“I don’t actually want to hold your baby, sorry.”
I like kids. I really do.
I like their inane conversations (“Do you think Spiderman or Superman has longer arms?”)
I like the way they express themselves through fashion. (“No you can’t wear your dressing gown and my high heels to pre-school”).
I like their lack of filter and their inability to contain their emotions, their joy, their disappointment, their love.
I like them. Honestly.
I just, sometimes, don’t really want to be around yours.
It’s nothing personal.
I have three of my own.
Three deliciously amazing little beings who make my throat choke-up and my lips unable to stop smiling when I think of them. Three individuals who I can’t get enough of, they are interesting and creative and talented.
But they are my kids.
Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I want to be around other people’s.
Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I think yours are interesting and creative and talented.
Just because I have kids doesn’t mean I even like other kids.
Here’s the thing. While I might look idle as I sit in a coffee shop, laptop open, browsing Facebook, while I might look ready and willing to engage. Looks are deceiving. I am not.
If I am alone.. child free. I am alone for a reason. I could be working. I could be focused intently on watching the newest cat video on YouTube. I could be deeply invested in the latest Kardashian pregnancy bump shot .
But what I am not, I am sorry to say, is deeply invested in entertaining your toddler. Just because I engage in a minute of peekaboo doesn’t mean I want it to continue.
Just because I smile and remark on his cute shoes, or unusual sweater doesn’t mean he should linger.
I am not sure if I come across as being a kid-kinda-gal – perhaps I need to work on my ‘leave-me-the-f**k-alone-face’ but more and more I am being forced to invent excuses for my child-free hours to remain child free.
Sorry I just have to take this call. Oh is that the time?
From the kid at my daughter’s swimming lesson who plonks himself next to me and asks to play on my phone to the six-year old shopping with her mum who chats to me in the supermarket queue when I am trying to catch up whether or not Duchess Kate has lost her baby weight.