Sunday, 1 February 2009

How evolutionary psychology is letting me down

I'm a heterosexual woman. I like children. I'd even like to have some of my own (in the not too immediate future).
According to evolutionary psychologists, I should be an instant expert in all things child-related.
My instincts should just take over, switching me to super-maternal auto-pilot. In some situations, that would be awesome. Because I'm really, really, *really* helpless with babies. Put me in a room with children above the age of 2, and I will love it. But babies...I don't really know what to do with them. I don't know what they want from me. Hell, I'm absolutely mortified that I might break them.
That's why, when I was sitting in a café with one of my best friends yesterday, and she wanted to go to the toilet, she handed me her little girl with the words: "Okay, I need you to be very brave now." She wasn't talking to the baby, and she wasn't kidding either, because she knows me very well.

Amazingly, I didn't break the baby. I didn't even make her cry (Go me!!!). But that mixture of nervousness, and helplessness, and vague dread didn't go away until my friend came back.

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