Guys, I’m super broody. This kinda started after my Obstetrics and Gynaecology placement last year. Granted, the gynaecology bit was the definition of T.M.I and I can say without hesitation that pelvic examinations are not my favourite things to do (especially with women who seem to have some kind of historical feud with water and soap). The Obstetrics bit was great though, despite the pre/post menopausal hormonal midwives who seemed to hate my very aura, and the super stressy female Obstetricians. There’s nothing like a hormonal woman with a pair of forceps I tell ya, somehow the combination of sleep deprivation and erratic oestrogen levels give her the strength to frantically pull- she’ll make sure that baby comes out despite its best efforts to stay in your womb. I met some amazing people. There was the family who had been on Jeremy Kyle. There was the Turkish lady who refused to let go of the gas and air while pushing, which ended with the midwife trying to pull her hands off the Entonox shouting “Let go, let go” and her shouting “No, no”, presumably in Turkish. At least 50% of the female obstetricians were either breastfeeding or had young children, which made for several slightly tense encounters.
This, however, did not dissuade me from wanting to pop out several of my own erratic behaviour inducing spawn. Neither did the Nigerian woman screaming “Ooohh, Jesuuuuss” and other unintelligible pleas to other members of the Godhead during labour at the top of her lungs, for 4 straight hours in the middle of the night. Neither did the 4th degree tear (right down to the anus), from the baby who decided to come out his mother’s womb sucking his thumb and thus doubling the diameter of what would have only been his head.
What has dissuaded me, is the general behaviour I see from children around me. For example, earlier this year, my friends and I were on our way back from the Afro Hair and Beauty show, or as I have renamed it after this year’s decline in quality “324 ways to wear cheap Remy 1B”. Bad weaves aside, we spent the day perusing the 100 million different products marketed at black women, tried on a couple of bad wigs and took pictures to Instagram, and made our way back to the safe streets of South London on the Overground.
As you do, we spent the train journey marvelling at all the freebies we’d managed to pick up and the products we’d somehow been cajoled or conned into buying. Its amazing how many ways you can market Olive Oil. As we proceeded to ooh and ah over ‘Dark and Lovely de-humidifying moisture boosting curl jelly’, and ‘African Pride Empress of the Nile Deep Cleansing Restorative Argan oil 2 in 1 con-poo’, we struck up a conversation with a woman in the seat opposite us. She happened to have also gone to the hair show, and also happened to be a hair dresser. She also happened to have either produced, or been misled into taking care of a particularly rude little person.
As we tried to continue the very brief conversation, this child kept butting in. Poking the woman. Whining about something. Generally being the embodiment of the word nuisance. The type of child that Supernanny tries to get to sit on a naughty chair, when what they really need is a some good old fashioned Jamaican discipline. The climax of this conversation was the woman telling the little boy to be quiet once again, and in a last act of defiance the little boy shouting loud enough for half the carriage to hear “SHUT UP, YOUR BREATH STINKS!”. Stunned but amused, my friends and I exited the conversation and hid our faces behind a copy of either the Evening Standard or a large pot of hair grease to mask our sniggering. We probably shouldn’t have laughed. And it wasn’t really funny. Ok, it was. But it wouldn’t be funny if that was my child. I would probably have ended up emptying a bottle of African Pride shampoo down their ear.Like, don’t. Ever. Embarass. Me. In. Public. Ever.
I definitely think kids have got worse since the 90’s when I was a child. I genuinely am afraid of being mugged by a 9 year old with a high pitched voice and a kitchen knife. They literally have no fear anymore, similar to the foxes in London, and just like foxes they seem to be reproducing at a alarmingly high rate. They must be stopped. Remember when people used to like foxes? They were almost cute. You wanted to make sure the baby foxes were ok. We campaigned against fox hunting. There weren’t enough of them behaving badly to pose a threat. But then they began to increase in number, and developed an attitude problem. Now, they’re not a cute curiosity anymore, they’re just vermin. If we’re not careful, the same thing will happen to these millennial children. (ETA -Really, I’m kidding. Kids are never vermin, they’re always blessings. I hope? I think?)
No seriously, are children getting worse? Have you noticed that they have more attitude than in our generation? Or does every generation feel like the next one is more badly behaved?