My husband and I went to a party a few days ago, hosted by people who were friends of his and whom I was meeting for the first time. The party was the end result of two women cooking for 48 hours straight. There were tables laden with food, bottles of wine and a big tub of ice chilling beers, water and my Orange Crush. Both of the hosts were artists and the home was straight out of any one of a dozen decorating magazines, with fragile wall hangings, expensive lamps on pricey tables. The invitation said dogs were welcome but there wasn’t much for kids to do so it was best to leave them at home.
That was a polite, Southern way of saying “NO KIDS”.
Of course that didn’t stop one couple from bringing their baby. Two other attendees had also given birth within the last three months, and brought their babies in spirit if not in flesh.
Now I know I take a lot of flak for being Childfree in this world that worships children. I get that, because being grumpy about most people’s prized possession/chief accomplishment/reason for being alive is not a way to win friends. So I put up with loud babies banging on the tables in restaurants. I put up with children at buffets mixing lettuce and pudding while they inexpertly try to serve themselves in spite of signs everywhere saying they need to be accompanied by an adult.
But when you’ve been invited to a party at a private home AND told to not bring your child…bringing your child is perhaps the rudest possible thing you could do. Even ruder than dropping your pants and crapping in the middle of the table. Especially if your baby cries uncontrollably. And craps ITS pants at the table. And disrupts the conversations of a dozen harried adults trying to unwind after an uberstressfull week.
I was talking with the hostess off to the side, both of us having to repeat ourselves occasionally when our words were drowned out by infant screams. She confessed to desperately wanting even ONE child, but understanding that so far it hadn’t been God’s plan for her life.
Bringing that baby into an infertile woman’s home was like twisting salt-encrusted shards of glass into an infected wound. It was beyond inconsiderate and well into cruel. I was infertile for years before converting to Childfree and the pain of it all was exquisite. Babies and children are everywhere, and often your home is the only oasis you have to get away from the needles of reminder.
I get that babies make you lose sleep. I get that they change your focus. But they shouldn’t rob you of your ability to understand someone else’s pain. Or the English language. No kids means no kids.