10 Alternatives To Children, In Retrospect

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Things To Have Instead Of ChildrenI tuck my wee babes into their beds each evening. Oftimes after they are asleep, when their teeth stop gnashing, I marvel at their cherubic little angel-faces and rose-tinted cheeks. On occasion I’ll reflect on the random ‘I love yous,’ and think back on a day of tender smiles. Bi-weekly I may even smile at the thought of their earth-shattering firsts; smiling, walking, reading, and using my own logic against me.

I tuck my wee babes into their beds each evening. Oftimes I have trouble finding the strength to find the light switch thanks to an infinite torrent of gross misconduct. On occasion I’ll gently dim the lights, blow another kiss, close the door and will myself into a conscious coma. Bi-weekly I’ll meditate quietly to understand my apparent subconscious desire to become a sperm receptacle. And, a few times a day I’ll hit up WedMD, searching ‘children’ as the symptom of some unknown degenerative disease that is slowly eroding the very foundation of my nervous system and taking my collagen with it.

But, I would never trade throwing my identity onto the ever-burning-pyre-of-childhood-need for anything.

Ha. Yes I would.

Long story short, it’s hard not to feel exhausted and dejected and overwhelmed and confused and under appreciated and basically every other verb that suggests misery. It’s hard not to think of the what-ifs. Most of us have, or do regularly. Whatever the case, I give you complete permission to love me or villainize me for creating this list of child alternatives. Feel free to send me a bottle of wine as gratitude/punishment.


1. Cats.

(Image: Tumblr)

(Image: Tumblr)

Hush now, what else was I supposed to start with? Cats.


2. Sunflower seeds in their shell.

(Image: Tumblr)

(Image: Tumblr)

Not only are you able to enjoy the aesthetic beauty and temporary wall/fortress that these child alternatives provide, but you also get to eat them; a return on your investment, which historically is not something you can count on with children. Sunflower seeds will not stare at you until you give them the food you’ve been waiting all day to eat, mainly because they are faceless. And when you finally sit down for the first time in hours, they won’t ask you to pull a splinter out from their foot and then flinch every time you go within six inches of the splinter at which point you’ll have to decide whether to utilize a solid ankle hold or try to get it out while they sleep, which is why you have the black eye.


3. Blankets

For about 14.99 at TJ Maxx you can get one of those plush microfleece throws that simulate what a polar bear hug would feel like in a perfect world. Once again, this option is faceless (although a fabric marker and a bit of talent could have Benedict Cumberbatch curling next to you, supple and warm. And silent.)


4. Kittens.

(Image: Tumblr)

(Image: Tumblr)

So these things are just great because they’re a lot like cats but smaller.


5. 19th-Century Dummy Boards.

(Image: Tumblr)

(Image: Tumblr)

Also known as ‘silent (silent!) companions’, these post-colonial novelties are not only silent, but also bear the best kind of human likeness, one that is entirely silent, silent and two-dimensional. Typically made of wood and painted in naive fashion, these dummies passively guarded a family home while the owners boarded carriage and stagecoach to holiday in some malarious swamp. Attributes such as rarity and expense make them a natural child replacement. The only difference is that they actually appreciate.

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