Baby Fever

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“Tell me Pat, how is it that little adolescent girls are out here getting pregnant like a mischief of mice yet as hard as I try I can’t seem to have a baby?”

“Everything in its own time, Anne.”

“Seriously, tiny little girls with pointy breasts are having abortions every day. Everywhere I look there is a kid holding a kid, or a kid with a protruding belly, why not me?”

“You know it might be science. It’s an absurdity that we are most fertile in our late teens but the world decided that we should be in school. The world says we’re too young when we’re most fertile and anatomy says we’re past our sell-by date when we’re old enough.”

“Bugger science. My mother-in-law used to say that women with wide hips get pregnant the quickest. Look at my hips Pat, they are as wide as a ship, yet nothing. My ex-mother-in-law now I suppose. Is there something as an ex-mother-in-law, how miserable do you have to be to have an ex-mother-in-law? You know, I used to think my husband was the problem. Well, ex-husband now. If only I had a shilling or a baby for every ex I have, eh?”

“You’ll work yourself into depression Anne, you’re still young and vibrant.”

“You know it was cathartic, seeing him miserable just like I was but then we parted ways and now he has six of those little scumbags running around his house and they all have his foolish, flat forehead you’d think he has a baby photocopier in the house. Christ! Pat, the government ought to do us all a favor and put sanctions on the number of kids you can have, especially if they come bundled with flat foreheads.”

“Anne, be nice.”

“You’re right, God knows I would use that baby photocopier if I had one. You know, all I seem to do nowadays is go to the doctor, “Everything is okay,” he keeps telling me but now I think he is looking for a problem. You know I think the perverted doctor enjoys those uncomfortable questions: “How many sexual partners have you had,” he asks and I think to myself, do the ones I have taken to bed after a glass or two of red wine count? “What type of birth control do you use?” He continues with that annoying poker face doctors wear. I say the diaphragm, the pill and rubber but in all honesty it seems I should be using none since all my men seem to be shooting blanks.”

“You should be happy then that you don’t have a problem.”

“Problem? I have heard that word countless times, it’s starting to lose meaning. You know I wish I had a problem just so I can have something to pin my issues on but I guess I will leave that to my doctor, he is looking for a problem so hard I think I will go in for a checkup one of these days and Dr. Wesonga will be like, “Yup, it’s those wide hips,” or “That purple sweater you’re wearing, yes. That’s the problem, it doesn’t go with pregnancy.”

“Haha you’re being ridiculous.”

“And who has a doctor called Wesonga anyway? I think that name doesn’t go with pregnancy. But Pat, tell me, why do you think we go crazy about having something when there’s a hindrance? I would probably hate my baby. I would hate the crying, the waking up in the middle of the night and the smelling of stale-milk and vomit. I would probably drop it countless times and I wouldn’t know where the diaper goes but here I am greensick, crying myself to sleep every other night because my stomach won’t swell for nine months.”

“We’re selfish Anne. We like to think the world revolves around us but it doesn’t. Even when your parent is asking you, “Where is my grand-kid?” She wants to imagine that it’s about her. That it’s about leaving a legacy but it’s not. A hundred, five hundred years from now no one will remember our names or our kids names and even if they do they won’t care because they will be too busy living their lives. What is that line by Shakespeare, “The world’s a stage and we’re all just parts.”

“I don’t even care about a hundred years from now. I’m not even asking for much Pat just a squealing toddler but the world denies me that then goes on to rub it in my face. Everywhere I turn there is a kid or a pregnant woman or something that reminds me of both. I cross the road, some kid is holding a pregnant woman’s hand, I go to the supermarket and all I see are strollers, bibs, diapers and baby monitors. I get to the counter and a kid is wailing over some toy the parent can’t afford. Everything around me screams I’m the problem. Heh, there’s that word again.”

“Not having a kid is not the end of the world Anne.”

“Look at me Pat. I’m thirty. Soon I will have wrinkles around my eyes and my boobs will sag to the point of falling into my armpits when I sleep on my back and who do you suppose will change my diapers? Who will come to visit me when I am old and grizzled? You know I don’t even want to leave a legacy. I just want a daughter. It’s crazy but I want to see little boys falling over themselves chasing her. Or even a son, strong, he can be weak too, he can be delicate. He can love other boys. He can think the world is flat. I don’t care, just put him in my belly.”

“Come on Anne, you’re young. They say life starts at thirty, by that logic you haven’t even flowered yet, you’ve just dipped your toes in the pool of life. And your diapers being changed? Good God! I think you will have your bowels intact long after you’re eighty. So relax, you have had too much living too quickly. Slow down.”

“What is all these for Pat. This money I’m making. What is it for if not for bringing up little degenerates? You know I also want to sit at a table with ditzy moms and with a cocksure voice say something like, “Kyle is the best thing that happened to me. I would be lost without him.”

“You’re ridiculous Anne. You’ve already given this kid you don’t have a name?”

“And picked out a school for him too. I want to brag to these mothers how expensive the school my Kyle attends is and how he is the smartest little thing to ever walk the world even though all he can say is “dada” and is every bit the same as every other child out there but no, my Kyle must be special.”

“You know what a baby means, you have to forget about looking good in those mini-dresses you love, going out, travelling, being selfish. Have you thought about that?”

“I have been doing all those things for all of my thirty years. It gets boring.”

“So novelty is what you’re after? How long till Kyle gets boring too?”

“Teenage hood I suppose. Then I ship him off to boarding school like every other parent does.”

“If you want a tot that bad there’s always adoption or the surrogate route?”

“Adoption? Surrogate? That’s worst case scenario. You’re making it sound as if it’s something as easy as buying a handbag. Besides I don’t know. I want a kid with my blood flowing in their veins. A mirror. Something I have grown myself.”

“You’re quite the farmer eh? I was reading somewhere, a magazine, no, a book. Us by David Nicholls. We like to think that the process of siring kids is reproduction but there is no such thing. When two people decide to have a baby, they engage in an act of production. Think about it. That kid you carry in your womb for nine months might look nothing like you, it might not even have your blood type and regardless of your parenting skills he will turn out the way he turns out and be what he wants to be. So adoption or surrogacy is not really a worst case scenario, it’s a viable alternative.”

“You and books. Think this David Nicholls character is single, and more importantly, fertile?”

“Whoa, look at the time, you’ve been moaning about babies through our entire lunch date, shall we away?”

“Jeez, I lost all sense of time, let’s go.”

“Before you get up, tell me, is there a man somewhere. You realize that’s one of the main ingredients for the production of a baby, don’t you?”

“Huh a man, what is that? Well, I could use one of those: strong, chivalrous and doesn’t snore. My cheeks reddening when he smiles at me. My mouth opening under his. I get Goosebumps just imagining a relationship but God knows how much of a botch I have made out of those. Heh, men. That’s an entire rant on its own. They seem to be everywhere I turn yet I can’t seem to get one, and when I do I can’t seem to keep him. I guess it’s another problem Dr. Wesonga hasn’t discovered.”

“Seriously Anne, get rid of that doctor.”

“Come on, I like this one, and not that it’s important or anything but he doesn’t have any rings on his fingers.”

“Let’s go Anne.”

“After you, Pat.”


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