Why Some 19-Year-Olds Shouldn’t Have Babies
But others are perfectly suited to do so.
Back in 1990 when I was in the Army, I baby-sat my fellow soldier PFC Carson’s two young daughters. Carson was a good pal of mine. We did lots of horsing around in formation and out in the field, and I probably grilled him constantly about being married and having kids. He was 22 to my 19. His eldest girl was named Lisa so of course hers were the stories I liked best.
He and his wife went out one night and I volunteered to watch the girls. I seized any opportunity to be off post and I figured the kids would be in bed quickly and I’d get to watch a lot of tv alone instead of in the barracks’ common room. I’d also raid the fridge and cabinets because I was 19 and in the Army.
Everything was absolutely fine until it wasn’t. The baby, bless her, couldn’t have been more than four months’ old and Lisa was probably two. I put them to bed easily but soon the baby woke up and boy, was she pissed. Now, I heard that babies woke up in the middle of the night but this was like 10pm, prime tv-viewing hour. What was her problem? She screamed and cried and cried and screamed. Lisa then woke up and joined the fray. We rocked, we bounced, we went outside, we tried the pacifier — holy hell. I put off calling Carson as long as I could but things were getting dire.
Me: “Hi…umm…(“RrrrrrrrrrAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!” *gulping breaths*)…umm. I don’t know what’s wrong with her, she won’t stop crying!”
Twenty years later and imagining being on the receiving end of such a call I would have lost my shit, but Carson was cool and also probably horny, unwilling for his date to be derailed. He was 22 and in the Army.
Carson: “Did you feed her?”
“What do you mean, “feed her”? I gave her the bottle you left me before bed.”
“That was like THREE HOURS AGO. She’s starving. Give her another bottle. She’ll be fine. Call me if you need me.”
I fed her. She fell asleep immediately and stayed asleep. I was dumbfounded. You mean to tell me the reason WHY they wake up in the middle of the night is to EAT? Who does that? I don’t do that. Ugh. Babies.
It was in this moment I decided, “No. This parenthood thing is not for me,” and I went back to being 19, babysitting on occasion and horsing around constantly.
This post is inspired by my morning cough and subsequent dash to the bathroom to blot what had leaked. I always think of PFC Carson when I cough because he once told me to cough while having sex — just try it — and it would blow my boyfriend’s mind. And that my friends, is how you get two kids by the age of 22.