From the file “Water is Wet, Also” comes this news: Happier Relationships for Couples Without Children, a headline to which all the fruitful and multiplying couples in the world collectively responded, “No shit.”
If you click on the linky-link you’ll find out that the Open University interviewed over 5,000 people to come to this not-so-startling conclusion. The Open University, by the way, sounds like a totally made up name for a fake school, which it sort of is. You can check out their website here if you want. Anyway, in 100 years, we’ll all probably be speaking of Open University in revered tones and praying that our great-great-great grandchildren get accepted there. People probably snickered about Cambridge and Yale and the Toni & Guy Hairdressing Academy when they were new, too.
Let’s see what the 5,000 folks at the Open University had to say about relationships and happiness and everything.
For both men and women, those who did not have children ranked the quality of their relationship more highly than those who did. They also did significantly more to “maintain” their relationship, such as taking time to go out together or talk, than those with children.
By “taking time to go out together or talk” they mean “have sex”, right? Because that’s what I would mean by it.
My own robust marital sex life took a downward turn the night our four year old wandered into our bedroom looking for a glass of water. The experience so scarred my husband he was still shaking about it three days later. Luckily, his psyche (and his penis) eventually recovered and we resumed our sexual relationship, only now sex was quiet, quick and furtive. Also, my husband added this tantalizing question to his foreplay routine:
“Are you sure they’re asleep?”
I don’t know what he expected me to do to ensure our kids were soundly asleep. Maybe spike their juice boxes with Vicks® Nyquil®?
Since the phenomenon of coitus interruptus de filii (or whatever we want to call it) is so widespread,
there must be some advantage to children having evolved this ability to disrupt their parents’ sex lives. Now that I think about it, it’s quite obvious: family resources are limited and the more children there are the thinner those resources get spread around, so it makes sense for the existing children to not want more children. It’s the same reason why baby birds peck their siblings (sometimes to death) in the nest: they want a bigger share of that worm. Since humans don’t have beaks, we had to develop another technique to limit the number of competitors within the family. I imagine it works something like this, just as Daddy puts a little Marvin Gaye on the stereo and Mommy slips out of her pair of good underwear.
INT. Children’s Bedroom. Night.
Older Sister: (throwing a shoe across the room at Younger Sister asleep in bed) Wake up! I think they’re trying to have sex again!
Younger Sister: Huh? What?
Older Sister: They’re trying to have sex! You better go in there and tell them you had a scary dream or something.
Younger Sister: Why?
Older Sister: To stop them from having sex!
Younger Sister: Why do I want them to stop having sex? What do I care? I don’t even know what sex is!
Older Sister: Sex is how you make babies, stupid. If only I’d known what they were up to the night you were conceived. Oh, well. Now it’s in both our interest to stop anymore babies from coming into this house! As it is, my future is already full of Friday nights waiting tables to pay for college. And you better start taking kindergarten more seriously! They’re not going to throw away our limited financial resources on someone who gets a “Needs to Improve” in Listens Attentively! Now go on, get in there. Tell them your tummy hurts and I’ll go downstairs and start a fire in the microwave with a piece of aluminum foil.
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