew up short and weedy. Most people who have children wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are moments of pure joy when your heart is filled with love. These moments come on a regular basis after 7,894 other moments involving noise, dirt and damage to property. my eye, “and the fact that you’re always citing that single incident isproof that it’s the only time I’ve ever been antisocial!”
Anyway, Eric’s demeanour throughout the incident was equally awkward. He clearly didn’t want to walk with me just as vehemently asIdidn’t want to walk with him. “His antisocial attitude makes himinteresting,” I think. “I can relate to that. What an interestingly antisocial self-assured person.” Now all I need to do is wait here inthe toilet until I hear him scamper away. So I do. “I’m going to hire him!” I think.