One reason I've never wanted children is that I'm already busy enough dealing with my truculent inner child. You know, the part of me that never does what he's told and insists on going his own way.
Psychologists talk a lot about "getting in touch with your inner child" as if that's something inherently positive and creative and life-enhancing, but in fact it's equally likely that your inner child is one long pain in the butt.
I mean of course the inner child who wakes me up at 2 am fretting about some upcoming task, convinced that it'll all go horribly wrong, I won't be able to cope, I'll let everyone else down etc. The inner child who's plagued by anxiety, hysteria, panic. The inner child who takes no notice when I tell him to go back to sleep, that everything'll work out fine, that there's nothing I can do about it right now anyway.
It's the same inner child who doesn't want to do things because he's too scared, or cynical, or lazy, or indifferent. Doesn't want to see that new film because he's seen some bad reviews. Doesn't want to go to that social event because he'll be tongue-tied with all those strange people. Doesn't want to drive to somewhere new because he'll get lost and confused and find the place he's looking for doesn't exist.
Like a real-life obstinate child, I can cajole and coax and tempt until I'm blue in the face, but half the time I get nowhere, the resistance simply increases. Why do I have so little control over a part of my own psyche, my own being? Shouldn't I be able to bring him into line and get some simple cooperation? But no, that's too much to ask. The inner child is like someone who's been dumped on my doorstep and I just have to do what I can with this wayward entity.
And unlike a real child, he's never grown up and started his own life. He's still hanging around like some feckless teenager, annoying the hell out of me. How can I discreetly strangle him?