Biological Clocks, and Other Betrayals of Mother Nature

From the time I was a little kid, I loved babies.  I thought my mother was terrible for not providing me with a younger sibling, thus granting me that oh-so-favored place as middle child.  Of course, as the baby of the family, I didn’t understand that babies weren’t just cute: they were loud, and smelly, and a big pain in the butt.  Nope I only saw this:


As I got older, I continued to adore babies.  My mother once pointed out that I’d better look at the boys first.  Good point.  Then again, I liken that to the way many girls think of weddings.  The groom is generally the last piece of the puzzle, long after picking out your dress, the location, the flowers, your colors, etc.  Notice there is a Dream Wedding Barbie, but no Dream Wedding Ken.  That’s because guys don’t dream of weddings, they dream of trucks.

Anyway, by the time I had gotten out of my teens, I had developed full blown Early Onset Biological Clock Syndrome or its acronym STUPID.  When I met my future husband I scrutinized him carefully.  He was kind, patient, reliable, held an actual job, and children were attracted to him like he was the freaking Pied Piper.  Perfect father material!  Oh, and, yeah, I loved him and all, but a large part of me was thinking this:


STUPID is insidious, and is not termed “biological clock” for nothing.  It feels like a constant ringing inside your head.  You can be the most competent, intelligent woman around, but once STUPID hits, this is all you think about:


People will try to warn you.  They’ll say sensible crap like “Babies are a lot of work” and “Babies are expensive and you’re freaking broke” and “Maybe you should wait until your marriage and / or career is more stable” and “You realize you can’t ever take them back.” All good advice.  But you hear:


My husband and I could not agree on when to have a baby.  I wanted one on the honeymoon.  Him not so much.  He was a good provider of the sensible advice.  So I asked when he’d be ready, because I’m a planner.  His answer, “I dunno.”  This did not impress me.  So I went along, irritated, and continued on with my job as a teaching assistant while working on my graduate degree.  I actually started school because they offered me a job.  Not only was the pay outstanding (right), it caused schizophrenia because you got to be both teacher and student, but not enough of both.  So naturally it was right in the middle of a college semester when we had an Oops.  Finally!  I had gotten just what I wanted!  But as soon as that stick turned pink, I thought:


CRAPPPPP what have I done???  We have no money.  We’ve only been married 9 months, so we hardly even know each other.  And most importantly: We cannot keep a plant alive.  We are so in trouble.

My husband, the one who wasn’t so into it, took it in stride.  Hey, a baby, cool okay.  Just – what???  He is so laid back about most things, I’m amazed he is ever actually upright.  Then came the joy of morning sickness, which doesn’t just occur in the morning, sorry.  And hormones playing ping pong with my depression and anxiety, so that I was freaking out almost every day.  I went to the classes I taught, handed out assignments, and took mini naps on my desk, trying not to puke.  For four months, my constant companion was “Mr. Bowl”, which I took with me everywhere in case I had to vomit.  Yay, pregnancy is so much fun!  But that’s okay, because at the end you get . . .


Once the morning sickness abated, things weren’t too bad.  Until we took that Lamaze class and they showed how your cervix will widen to ten centimeters.  They had a handy chart.  Every woman in the room gasped.  I’m pretty sure almost all of us wanted off the ride at that point.

But in the end, I did get my baby, and she was beautiful and perfect and even came three weeks early.  My mother said “See, I told you that you couldn’t wait 9 months to have a baby.”  She slept most of the first month, and I delighted in dressing her up in all her cute baby clothes while she snoozed, oblivious.  My friend and I took her along with us everywhere.  She was the best doll ev-er.  And then she woke up.

The first year was kind of like this:


So naturally, after we survived that, I started thinking, hey, it’d be kinda cool to have another one, you know, like matching luggage that poops.  So four years and a mixup with the birth control later, we got our second baby.  And immediately after, I had my tubes tied.

Now I can safely say that I no longer like babies.  I mean, sure, I’ll coo at a cute baby, maybe even hold it a few minutes, but then I’m done.  Done.  Because I know what lies beneath the cuteness.  Mother Nature is done with me, and so gave me relief from the STUPID.  I realize she has to do this to us, so that we can continue to overpopulate the planet and whatnot.  But dang, you do not want to mess with her.  She’s ruthless.  Just like this:

They eventually become teens!
BTW, you suck!

53 responses

  1. I’m going to bookmark this in case I ever have the urge to procreate again as a reminder of what it really means. Right now I know so when total strangers ask me the completely appropriate question of “When are you going to have another baby?”, I can answer “Are you fucking crazy?”

    1. I had to have the baby maker removed at 30, two years after the last baby. Not longe after the surgery I was holding someone’s baby. A guy at church remarked, “So aren’t you and dh going to have another baby?” Cause we had girls, so naturally we should try again for the 50/50 chance that we’d get a boy. I said, “Not without a uterus.” I wish I could have taken a picture of that man’s face.

  2. This post is like talking to me personally. I have full blown STUPID and I’m ignoring all your words and just hearing “Babiezz, babiezz, babiezz.”


      1. Too late. E L James got there first

  3. We’re trying to decide if we’ll have another, and I’m listening carefully to your words!

    1. I am unable to listen anymore because my children have ruined my hearing. One plus of having another child is if the first is young enough, she’ll enjoy playing peek-a-boo for hours with the baby whereas you will get tired of it in 42 seconds.

  4. Alice,
    Christ I like this post! Babies are magnificent™, especially other people’s babies, and when you have a nanny. I find babies on TV also quite nice. Sometimes, when I walk in the beautiful streets of Montreal, I see parents and their babies, and I think: Aw… So cute. And then I go back home, and lock myself in the basement, with music blaring. I dare you to get my attention, Tiny Geek…

    New, where was I?
    Le Clown

    1. I love that you have trademarked magnificent. It’s like when we Americans went around planting our flags everywhere and saying “Mine” even though technically there were already people there.

      Babies on TV are okay, but wtf with filming the births? Gross. I didn’t want to see my own childrens’ birth.

      Tiny Geek is probably already in the basement, having figured out how to climb up stuff and unlock doors and make it down stairs while your head was turned.

  5. I am so glad I am gay because otherwise my house would be over-run with babiez! A few years ago it was all I could think about day and night. Then our son turned into a teenager and my biological clock stopped completely! This post was a reminder to me to never think about trying again!

    1. Yup. That’s why I had my tubes tied right after the second birth. The doc asked if I was sure. I said, “Where you there five minutes ago while I was screaming my head off? Yes. Sure.”

  6. Wow. We are seriously alike. This is pretty much how it worked for me, even down to the tied tubes. Great post.

    1. You might be my long, lost twin!

  7. I have never come down with a case of STUPID, and guess what everybody else tells me? “BUT: Babieeeeeeez!”

    1. You are not a “real” woman until you have the STUPID. I mean, who wants money, time, or sleep? Pfft. 😀

      1. Right. I get the “real woman” comment a lot. Oh, a dollar for every time…I could probably afford a child by now, but would probably buy a house.

  8. Ah, yes, the lure of babies. It’s the scent of their sweet little heads that gets us. But then they become teenagers, and the scent’s no longer so sweet. But you find that other things are, and that this being you created has a mind of his/her own and is full of clever ideas and opinions. It’s all fun; it’s all hard; and it never gets easier–just gets different. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂

    Great post!

    1. I used to love their tiny little feet. So cute. Not anymore. WOW my 12 year old’s feet smell. It might be that she never changes her socks.

      1. Yeah, once you get past those toddler years, the feet aren’t so sweet either. 😉

  9. Of course, you could be my mother, and answer the siren song via foster/adopt three decades and three grandchildren after tying those tubes. :-b

  10. Le Clown caught STUPID 7 months into our relationship…not marriage…7 months after our first date. But he is a persuasive and charming clown, and a loving dad clown, so I thought, “hey, how bad can it be? All my rational arguments and hesitation must be wrong!”.
    Le Clown still apologizes for leading me astray. Strangely, lately, since my Sads are better, for the first time, I can hear “tic tic tic”. What the ever loving walrus!?

    1. Mother Nature is eeeevil. “See their CUTENESS?” she asks. Don’t look into their eyes, Sara! Run away, run away! 😀

  11. P.S. Do you only like white babies? Or were they all out of the other ones?

    1. I like white babies like white baby Jesus, silly. Actually it just occured to me they were all white, lol. They were the first ones I found that I was pretty sure weren’t children of other bloggers. None of those look like Tiny Geek, do they?

  12. P.P.S. This post was crazy funny.

    1. P.P.P.S. A high compliment from the Ringmistress! BTW, why are you called that?

      1. Well, via Le Clown, we all have monikers. And we tried to keep with a circus/carnival theme. Clown, Ringmistress, Tiny Geek (as in biting the heads off chickens)…the whispering petunia will likely be renamed at some point. Also, I didn’t want to be the bearded lady.

        1. Ohhh, duh, like Ringmaster (I hate that we’re mistresses instead of masters, although since you are his wife, I guess that’s okay. And you’re still in charge of the clowns. By the way, how many people can you get in your car?)

          I had not heard of a circus performer biting the heads off chickens, but I guess the freak show has room for all! And no one wants to be the bearded lady. Except I guess it’d come in handy for Movember.

  13. I completely lack any motherly instinct, I am actually scared by babies: they look like ancestral creatures that are both innocent and almighty. Moreover, they scream and smell. I’m better off with my cats.

    1. Yeah, it occured to me later while watching TLC’s “A Baby Story” that they kinda resemble lizards when they’re newborn. And the sleep thing . . . I never appreciated it until after I had kids.

  14. Alice, I love this post! BABIEZZ! They are really cute, especially when they’re not mine.

    I actually meant to stop at bookends… Oops. (Also, Michael wasn’t formally diagnosed until I was already pregnant with our third.) I suppose the good news is, if anything happens to us, Michael will have two siblings looking out for him.

    1. I was fairly certain there would be another Oops in my future (my track record was not so good, though obviously both were wanted, not necessarily at said times . . .) if I didn’t get fixed.

      It is good that Michael has siblings looking out for him. I fought w/ my brother like crazy, but now it’s nice to have someone else with the same parents, growing up experience thing. And my girls usually get along quite well, considering the 4 year age gap. Thing one was THRILLED when Thing two came home. She would tell everyone “This is my little baby sister. Her name is . . .” 😀

  15. Babies are incredibly cute. I like them. I couldn’t eat a whole one, mind. Not in one sitting, anyway. I will quite happily cuddle a small child (or not so small child) and entertain them for a time, but I will just as happily return said small child to its rightful owner – er, parent. And yes, this does include my nieces and nephew.

    1. Haha! Yes, it’s best to eat your babies in portions. I learned that in my evil heathen school! I am happy to return babies to their proper owners now. Sometimes I wonder when the parents of my children are coming home.

      1. Having had my sister and her kids visit yesterday, I’ve had my fix of small cute people which will last me until the next time I see them! They are totally adorable, but I’m sure if they weren’t related to me I’d think they were a nightmare.

        I think, if you look in a mirror, you’ll find one of the parents of your kids… 😉

        1. Yeah, I used to think I wanted to be an elementary school teacher. I even majored in it a while. Then I realized I don’t actually like children most of the time (except when related, mostly).

  16. Great post!
    It’s all worth it when your children have children of their own and they look at you with that “why didn’t you tell me about this” look. Check out the look on my son’s face here: They’re going to have their third daughter in two months…poor guy 🙂

    1. That yawn cracks me up. It’s been on my face for 12 years now. Third daughter? I kind of figured we’d end up with a third girl if I”d had another . . . that is if I could go through another pregnancy which was a big NO WAY.

      Cute baby too. But not even tempted!

      1. It just gets better and better, you’ll lose that yawn. I only had one daughter and got fixed straight away. Lucky for my son he came first…

  17. I hope I never catch STUPID. I am terrified of babies and adorableness. Surely anything that cute has to be pure evil on the inside, right? I know there is a reason why my parents only had one.

  18. I caught STUPID four times before I got off that bus. They are wonderful and I love them but it’s bloody hard work!! You’re very funny and I simply MUST read more of you!
    Jen xx

    1. Thanks! I hope you will. Do you have boys, girls, or some of both?

      1. All boys and I am a single Mum now si it’s pretty full on. You?

        1. Wow, four boys. My boss’s daughter has six boys! I have two girls.

          1. I realised that after I read one of your replies. Bloody hell 6 boys? That is madness in epic proportions!
            Must be nice to have pink frilly stuff around the house?!

          2. I did when they were little and I could dress them how I wanted (matching pink dresses FTW). Now 12 year old does not like pink and only wants to wear jeans and 8 year old dresses like an insane hobo ballerina. Lol.

          3. Wonderful! My 6 year old went to bed the other night in his pyjama pants and a skirt that I pinned to fit him. (glad he didn’t get pricked). He told me he would like to be a girl sometimes. So cute.

          4. My 8 year old’s best buddy is a boy. When she turned 5, he came to her party and it was pretty girly. I figured he’d want something more boyish, so I got him a king-like crown instead of a tiara. He cried because he wanted a tiara too! Lol. So we gave him one. Then he chased the girls around using his wand as a ray gun. So funny.

  19. I think looking at babies makes my ovaries shrivel…

    1. I know mine are. A doctor told me they looked like shriveled grapes. Thanks, doc!

      1. HAHAHAHA! Well, that doc is either hilarious or SERIOUSLY terrible at people skills ^.^

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