I don’t own a baby. At restaurants, I try not to eat near them. And, I generally think they are ugly.
I wasn’t always this angry toward babies. Don’t get me wrong, I never loved babies either. I was just indifferent about them. I accepted them as just another, slightly smaller, human being equally as self-centered and needy as I, among other parallels.
It was when babies started encroaching on my turf, like when they started eating at Seasons 52 and watching rated R movies, that we started to have problems.
It was also when babies started competing with me for the attention of my friends. “I don’t care if they are your parents, I knew them first and they want to come out and play with me, so stay in the car,” I’d say to them when their colic would ruin plans for a night out.
And the straw that broke the camel’s back was when babies became the central topic of every conversation. The same way you bring up the TV show Hoarders and if the person you’re talking to has seen at least 3 episodes, you can’t stop talking about it. Well, people enthralled by babies (parents) are the same way. Only, they don’t care if you’ve seen the show. They are going to tell you about every single episode and the commercials.
Forget about just being the subject and predicate of every sentence, if the kid is making noises that somewhat sound like a Lemur , it will try to interrupt your conversation – even if said conversation is over the phone. I called to speak to your mother and/or father you narcissist! Ugh.
I must, however, put all my aforementioned ill-feelings aside and admit that babies do serve one very important purpose: The perfect excuse. For this reason, I’m radically changing my mind. I’ve decided to have a baby.
Not a real one, of course.
Just a made-up, imaginary one. And this is what I’ll do:
At work, I’ll announce I’m having a baby. I’ll be vague about who exactly is having this baby for me, but whoever she is, has to be a handful. For instance, she doesn’t drive, which means I have to take her to all of the doctor appointments. And, from what I’ve gathered, there are lots. I’ll be sure to schedule them on Monday mornings and Friday afternoons.
In the event that co-workers want to throw some sort of baby shower or make a collection, I will ask for donation for a college fund. It won’t exactly be extortion, as I’ll use the money to pay for grad school.
At about 40 weeks from the day of my announcement, I’ll leave work in a rush claiming that water has spilled out of the woman having my baby and she’s in a cab (keeping the story straight about her not driving) on the way to the hospital. I’ll have to leave in a haste to not answer any questions about in which hospital we are having our fake baby.
For about a month after that, I can take all of my vacation time, sick time, floating holidays, short term disability, any extra comp time. I can take it all, all together, back-to-back. Without having to check my email once.
And, now, for the pièce de résistance, throughout the next two years, I have the perfect excuse for:
- Arriving late.
- Leaving early.
- Being tired.
- Not staying late.
- Not chipping in for office parties (babies are expensive).
- Wearing mismatched socks.
At the start of year three, the baby gets taken away. Not by the State. That’s too dramatic. By the biological mother. Maybe she moves to Canada or Guatemala and wants to take the kid. (Reminder: Neither the baby or the mother exist, so resist the urge for being sad.) Regardless where she goes, it is my duty to go visit the baby at least four times a year until it turns 18. Sometimes, the baby will come visit me. At which point, I have to go wait for it to arrive at the airport.
At some point between year 15 and 17, the baby will hate me. This will give me a nervous breakdown. Making me seek psychological treatment in one of those holistic retreat lodges in Arizona. I have to be careful not to use all of my comp time, as I will need some at year 18 for the traditional dropping-off-the-kid-at-college and at year 20 for the my-kid-is-doing-drugs-and-failing-college-intervention.
Man, babies do grow up fast.