My Beef With the Baby Downstairs.

My little cousin Julianna and I. I adore this child. This baby, we'll keep. ;)

I’m not that girl.

That girl that sits around planning her wedding and naming her children? That’s not me-it never has been. Those girls have food names like “Candy” or “Muffin”. They wear pearls to pick the newspaper up off their front porch at 6:30 AM and spend their spare time knitting and collecting little faceless Amish dolls. I can’t even sew a button. I have two puppy names picked out, if that counts [Friday and Latte-how cute are those names?]-but it’s going to be a while before I have any desire to create a mini-me.

especially now.

Apparently, there’s a sort of understood chain of events that occurs once you fall hopelessly in love and decide to link your life to somebody else’s forever amen. A test, so to speak, to determine whether or not you’re ready to slap pastel paint all over the room in your house that formerly functioned as an office, and toss any longing thought of sleep out the window. For the purposes of our discussion today, we’ll call it the “Can you keep a living thing alive?” test.

 The test begins with houseplants. This is tragic news for me, given that I can’t so much as keep a cactus alive. It’s like plants see me coming and simply give up! I get my black thumb from my Mom-whose line of cheerfully colored dirtpots  flowerpots on our windowsill back home has been affectionately nicknamed “death row” by my snarky brothers.

 I digress. The theory is that if you can keep a plant on the greener side, you’re ready to try and keep a fish from turning some sickly variant of that same color. If your fish survives, you graduate to a puppy, and once you’ve kept Rover alive for a significant amount of time, you’re ready for los bebes. Basically, if we do some simple math, thus far in my life I’m at about a 36% success rate. If I were a goldfish, I’d be hoarding food flakes and cowering in my plastic castle while contemplating leaping over the bowl walls and braving the outside world.

 Given the fact that I’m far, far away from needing to pass the “Can you keep a living thing alive?” test, I’m

Other kids in my family I love! So I suppose they're not all bad...

rather indifferent at this point in my life. The past three weeks, however, have caused me to seriously consider purposefully committing fish genocide and FLUNKING said test to ensure that I never have to deal with anything that won’t swim quietly in a tank.

…ladies and gentlemen: I give you my beef with the baby downstairs.

It can’t be more than two years old, and I know I ought to be far more understanding. Let’s keep in mind, though, that I live in the midst of a deafeningly loud city. It’s not as though I’m asking for silence and solitude, here-the call to prayer starts at 5:00 AM, and I sleep straight through it. I sleep through the hustle of traffic, the incessant haggling of vendors on the street outside my bedroom window, and our neighbor’s rap music. [And by the way, Rihanna needs a full psychiatric work-up for “liking the way it hurts”.] The point is, I’ve learned to tune out the dull roar of my noisy city.

 What I can’t tune out is that blasted rugrat downstairs! Like clockwork every bright and early morning, the thing starts wailing like a banshee. Screaming, hollering at the top of it’s little lungs like it’s on fire-and to my great chagrin, it never actually is.

 It’s just sitting there. If you ask me, I think it’s just bored. And what’s more, it’s brilliant, enabling parents love to yell back at it-creating a daily ruckus that will leave you contemplating gnawing off your right arm.

 I think, if it’s all the same to you, in a couple years I’ll just take up collecting those faceless Amish voodoo dolls and call it a day.

[The fish might need some friends.]


[Note: Fine, you caught me, I don’t actually hate ALL babies.]


  1. Ashley,
    I was much like you at an earlier age. Never babysat, never wanted kids, but then life sneaks up on you and you have kids of your own and you love them more than life itself. And now, in some crazy twist of fate, I work with 1100 of them every day and they are so precious to me. (Uncle Anthony knows that I tend to love the less than perfect ones the most. I just tell him that they are the ones who need the most love!) Maybe through a twist of fate you will end up in a relationship with this little banshee! And as for green thumbs… my is not green, its gangrene!
    Love you,
    Aunt Julie


  1. […] a lot during the day.  One of my other teammates, Ashley has written a blog about said child.  #mce_temp_url# Needless to say we all get a little frustrated with this family because the child cries and screams […]

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