Where there’s a gap in the market, there’s an enterprising soul to plug that gap. Lots of people would love a dog, but don’t have the time or space that a dog requires. So you can now rent a pooch. It’s like a canine timeshare scheme. You borrow a dog for a few hours, the dog gets some attention while its owner is at work, and the owner doesn’t return to chewed furniture and crap on the kitchen floor. Sounds like a good deal for all concerned.
So why not extend this idea and rent out your kids?
I like kids, and did think for many years that I would have them some day. But it was always at some vague point in the future. Eventually I realised that I only really liked the idea of parenthood in a ‘fantasy football’ kind of way. Getting up early, having red-faced tots screaming in my ear, and never having a moment to myself didn’t really appeal. So it never happened. And now that I’m at the stage where conceiving is about as likely as peace in the Middle East, I’m not the least bit unhappy. In the nicest possible way, I’m probably too selfish to be a parent.
Borrowing someone else’s kids is a pretty good way of enjoying being around them without the mammoth commitment that parenthood demands. Being an aunt or uncle is ace. I’ve loved every minute of the 30 years since I first became an aunt, and now get to be a great aunt (I love that title – great aunt. Not so much the Spanish tía abuela, or granny aunt. Humph). Borrowing a small child is a great excuse for a trip to the zoo, and you can go to see kids’ movies without looking like a creep or a saddo. But if you don’t know any parents, whose kids can you borrow? With the birth rate dropping, and families living a long way apart, you may not know anyone close by with small children.
So I’m considering flexing my enterprising muscles and setting up a ‘Rentakid’ agency. Weary parents can hire out their little darlings for a few hours’ break, and non-parents can borrow someone else’s brats for a few hours of commitment-free fun. It makes sense to let someone else do the hard work of parenthood. Remember, a child is for life – unless you book through Rentakid …