Children Make You Boring

May 9th, 2007

This blog is proof.

I kinda already knew this, but it was really brought home when I hung out with two friends the other day, and it was obvious that they were stiflingly bored, but trying valiantly to hide it. My wife noticed it as well, so I don’t think it’s my imagination.

It makes sense, though. Think about that guy you knew who really, really liked baseball. All he thought about was baseball, every day. And, as such, anything you talked about turned to baseball, again. Or think about your average World of Warcraft player.

The thing is, unlike baseball or World of Warcraft, children make you boring even if you’re not some sort of obsessive fanboy of children. The reason is just that: when you have a kid, and that kid is small, all you really do is work and deal with your kid. That can consist of playing with him/her, or putting him/her to bed, or even just keeping an eye on him/her while you watch TV or browse the net to make sure he/she doesn’t decide to eat batteries or try to swallow his/her own arm.

In the 14 months since my son was born, I’ve been to picnics, parks, outdoor concerts, and museums. I’m happy, and I’m having a lot of fun.  But I’ve only had maybe 5 times, in the last 14 months, where I didn’t have to keep an eye on him. I went to a club once. I went to a going-away party at work once. I…well, actually, I’m at a loss for examples, so maybe I haven’t even had 5 times.

When you’re in a position where you have to keep something in mind every non-working, non-commuting second, whether you’re actively involved with it or just keeping your antenna up in case you hear a loud crash or see a dangerous situation, you lose a lot of the mental flexibility and scope you used to have. Your mind settles into a thought pattern, which isn’t really remotely interesting to people whose minds aren’t in the same thought patterns.

Don’t get me wrong: becoming boring isn’t the same as becoming bored. I’m certainly not bored. But it would be nice if I were still interesting to other people as well. Presumably, once he’s old enough to start school, I’ll have a little bit more mental leeway to become interesting again (to the degree that I ever was). I hope that it’s as easy to get out of this mental pattern as it was to get into it.

6 Responses to “Children Make You Boring”

  1. Victor Vorski Says:

    Yup.

    Though its not just children.

    Getting married does it.

    Getting a `real job` does it.

    Getting a serious drug habit does it.

    Anything that fixes your world-view, takes up a lot of your time and is quite involving puts you in a position where you become much less capable of having a conversation with people who are not in the same head space as you.

  2. Yasuko Davidson Says:

    Hello,

    I met your dad through his company that we hired. As a matter of fact,he was here this morning for the paper work. He told me to go to your blog and here I am. Like your dad said you have a funny blog. I enjoyed it though I haven’t read a whole thing yet.
    Hope you have a wonderful visit with your parents.

  3. bugbread Says:

    Yeah, I suppose you’re right, Victor. Getting my first job cut a big chunk out of my interestingness level, but that was, what, 10 years ago? I’d kinda forgotten about that, and just got used to the new level. So I suppose that’s what’s gonna happen this time.

    I just hope I’m not one of those boring guys who talks about how he’s “wild and crazy”. The people who describe themselves as zany/crazy are always the most boring.

  4. bugbread Says:

    Howdy, Yasuko,

    Glad you enjoy the site, and I hope the move goes well (I’m sure it will).

  5. flapjax at midnite Says:

    Actually, Victor, I’d disagree with you. There is nothing comparable to having a new baby around the house, in terms of having your energy and attention sucked up. Marriage, new job? In all but the most extreme cases, they cannot be compared to the kid thing. I say this based on personal experience. I’ve gotten married. I’ve had ‘new jobs’. And these things don’t come close. (I haven’t, fortunately, had a serious drug habit…)

    And hi bugbread! Greetings from Higashi Nippori!

  6. bugbread Says:

    I think Victor is talking about type, though, not degree. Sure, kids may take up more time and energy, but the principle is the same.

    (For a second there, I thought you wrote “Higashi Nippon”, and I was thinking “nice and vague, that. You, Victor, and I are all in Higashi Nippon”. Then I realized it said Nippori, not Nippon)

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