Chapter Eight: When in Doubt, Have More Babies

When I was in high school, many of my teachers would pass out “getting to know you” cards. One teacher, I shall refer to him as “The Ostrich” because, dude, that’s totally what he looked like, handed out this card.

It was my senior year of high school. At my school, it was common knowledge that this teacher, the Honors Economics teacher, was hard. So hard, in fact, that all the honors kids went down to “level” and all the AP kids went down to “honors.”

Since I had this whole “I will not go down to level for anything” mentality, I continued on in the honors class, even though my peers were the type of people that went to Harvard and Yale for college.

So the ostrich hands out this “Getting to know you sheet” and I automatically realize he is sizing us up. Who reads, who doesn’t, who will cause trouble and who will be the straight a student.

Looking back, I can’t believe that I answered “Chicken Soup for the Teenager’s Soul” as the last book I read. I’m also astonished that I wrote down “Sleeping, shopping and talking” as my hobbies.

I’ve never really had any hobbies. When we first got married and moved to North Carolina, The Hubs encouraged me to find a hobby. Unfortunately, I’ve never been good at finding one. During that time, I could make up excuses as to why I didn’t need a hobby. I worked! 40 hours a week! I just wanted to relax!

But now? Now, Internet? I am BORED. I have been thinking about this for a few weeks now, what type of hobby I can try.

I know that I like to bake. In fact, I baked a cake on the evening of the hurricane. My Mom (who also likes to bake) said it was “good enough to sell!” Anyway, the problem with having “baking cakes” as a hobby is that well, it might be okay for someone that is active and, you know, does things that require energy.

When one spends the majority of her time on the couch, eating all the cake isn’t exactly the best idea ever. But, seriously, I can’t help it. You haven’t had my cakes. If you had my cakes, you would want to make them as much as possible.

I have about a zillion scrabooking things stored around. My MIL used to work at a scrapbooking store and man, the things I have would make you cry. Just, you know, actually putting the scrapbooks together takes effort. That and pictures that aren’t on my computer.

I’ve recently tried to get into cleaning. Now, cleaning is a necessary evil, but I don’t really consider it a “hobby.” It doesn’t bring me much joy. Cleaning up peepee stains on the corner of the toilet rim doesn’t get me going.

I will tell you, though, that I find it oddly refreshing to clean out things like the washing machine (vinegar and hot water) or the coffee pot. I guess I feel like I’m taking it “to the next level.”

Knitting? Forget it. Painting? I like, but I have little patience. The only thing I really have patience with is my child, which is odd, because man, those little suckers can drive you to the brink.

So I guess it is what I expected all along. My hobby is making babies. Someone shoot me now.

34 Responses to “Chapter Eight: When in Doubt, Have More Babies”

  1. Kathryn
    September 26th, 2005 22:42

    It only becomes a hobby after the fifth or sixth one. Until then, it’s just a pastime. Of course if you start charging money, then it becomes a vocation. Something to consider…

  2. Autumn
    September 26th, 2005 22:48

    I’m supposed to be cleaning my washing machine?

  3. Amanda
    September 26th, 2005 23:37

    My husband has been bugging me about the same thing for almost a decade. He has a gun collection and an obsession with WWII aircraft and what do I have? Stealth diaper changing abilities? Brio track prowess?

    NO, woman. I HAVE A BLOG. That is a HOBBY.

  4. Eulallia
    September 26th, 2005 23:44

    I got really into internet Scrabble once. I’m not a nerd though, I swear! I swear! Stop looking at me like that!

  5. Mellissa
    September 26th, 2005 23:51

    I play Internet Scrabble too! Other non-energetic hobbies of mine are reading, doing crosswords, and napping. I nap on purpose, just for the sake of having a nap. Probably not something you can do with a kidlet, though.

  6. gabbi
    September 27th, 2005 00:30

    I swear I’ve been feeling the same way. Even the whole cleaning ideal. I’m too frustrated to paint too, and I’m saposed to be some kind of artist (the non practicing kind, I guess). I don’t have a baby, other than my dog who just turned one today. I guess she’s my hobby.

  7. paige
    September 27th, 2005 01:22

    Autumn - I had no idea we were supposed to clean our washing machine either. I hang out with the lint trap in the dryer once in a while, but that’s about it.

  8. Laura
    September 27th, 2005 04:12

    You say you like scrapbooking but hate the work involved? I am the same as you! So I discovered DIGITAL scrapbooking! I went to digitalscrapbookplace.com and took some tutorials and went on my merry way. I ADORE it now. Click to view some of my work I really do recommend it and it’s not so hard to learn! And best of all.. no MESS! No glue, scissors, scraps of paper, etc. I chose to do this also because of the mess and having a 2 yr old around.

  9. Heatheranne
    September 27th, 2005 04:50

    I picked scrapbooking up as a hobby. I have several right now that are started, but not done. Cleaning is totally one of my hobbies. I get very anal about it and can spend an entire day on one little area.

  10. Debbie
    September 27th, 2005 06:38

    scrapbooking women scare me.

    Not your regular everyday ones. The militant scrapbookers who capture forever every poop taken and every hair dropped from their children. The last time I scrapbooked I did 14 pages for the entire year, the woman next to me did 14 pages for the month of August!!

    You are a writer, SJ. That is your hobby.

  11. Debbie
    September 27th, 2005 06:49

    scrapbooking women scare me.

    Not just any scrapbooking woman, just the really militant ones. You know the ones that scrap every poop taken and every hair that has fallen off their child’s head. The last time I scrapbooked with a group, I did 14 pages for the entire year. The woman next to me did 14 pages for just the month of August!

    SJ, you are a writer. That’s a hobby.

  12. ieatcrayonz
    September 27th, 2005 08:21

    If you have to pick a hobby, it might as well be the most expensive one.

    So, sitting on the couch and napping AREN’T hobbies?

    If you come and clean my washing machine, I will teach you how to paint flowers and chickens. Okay, so I’m not Picaso, but at least I try.

  13. Northern_Girl
    September 27th, 2005 09:08

    Crochet. It saved my sanity, my marriage, and my children’s lives. Not kidding.

  14. Claire
    September 27th, 2005 09:09

    Blogging = hobby…

  15. Orange
    September 27th, 2005 10:16

    I’ve got four hobbies: reading blogs, writing a blog, doing crosswords, and writing a crossword blog. See how diverse my interests are?

    You could always claim a reading hobby. There are plenty more Chicken Soup books waiting for you! (Of course, then it’s more of a Problem Behavior than a Hobby, isn’t it?)

  16. Curly Girrrl
    September 27th, 2005 10:17

    my hobby is NOT making babies. so it’s good that i have you as a friend :)

  17. Happay
    September 27th, 2005 10:40

    I had that same kind of economics class. It was the only non-A grade I got in high school. I got a D. Rather than be upset about getting a D I was proud to have at least one failure and happy that I never had to take economics again.

    I’ve always had too many hobbies. If you don’t want your scrapbooking stuff, you can always send it to me. I have a whole room in my house dedicated to the collection of materials for hobbies and I rarely ever finish a project. (But I do get some scrapbook pages done while the little E monster is a sleep.)

  18. warcrygirl
    September 27th, 2005 10:42

    I know of a woman who, I swear, does nothing but clean her house. She has one of those houses that always, ALWAYS looks like it’s about to be photographed and feature in County Living or some shit. Meanwhile, my friend’s mom had a sign in her house that read “Boring women have immaculate homes”. Cross stitching is a hobby! You can cross stitch that for me!

  19. Torrie
    September 27th, 2005 11:41

    You could make baby cakes.

  20. AMP
    September 27th, 2005 12:21

    Take up my hobby: yelling profanities at people in general. We could hang in Durham and give the finger to motorists and spit on their….oh wait, we both have children now. Never mind.

  21. Elvira Black
    September 27th, 2005 12:38

    Cleaning is my boyfriend’s hobby, obsession, and (almost) raison d’etre. And for that I am eternally grateful.

  22. clickmom
    September 27th, 2005 13:29

    Who the hell has time for hobbies?

    When I became a SAHM all these people bugged me to “do something” like take a class and I was all like “Then who is going to do take care of the kid??”

  23. mmc
    September 27th, 2005 14:10

    Welcome to my world!
    I don’t know any moms with multiple kids that have time for an actual hobby that doesn’t intersect with the daily necessities (cooking, children, etc.)
    I don’t know any other hobby that’s as much fun either…well, usually.

  24. momof6
    September 27th, 2005 14:28

    Welcome to sex and consequences! I see an overloaded minivan in your future!
    My favorite part? When they ask “Don’t you know what causes that?”
    I get to decide whether to describe in detail, or play dum and ask “No.What?”

  25. coolbeans
    September 27th, 2005 15:12

    I feel you, sister. Though I like cooking, not baking.

    My husband has put an end to my hobby. But he has three active hobbies that I can’t surgically end.

    I’m thinking of taking up drinking.

  26. JustLinda
    September 27th, 2005 16:37

    Don’t do it!! It’s a trap!!!

    Just in case they didn’t cover it for you in Home Ec — once you have babies? Yeah, you gotta keep them and be responsible for them until they are GROWN. There’s no way out of it. Even WITH a receipt the hospital won’t take them back!!!

    I know, I know. I was shocked too. And here I am stuck with five of them.

    Knitting. I think knitting might be a muuuuuch safer hobby!!! ;)

  27. Ashlie
    September 27th, 2005 17:17

    Ha. Baby making could be considered a hobby. In fact, I think that there are certain (unnamed) religions that practice just that. Also- why are some teachers such bastards? Sad day, sad, day….

  28. Tammy
    September 27th, 2005 18:34

    LOL there were 5 kids in my family too, linda. When I was growing up, people were actually rude enough to ask me (when I was like eleven) if my mother understood what birth control was, and how to use it. I used to feel SO little, and dirty, like there was something wrong with my family. We were so loud, and drove a big minivan, and the families with 2.2 kids drove in sports cars.

    I also blame mom being too cheap to buy cable ;)

    Can you believe people are STILL rude enough to ask that? Now I say “we were all WANTED.” We’re also each others best friends. I mean, who else are you going to bitch about your mother to? Someone who knows EXACTLY what you mean, because they have a mom EXACTLY like that :)

  29. J.L. Dropout
    September 27th, 2005 19:41

    Hmmmmm….. I have the same problem. I told my husband just the other day that my hobby is blogging. I mean seriously, it actually is. I enjoy writing on mine, learning code, and reading other people’s blogs. My job is stressful and this is how I unwind.

  30. Amanda
    September 27th, 2005 20:02

    MAKING the babies is the fun part. It’s the growing them that sucks.

  31. chris
    September 27th, 2005 21:13

    hey, that was my hobby too. but after seven kids my husband got snipped. so now i am going to need a replacement hobby. i wish i could decide to just like something useful like housework or cooking

  32. kate
    September 28th, 2005 11:31

    I started making earrings because I was too broke to buy them. Now I sell them at a local farmer’s market and really get a kick out of it.

  33. Melody
    October 3rd, 2005 12:38

    What about non-babymaking for recreational purposes only? Could that be considered a hobby??

    Fairly new reader, but big fan - and first time commenter. Oh, and fellow Texan (even if I AM a transplant).

    P.S. If you’d like a hobby that’ll get you outta the house for a few hours a week - and you enjoy good music - check out http://www.houstonhorizon.org/ . Trust me - not as dorky as many might think.

  34. Dy
    October 4th, 2005 03:16

    I can totally relate to the patience thing. Told everyone when I was pregant with #1 that I was saving my patience for the kid and got to be a b*tch til then. Apparently it worked. My daughter(s) are still all I have patience for…

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