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Kids: Poster Children for Birth Control

by Tracie Grimes
Tracie is a monthly contributor to Kern County Family Magazine

was thinking back on my years of mothering young children – back to those days of tantrums, the dragging of feet as you’re pulling them across the street, and other forms of public humiliation – and began wondering how many young couples looked at my brood and decided not to have children.

I especially remember one instance in which my kids could very well have been the poster children for birth control.  We were in an airport waiting to board a plane.  Two of the kids were whining, because they wanted the cheap little plastic toys a nearby shop was selling, and the other two were tired.  And, you know what kids do when they are tired.  They become what I like to refer to as “boneless,” meaning that picking them up is something akin to hoisting a 1,000 pound bag of potatoes over your shoulder.  Except these sacks of potatoes are screaming.

Anyway, as I was rotating from one kid to the next trying to reason with them (“You don’t need another mystery animal whose eyes pop out every time you squeeze it.”) or placate them (“I’ll give you $1,000 or your blanket, if you’ll stop screaming and just lay back on my shoulder.”), I noticed a young couple watching us.

“I’ll bet you’re hoping that you aren’t on our flight,” I said looking straight at the young woman, as I was trying to give one kid a box of animal crackers while rocking another.

“Oh, we are soooooo on your flight,” she said as she shook her perfectly coiffed head.

I wonder how many kids that couple has today?  I’m betting they have at least a couple.  All parents go ahead and have children even though they’ve met one.  I myself didn’t learn my real-world lesson when it came to procreating.  Before I had children, I distinctly remember having dinner next to a two-year-old who spoke to his food then stuck a kernel of corn up his nose.  And, that didn’t stop me from having four children.

I guess it’s a good thing we don’t really pay any attention to the warning signs and let birth control fly out the window on occasion.  We’d miss out on so much.  After all, how precious are those little darlings who come into your room at 5 am, put their little faces right in front of yours, whisper, “Mommy?  You awake?”  and then, stick a wet finger on your eyelid.  They may not seem like it in the moment, but those are the times you’ll learn to treasure.  Well, maybe not the sticking the kernel of corn up the nose moment, but most of the other moments. 

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Tags: Featured Story, Parenting

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