Childfree And Another Baby Dream
It’s very rare that I dream about having children. If I have any memorable dream at all, it’s more likely to be about something that’s actually interesting, rather than what I find to be the most tedious and unnecessary lifestyle in the world. As far as I can remember now, it has only every occurred twice. One dream, I already wrote about here. Sometime after I had my tubal IRL, I had a dream that I inexplicably was the mother of an infant, and my life had pretty much gone to hell as a result. At the end of that dream, I abandoned the infant on a random city bus just to be rid of it. End dream.
Recently, I started playing The Sims 3 again. I only just now got the Pets expansion pack, and I’ve been seeing just how much work having a cat, a dog, and a horse is in game, a matter made all the more difficult by the fact that my lifetime wish in-game was to adopt a whole bunch of animals. It got to the point that I considered having a child just to make my Sim’s life easier, as I could then put the child to work. I can’t help but be reminded that this was often the mindset in agrarian cultures of previous generations.
In The Sims, however, babies are pretty much useless. They’re more like annoying objects than actual people, which, I suppose, is much like real infants. Toddlers are more likely to cause destruction than do anything productive. And with modern conventions like mandatory school, it’s not like I could keep fully mobile kids at home working the farm all day. It was more trouble than any of it is worth, so I discarded the idea. So even in The Sims, I played childfree.
Recently, I had a dream which I think had a lot to do with my Sims game. I had lots of animals to play with and love, but I also inexplicably had a baby which apparently just appeared on my lot much like the animals did. The baby was left in its crib and shoved into some random, rarely-visited room and was immediately forgotten in much the same way one might forget about a houseplant you never wanted in the first place. It wasn’t out of malice that the baby was abandoned. I didn’t even resent it like I did in my other dream. I had absolutely no feeling for it whatsoever nor any interest in it at all, so I forgot it even existed.
I loved my pets and spent all of my time playing with them, training them, and showing them. It was because I was so occupied with them that I forgot all about the baby (isn’t it often the tragic opposite in real life for many people?) I didn’t remember the baby again until several days later when I happened to wander into the room to retrieve ferret food or something. The baby was still lying very still in its crib, starved and only barely alive (I guess my dream is like The Sims, meaning babies can’t die.)
My reaction to the discovery was much like that one would have when discovering some wilted houseplant and realizing they’d neglected to water it for some time: a slightly guilty shrug and an “Oops, oh I guess I forgot about this.”
That’s when social-services arrived to retrieve the baby (as they do in The Sims.) I watched the social worker carry the baby away and said to myself, “Meh, it’s for the best.” In my dream, I found the visit from social-services slightly embarrassing, but was mostly relieved that I would be free to return to playing with my pets, which is what I immediately did. End dream.
In real life, would I forget a baby? No. Real life doesn’t tend to have every house made of soundproof walls and doors, nor do most people have homes with completely un-used rooms to shove babies in. I couldn’t forget about a baby even if I wanted to as I would have no peace from the awful racket they tend to make. And of course I would never starve a baby; I’m not cruel. Of the people who do have babies which they’re too busy, say, playing World of Warcraft to feed, I make no excuse. In real life, this would be inexcusable. But this was just a dream, after all.
I don’t look to dreams for deep meaning, but they can be a reflection of our thoughts and views. The truth is, I don’t think babies are interesting or useful. I don’t necessarily hate them because, to me, that would be like hating an inanimate (though noisy) object (but I do hate the horrible sounds babies make, and the culture that insists we all revolve our lives around them,) but I don’t love them either and know that I wouldn’t want to have one. Frankly, I really do prefer non-human animals to human animals.
I’ve heard those among the childed who are so insecure as to feel threatened by the mere existence of childfree people actually claim that there are no true childfree people at all. We MUST want kids, be that a secret desire that we purposely hide, or a subconscious desire that we are in denial of. This claim is, of course, ridiculous and stinks of bitterness and jealousy. Still, it is an argument that I remember on the rare occasion that I dream myself into parenthood. In these dreams (nightmares) I am never happy to have a child, even though the child in my dreams is always far less monstrous than those I encounter in real life. And in my dreams, I always find some way to be rid of the baby, and am always happy to do so.
It appears that my subconscious mind is as staunchly childfree as my conscious one. Maybe even more so.
Oh, and as for my Sims game, I hired a butler. Much better.