Reasons why I don’t have kids #30

So based on the assumption that we do, indeed, inherit not only some of the physical attributes of our parents, but also, some of the psychological characteristics too, it would be safe to assume that my children would be a complete and utter, shambolic mess of neuroses and intolerances on an immeasurable scale, passed down the PANK line and added to and magnified at each new generation.

My kids' favourite t-shirt My kids’ favourite t-shirt

Phone calls would come from exasperated teachers, telling me that Violet had once again, unceremoniously slapped a sándwich out of the hand of a shocked (loudly munching) child in the school canteen.  They couldn’t enjoy the refreshing orange segments during half time of football/netball matches, but would whip out a wet wipe in the blink of an eye, before the juice had a second to slide down the chin of their classmates.

They would say at full volume in cafes and restaurants, “Mummy, why is that rude lady eating with her mouth wide open? I can see her muffin,” and then to the lady, with childish innocence, “Hey lady, I can see your muffin!”  And the lady might get completely the wrong end of the stick and I would have to explain to her, that they weren’t in fact referring to her ‘vejayjay’, but that they were actually commenting on her terrible table manners.  And then realising that this is not so much better, I would have to spend a  substantial amount of my valuable triple mochalattemachiato time, apologising for that too.  And my children.  (And to the Universe for my terrible parenting skills.)

They might take the clean teeth issue a step further, and carry around emergency travel toothbrushes, offering them up helpfully to folk in the street with meal debris.  Or point in horror at people smiling at them with brown pegs.

Add to these from Nana and Taid, my impatience for meandering in the street four abreast, stopping abruptly at the top/bottom of escalators/stairs to chat/check maps/light fags, inability to form an orderly queue.  A need to check my bag four or maybe five hundred times before leaving the building, for my house keys, distaste for face-sucking in the gym, bus stops and on the metro, inability to sleep under a spider on the ceiling AND the foibles of the father; and you’ve got a big fat, juicy récipe for social skills disaster.

And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #30.


Reasons why I don’t have kids #29 (warning: contains graphic verbosity)

So, having just caught up with this fashion segment about sale bargains (featuring my friend’s fashion company for pregnant women called Heavenly Bump), on popular British daytime show, This Morning; I cast my mind to how I might have fared during pregnancy.  What I noticed on the show, apart from the gorgeous dress for mamas, was how bloody beautiful the model was, all lithe limbs and glowing skin, and how neat her bump was.  She looked like she’d shoved a (very tiny) cushion up there.

Obviously, it’s not the first time this has crossed my mind, having of course, shared time with several pregnant friends over the years, who all looked wonderfully, blissfully, serene and healthy.


All other women on the planet pregnant; glowing, blooming, neat bump, lithe limbs, clear skin, glossy hair.

Anne Pank (predicted) during pregnancy:  (I need to bullet-point this for emphasis)

Artist's impression Artist’s impression
  • Fat, ALL over – MASSIVE arse, HUGE knockers, the upper arms of a German shotputter – ten years after she was at the Olympics, has let herself go and gained 10 stone; in her upper arms.  Porky feet, swollen fingers, flabby eyelids, earlobes and teeth.  N.B.  This is based on evidence, my mum was ball-shaped when she had my brother.  It’s probably hereditary.
  • Piles.  I just know I’d be that expectant mother that needs to carry around a very special cushion.  And everyone would know what the very special cushion was for.  I got them, stress induced, at the end of my final year of university, imagine the carnage nine months of pregnancy would wreak.
  • Thinning hair and crumbling teeth.  Because knowing my luck, I would be the unfortunate woman carrying a real life equivalent of Rosemary’s Baby.  Quite literally sucking the life out of me.
  • Acne.  Even at the age of forty three, thirty nine, once a month at that very special time, I still get hormone induced spots.  My body would go batshit crazy with nine months worth flooding my system.  I’d probably have it on my toenails.
  • Exhausted.  Like really, REALLY knackered.   Imagine the most tired person you’ve ever seen in your entire life, and multiply it by infinity.  If I’ve been tired, read grumpy, these last few weeks, because I can’t get more than six hours sleep, imagine what kind of Hellish harpee I’d be with 10 extra stone (see above) and a bump that won’t allow a comfortable sleep for more than thirty seconds.
  • I never really fancied the above level of discomfort for any significant period of time in my life, and so that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #29.

    Please note: I am available for freelance graphic design work.  Call me.

    Reasons why I don’t have kids #28

    Because, I didn’t realise the life-saving qualities of babies and for that reason wouldn’t have
    appreciated just how lucky I was to have the adorable little angel, dropped off by the weird baby-delivery bird.

    And people who do not realise just exactly how lucky they are to have this little super hero in a nappy, do not deserve the lifetime of peace and tranquillity that apparently comes with that.

    Aaahhh, it all makes sense now. If only I’d had an epiphany like Bryony.

    And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #28.

    Reasons why I don’t have kids #26

    I am prone to extreme exaggeration…… and I quote, “So all consumed am I, by this overwhelming exhaustion “, see Reasons why I don’t have kids #25.  (In actual fact, I’m a little tired.)  My poor children would have no concept of reality.

    They would perpetually be ‘starving’, they would be ‘besides themselves with delight’ about clean pyjamas and soap that smells nice and doesn’t make their eyes sting, they would go around ‘loving’ things, like mash potato and soil – actually, it’s true to say I really DO love mash potato-(see what I mean?)

    Turbantastic! Turbantastic!

    They would ‘utterly despise’ homework and mummy’s turbans, they would be ‘desperately mortified’, that mummy wore said turban to their school open day.

    Thinking on, that last one is probably close to reality and not exaggerated at all.

    And the other kids would think they were weird and suggest they join the drama group, and they would respond, “Oh my GOD, that is the most amazing idea anyone has ever had in the whole wide world, like EVER“.

    And the other kids would exchange knowing glances and raise their eyes to the Heavens.


    And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #26

    Reasons why I don’t have kids #25

    When I am tired (and in the grip of a completely unmanageable crush), I am, for want of a better expression, completely f*cking useless.  On all counts. On every level.

    This appears to be a fatal combination, as I’m learning quickly, a little to my detriment.  Although,  having said that, thus far, I have managed to be in the right place at the right time, with the right people.  On a personal level, I am a bloody disaster. But, we can but hope, that my subconscious continues in this manner, and gets me to Liverpool, for the wedding at the weekend.

    I am dazed, and dare I say it,  confused (copyright reserved,  Rankin, sometime in the 90s).  I can barely think straight.

    So all consumed am I, by this overwhelming exhaustion – approx.  4 hours sleep a night- (and crush), that I’m afraid I would have forgotten to:

    Wake the children up
    Feed them
    Dress them
    Or maybe actually dress them, but as Batman/Robin/The little mermaid/me
    Take to school
    Pick up from school
    Feed them
    Tell them to go to bed/wash/shave/clean teeth. Etc.etc.

    And although I have mentioned before, that all this is potentially excellent for personal discovery (read ‘zombie apocalypse’), I am not so sure that those around me, would view it like that.

    And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #25.

    Reasons why I don’t have kids #24

    I like weekends like this:

    Roof terrace
    Death hour return home

    New friends
    Death hour return home

    A little work
    More gut – spillage

    A little work
    Impromtu gig
    Making new friends

    The leisure of a week to recover.

    And that is my ‘ reasons why I don’t have kids ‘ #24

    Reasons why I don’t have kids #23

    Imagine the scene.  You are fourteen and eleven years old.  It’s Saturday night.  Your mum is flapping around the house, running backwards and forwards to the kitchen – in her turban, wearing glittery eye shadow and possibly her dance shoes.  She’s setting the coffee table with snacks and she’s already opened the cava. You’ve got some kind of own brand pop.  Boo that. She’s ushering you into the lounge.

    She is ridiculously excited and quite frankly, you don’t get it. You look at each other and raise your eyes to the heavens.

    The theme tune starts – it’s Strictly Come Dancing/The Voice/Britain’s Got Talent/Catchphrase/any one of a number of other programmes of a similar ilk! (Although admittedly,  Catchphrase is usually a last resort in times of crisis).

    The above is a picture of me (the one in the turban), in an alternate universe where I have children and I am unwittingly foisting my love of cheesy light entertainment programmes on them.  Whilst all the while genuinely thinking that I am in fact the world’s coolest mum, recreating the ambience and excitement of a television studio, in their very own living room.

    Said ambience mainly provided by my own spontaneous whoops and clapping and cheering.  Nuff said.

    What my children actually want to do, is go and hang out at a friend’s house, maybe have a sleepover, talk about boys/girls/Selena Gomez/Justin Bieber/ (horrified mother)/the state of the economy, and face what’s time app each other.  Or whatever the kids are doing these days.

    And so, you might easily understand why this over-eagerness to share my passion for Saturday night television, is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #23.

    Reasons why I don’t have kids #22


    Remember those terrible times as a child, when your mum thought she was Vidal Sassoon?   Have countless, slightly faded photos of you and your siblings, all with minutely different versions of wonky hair?  Re-living the embarrassment of walking into school with DIY bangs?

    Well, I would be that mother.

    If, when left alone on a slightly boring day, I’m willing to experiment with the cat’s fur (and after a chat with my mum yesterday, apparently the whiskers of my stufffed toys too), or my own hair, imagine if my children were also wandering around aimlessly……. “Come here sweetheart, your hair needs a little tidy-up.”

    And that is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #22.