When I was a tyke, and for as long as I can remember, I have never wanted to have kids. I never said "When I have a baby" or wistfully looked an infant, longing to hold it. People used to say to me, "When you grow up and have children....." and I'd say, "I dont' wanna have children" and I'd get a patronizing smile and "You'll think differently when you get older". After I got older it was, "You'll think differently when you find the right man." Found the right man, and fortunately for me, HE didn't want kids either. Dodged a bullet there.
Years ago when we went back east for a visit, we had dinner w/ Jef's ex, and mother of his then-infant son, Cody. Lisa said, "Hold him for a sec for me?" and just handed Cody to me. He was 11 months old. I held him, under the arms, away from me, bewildered of what to do next, hoping he wouldn't leak some fluid on me. I gave Brian a stricken, "HELP-ME-WHAT-DO-I-DO-WITH- IT-NOW????" look. Fortunately, he came to my rescue and scooped him up, shaking his head. As Ross said to Rachel in "Friends", "He's a baby, not a bomb." Needless to say, apart from taking a couple of pictures, I steered clear. (Although my reader Kathleen will be happy to know that I actually didn't shy away from holding her properly when she was 3 weeks old. Fortunately, your mom was right next to me, ready to jump in.....).
Surprisingly, I was a very capable babysitter, as long as I didn't have to take care of a child still in diapers. My mom even came down to change a diaper one day for me b/c she knew I was not doing....WOULD NOT DO..... it and she helped out for the sake of the kid, not b/c I asked her to. Sure, she could have put her foot down and told me to take responsibility for my charge and DO IT, but I think she knew me well enough by then to know that I was too stubborn and would rather lose the job than change the diaper. From then on, I only accepted babysitting jobs if the kid was toilet trained or in kindergarten. To this day, I have NEVER changed a diaper. And I don't plan on it either.
I lived in absolute fear and dread that my parents would have another kid. While I wouldn't have minded having an older sibling, a younger one was out of the question. I made a silent vow that if another kid came along, I was NOT sharing my room and I was NOT babysitting, changing diapers or helping in any way. I just cannot relate to infants at all. Once they can walk and talk, that's one thing, but I just don't have it in me to coo and purr over human babies. Stuffed animals, yes. Puppies, yes. Kittehs, yes. Baby animals of any kind, yes. Human babies? Not so much. The sound of a baby crying and screaming sends my blood pressure soaring. Julie calls it "ugly sound."
When I would go over to my some of my friends' houses, inevitably the "what should we do now?" question would come up. They always enthusiastically suggested, "Let's Play House!" or "Let's Play School!" I'd counter with, "Naw, Let's Go In The Woods And Explore!" which was always met with a recoil of horror, to which I then said, "Oh OK, we can play school....I guess", meanwhile I'm thinking, "This is gonna be a loooooooong afternoon. Should I pretend to get sick so mom will come get me?" Small wonder I preferred to play with the few girls who enjoyed the woods and exploring as much as I did.
I wasn't all too fond of most my dolls either. A shrink would have a field day exploring why I used to beat the crap out of them, tell them I hated them, and then me and my stuffed animals would shun them. I used to take Baby Tenderlove and spend hours outside, tossing her over the power line that ran from the street to our house, over the front yard, and laughing as she bounced on the ground, till one of my parents caught me and told me to knock it off. But I think they were more concerned about my ripping the power line down than they were about the doll's welfare.
My mom tells the story of how creeped out she was when she'd go get me in my crib in the morning, and I would greet her with a maniacal, toothless smile and giggle, while holding the head I'd pulled off of one doll. She wailed to the pediatrician, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY BAYYYBEEEE??????" That actually had a decent explanation. The doll was one of the first mechancial walking dolls and it was too heavy for me to lift, so I pulled it's head off and carried it around.
I had some baby dolls that you could give a bottle to and then it'd "pee" and you could change it's diaper. I think I gave it a bottle once. Once.
I also had a doll carriage that I used to turn upside down and spin all 4 wheels with my hands to get them going as fast as they could. My mom would repeatedly turn it right side up and tell me to push the carriage with my doll in it. I couldn't steer it. It always tipped over. So I went back to turning it upside down and spinning the wheels. One day, the carriage mysteriously disappeared after my mom came in the living room and found me spinning the wheels again, except this time I had a shoelace around the neck of one of my dolls, and had it wrapped around the wheel so that it was choking to death. Another call to the pediatrician, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH MY CHIIILD??????"
That's not to say that I didn't have dolls that I liked. I had Triki Miki, whose arms and legs all had joints, and she came in a jumpsuit. All the clothes for her were really trippy, 70's patterns and go go boots. Half the time I had her dressed like Pippi Longstocking w/ her hair braided so it stuck out each side of her head. I'd have her ride my fave stuffed horse, Trax, as she was the perfect size. My 2 Dawn dolls were cool too. But baby dolls? Not so much. I couldn't interact with them like I could w/ the dolls that were grown up looking like Triki Miki and Dawn. I had a Barbie & Ken but I didn't play w/ them that much and Ken's smooth molded bump really confused me. lol
I don't mind little kids though, and I adore all of my friends' kids (Holly: I really need to see more pictures). It's just that 2-3 year diaper/non-verbal stage that I cannot deal with very well.
The following photo is the only one that exists of me playing inappropriately with a doll. It's my absolute fave picture of me from when I was little. It was taken on Springhill Beach, on the Cape, some time in 1967. Note the sick grin as I water the doll, which lays naked and twisted on the rocky beach.
Good thing I never had any kids, eh?