Curse your enemy by wishing kids on him

Believe it or not, I used to be a kid. That’s what I tell my kids all the time. I think my son may believe it, old soul that he’s always been. But my daughter remains skeptical and constantly seeks proof, as though the old family photos of a mini-me aren’t enough.

In my kids’ minds, I was born carrying a checkbook, doing laundry and packing lunches. They believe the first words out of my mouth were, “Stop doing that.” And I never wasted time and money or got dirty, either, despite living on a farm.

It doesn’t matter how many bad Kristy behavior tales my mother, other relatives and family friends share with my children, they remain abstract stories about somebody else’s little girl. My kids are convinced the small hand that once held a rattle was a miniature iron fist.

One day, after they’d done something especially despicable, like cutting each others hair, Connor asked the 800-pound gorilla question that had been lingering in the room: “Mom, ever wondered why you had kids?”

You’d think I would have been quicker with the answer, as I’d already been mulling it over. I bit my lip before proceeding. In the way of disclaimer, I asked him if he really wanted to know. He was naïve enough to say “yes” and I was irritated enough to unload.

“Well,” I told him, “your dad and I had accumulated too much in savings and we had entirely too much time on our hands. We were also tired of our house looking clean and we both hated using the bathroom alone,” I began. He seemed to be following, so I continued.

“We started asking around, like people do when they’re shopping for a different vehicle or trying to determine where to go on vacation: You poll friends and co-workers for their opinions to save some leg work. According to those we surveyed, it was unanimous the quickest way to forfeit the maximum amount of money, time and order was to have children. So I went ahead and got pregnant for you.”

Wow. Just like that. I could see he was impressed. No unplanned pregnancy for his mother. Nope. She had it all figured out down to the crusted over cereal bowls she would someday be extracting from under the couch. It was all part of a master plan to introduce poverty, busyness and disarray into a previously satisfying life.

Years ago, before I had kids and in an era when talk shows were civilized, I witnessed the host pose this question to an expert on families, “Is there ever a good reason to have children?” The long and short answer was that as far as rational decision-making goes, having children simply couldn’t be classified as sane.

Sure, there’s the propagation of the species angle (which should not be overlooked), but except for those who need to grow their own farm laborers, children only serve to complicate life. In fact, one of the best ways to curse an enemy is not to wish sudden death on him, but to wish him buried alive via children. Think about it: You could delight in watching all the spontaneity, solitude, sleep, timeliness, disposable income and effectiveness slowly squeezed out of him.

In retaliation against children, it occurs to me that instead of improving the environment to someday hand over to them, we should hold them accountable for their role in ruining it. Policing the back door my children are prone to leave open on the coldest winter days, I concluded global warming is the net effect of millions of children carelessly failing to shut doors, thus sending all our home heat out into the environment.

I’ve written Al Gore about this inconvenient truth and am awaiting his response. No doubt, his people will come up with a public service campaign featuring a lame character, perhaps, “Drafty the Dog,” reminding kids to, “Shut the door for Mr. Gore.”

If this works, I will forward him my theory that boys urinating outside to irritate their mothers is the chief source of groundwater contamination. That’s me, always thinking. Anyone care to help me write the grant to fund that research?


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