Let me start with I’m not a kids person. Until they’re old enough to vote, I look at kids the same way I do peanut butter and mustard sandwiches. Somewhere there’s someone who loves this stuff but I don’t get it and it seems wrong to me. So when I’m confronted with kids I really have no idea what to do. Usually the answer is feed them.

So it came as some shock to me yesterday to discover that babies growl. Now, I’m not talking about that weird sort of crying thing they do that’s in the back of the throat. I’m talking about sounding like a possum that’s been cornered by a badger type of sound. That deep in the chest, there’s a demon in the room kind of growl.

I discovered this in the doctor’s office yesterday. There was a mother with two children, a toddler and an infant. The infant was decidedly upset over something and growling. Mom hurriedly went to placate it. I watched, fascinated, to see what you’d sacrifice to a growling infant. You never know when information like that will come in handy.

I half expected it to start speaking Latin and demanding mom’s soul. Mom, however, cooed lovingly and the growling stopped. I know I was staring but I couldn’t help it. I couldn’t have been more surprised if she suddenly granted me three wishes. The older child was laughing at me and I couldn’t help but thinking that this child was around the growling infant all the time.

Yes, I’m one of those horrible people that will stare at parents while their kids are doing something non-human like. It’s not that I’m trying to be rude but I simply don’t understand it. I sat on a bus once while a kid screeched at a pitch designed to call dolphins and shatter crystal for a solid half hour without breathing. I was amazed by the lung control but more amazed by the fact that the parent hadn’t gone stark raving mad.

Please understand that when I ask those around me, “how can that parent listen to that without wanting to throw it out the window?” I’m not being judgmental, I’m trying to understand. For me, I’d be like the family dog, leaving the room the second the kid started doing something odd.

I know you love your kids, that’s nature and I’m sure it’s a beautiful thing. However, please understand that I have as much understanding of children as I do of quantum physics and aliens. For example, did you know that baby’s poop will get everywhere? I didn’t. Please don’t hand me your kids and tell me I’ll learn to love them. All I can think at that moment is “please don’t move or I’ll drop you.”

So if you see me in the restaurant or in the park or on the bus and I’m staring don’t pay me any mind. If I say something, I’m trying to understand. No, I can’t say I find your mini-mes adorable or even that I want to be in the same room with them. Which is another phenomenon I fail to understand.

Okay, so if you have kids and I don’t, I have to suck it up. How does that work again? I am constantly astounded that someone else’s ability to pass on their genetic code supersedes my rights to a nice quiet dinner. Here’s a fair exchange; if you’re going to subject me to your children, I get to subject you to my comments.

Don’t get me wrong, kids are all right but at a distance. Preferably calm. Apparently I’m not allowed to ask for sedation. Please don’t get angry at me for not understanding or being patient with YOUR kids. I don’t have kids for a reason and it’s not fair to ask me or others like me to endure what would try the Dalai Lama’s patience. If your infant growls, please expect a reaction from me.

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