A few weeks ago, I was out to dinner wtih a couple of girlfriends. Right in the middle of our oh-so-important girl talk, a baby at a nearby table started to fuss … loudly. One of my girlfriends said, “My daughter is 14. I’m done with babies. I don’t want to hear it. If you can’t keep your baby under control, you take it outside or you stay home. It’s common courtesy.”
Makes sense. I was still a bit surprised by her intense reaction to a sound that I had barely been aware of.
A couple of days later, I was on the phone with a different girlfriend who is coming to terms with the fact that she probably is not going to have kids. She DOES, however, have a dog and will interrrupt any conversation to stop and giggle at said puppy’s antics. (And who wouldn’t? Dogs can be hilarious!)
While we’re on the phone, I’m grocery shopping. She stops me in mid-sentence and asks, “Isn’t that bothering you? How can you stand that?”
“Stand what?” I ask. That’s when I hear it. The little girl behind me saying, “Dad. Dad. Daddy. Dad. Daddydaddaddydaddaddaddaddy…”
My friend proceed to spout something akin to what the first girlfriend had while we were out to dinner and I was again surprised at the intensity of the reaction.
A week ago, I was babysitting for some friends of mine. Yes, an actual baby and his toddler sister. The baby was feeling a bit under the weather so, like most babies, he wanted to be held and wanted to play and was having a hard time feeling comfortable and was fussing. He wasn’t even fussing that much.
He is by no means a fussy baby. He was just unhappy. My girlfriend on the phone (the one who had been on the phone while I was in the grocery store) seemed to be unable to handle the sounds of a not-so-fussy baby and the interruptions of me giggling at the toddler.
It has me wondering…
Does my girlfriend find the sounds of children intolerable because she’s convinced it’s not going to be something in her life? Or is it because in her core she actually never really wanted kids in the first place?
If it’s the latter, then how many other people say they want kids when they really don’t? Does a certain “subborn bear who insists on making the cafe himself” actually want kids? Or is he in the same boat as my girlfriend? Do they just think the ship has sailed and they got on the wrong ship? Do they even like sailing?
Am I overthinking again? 🙂