Part 44: Offspring

I haven’t got any baby childs. I thought I’d better make that clear, in case the overwhelming number of irresponsible and irrational character traits I’ve exhibited in the previous entries made you concerned for the welfare of any possible offspring*. Mostly this is fine; I’m okay with it. I’m almost entirely sure that I am in no way financially or emotionally stable enough to introduce a child into the world and then teach it things (right now for example, I have £20 in my bank account, having pissed away all my wages on rent, bills, and booze, and I just spent the last fifteen minutes sobbing at a fake Staffie in a glass box that some old man brought onto the Antiques Roadshow). Even so, for reasons that might be hormonal, or biological, or actual genuine desires stirring in my loins**, sometimes I want a little fat baby, with cheeks I can bite. Not as often as I want a puppy, but still, often enough that motherhood is a thing I’m starting to seriously consider.

Apart from the cheek biting, there’re several reasons why offspring are a thing I think I might want:

– I’m quite bored a lot of the time, except when I’m at work, having relocated to city some 300 miles away from all my friends and family. A baby will give me something meaningful to do with hours otherwise spent watching Melissa Joan Hart interviews, and wishing I had her life.

– I sleep a lot, and am starting to worry that this is a massive waste of time. Apparently a baby will put paid to sleep with immediate effect.

– I could dress it in cute outfits.

– Having children is sort of the point of human existence. At least, it’s the only point anyone can convincingly argue (using the theory of evolution, the answer to all of modern (wo)man’s questions).

Obviously there are an equal, if not larger, amount of reasons NOT to have a baby; like the fact that being pregnant is bound to encourage all sorts of tedious strangers to approach you in the street, and offer unsolicited advice. Also, the fact it might make you start using the phrase ‘as a mother…’ to preface your opinions; which is bound to cause a murderous mushroom cloud of rage to explode in the brain of whoever you’re talking to, and provoke them into attacking you with the prongs of a fork, in the eye.

If you’re still alert at this point in the argument, you might be thinking that being single is another obvious reason NOT to make babies, in which case: you’re wrong. The fantabulous part of being unattached and submitting to the ‘I-want-a-baby’ brain fog at this particular period in history, is that being single is no longer a barrier to fertilisation. This is a realistic daydream. You can get sperm quite easily on the Internet. I also know someone who had a baby with her gay best friend, and someone else who got pregnant by a bohemian stranger because she was bored of waiting for an honest/solvent/agreeable/sexually attractive/available man to materialise from the slim pickin’s provided by God (if He really wants us to go forth and multiply, he needs to, like, sort out the quality and availability of the current single-man stock).

One drawback is that single mothers are still subject to a reasonable amount of stigma, if the rodent-featured Peter Hitchens’ appearance on last week’s Question Time is it all indicative of the current political/social attitude of Middle-England. Not to belittle the considerable load the single mother must shoulder, but being frowned upon by the uptight, right-wing, Christian portion of society seems as good a reason as any to opt for a difficult life choice. And If I’m going to be a single Mama, I want to camp it right up: I’ll be the real life version of that drunken, sluttish, mother in the Harper Valley PTA song; knocking back cheap bourbon, raisin’ my chile my way, and stinging anyone who dares to criticise me with a sharp jab of wit from my pointy tongue. This would not be possible if I had a loving, supportive partner, who might want me to dress demurely, compromise on child-rearing decisions, and remain sexually faithful.

Sadly though, unless I want to risk inserting anonymous donor sperm from a questionable website into my womb, it looks like my dreams of being a Southern American single mother in the North of England may not actually come to fruition. My sex life is, erm, not likely to result in impregnation, and straw poll of all my gay mates over the past 18 months (i.e. a hysterical, wine-fuelled plea, stuttered out between choking sobs in yet another discussion about why I’m ALL ALONE) has been definitive: in response to the question ‘would you donate some of your sperms so I can have a baby?’, the unanimous reply has been ‘no, are you fucking mental?’

Looks like motherhood will have to wait until I’m coupled. Still, the liberty to drink several measures of Glenfiddich over ice without harming a foetus is a reason to be single, right?

*With thanks to bodhisattvaonritalin for the suggestion of ‘Offspring’ as a title for this blog.

** For most of my life, I believed that the ‘loins’ were the fleshy part of the body located on the inner thighs. You know; the long, sensitive bit of soft squidgy stuff that definitely isn’t muscle? That made sense to me, as the sexual context in which the word loins is most often employed made me think of there. Then, one time, my Dad bought some fish labelled ‘Tuna Loins’ from Sainsbury’s and I called up the store to complain because tuna doesn’t have loins. Turns out the word ‘loins’ refers to the meaty bit between the ribs and the pelvis, and the lower back (fish anatomy wasn’t the customer service operative’s strong point, but tuna definitely have a meaty bit under their ‘ribs’). Who knew?


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