Talking about Kevin

I have never been much of a kid person. What was at one point a general disgust has tempered over the years into more of a dull annoyance, but for the most part, I wouldn’t consider myself a huge fan. Being around other people’s children is like watching an episode of Planet Earth: I can enjoy a lion for 45 minutes without wanting one as a pet.

I have, like all 20-something women who openly espouse the anti-kid viewpoint, been tutted at by my slightly older peers (and mother), who assure me that I will at some point in lifeโ€”a point most likely decided upon by my uterusโ€”execute an about-face and forget the part of myself that shudders when a boisterous youngster boards my subway car. And in the interest of realism, I suppose that may very well be true. Despite having never been the type to coo over newborns or feel any particular affinity toward onesies, I can still understand thatโ€”objectively speakingโ€”my indifference when it comes to the young is nothing to be self-righteous about, and could very well be impermanent.

But even if I allow that my now 26-year-old emotional geography will change over the next decade, I still wonder why it is that I’m averse to the idea of creating another person. Some of the reasons are obvious: By measures of current-me happinessโ€”financial comfort, peace and quiet, lack of obligation to touch human fecesโ€”having a child is clearly bullshit. But these are things that people get past, by which I don’t simply mean that new parents are willing to make such sacrifices for their progeny, but rather that the very state of being a parent somehow dulls those needs. Touching poop isn’t something you can resent when the poop comes out of the wholly helpless human being that you made exist.

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