On far too many occasions I’ve been accused of hating children and even the whole parenting experience. Once and for all I would like to settle this ridiculous matter.
Just because I don’t have any of my own doesn’t make me a child hater. I’m not quite sure of the logic behind the accusations but I’m going to bet it has something to do with a few comments I’ve made over the years.
I distinctly recall that during one dinner party I said that “children are parasites,” and on another that “the human race is a cancerous disease” — hell, I even wrote a post about it. Based on such comments, you could be excused for thinking I was against procreation and children altogether.
By definition, a parasite is: an organism that lives on or in an organism of another species, so calling a child a parasite serves only as a provocatively effective visual aid not a true depiction of children; although you must admit that there are some striking parallels.
I’m not going to deny it. There are days where I wish I could shut the little monsters up. There is nothing worse than settling down in a nice romantic restaurant only to be harassed by uncontrollable children running throughout. If they were only limited to the running, it wouldn’t be so bad. However, it’s usually accompanied by high-pitched ear-splitting screaming.
Let us now climb to 30,000 feet over the Atlantic. I’m well aware that children have problems equalizing their ears — typically toddlers — during take-off and landing; these are not the kids I’m talking about. I’m pointing out the ones who are two and three years of age but still act like toddlers. Yelling at the world around them, hitting the people beside them, kicking the seat in front of them — oh, no. Here I draw the line.
I always ask myself: “where are the parents in these situations?” Well, right there of course, totally oblivious to the unfolding events and shielded from it all by their excessively large noise-cancelling headphones. Yes, you came prepared, but how was any other passenger to know that your Satan-of-a-child would also be joining?
In both cases I blame the parents, (1) for taking them out of their restraints, and (2) for allowing such disruptive behaviour in the first place.
And don’t bother trying to use the “you don’t have experience with your own kids” line on me. I have plenty of friends whose kids are a pleasure to be around on any occasion. The blame I’m afraid, falls squarely on the parents.
A child — just like a badly trained dog — will never stay put unless educated to do so. Let’s face it, these days many parents are too scared to set boundaries let alone discipline their children.
While we’re on the topic of discipline (or lack thereof), I’m a great fan of kiddie leashes. Just clip the little monster in and you’re guaranteed a headache-free day out in public. If they won’t stay put on their own, restrain them.
There are some who think leashes should only be used on pets and not children. But I would argue that children under the age of 5 (sometimes even older) behave exactly like pets — or at the very least are treated as such. They get fed, walked, bathed, you clean up their poop, they run across the street without checking for traffic, they want to play with everyone and are constantly putting things in their mouths. I think that just about covers it. But if you still object to the use of a leash, let’s just call it a harness.
You see, unlike the traditional methods of yelling, pleading and begging your spawn to keep close, the beauty of the kiddie leash (err. I mean, harness) is that you only need hit the retract button once, and as if by magic, the child materialises at the base of your arm.
Little monsters or not, I’ve never been opposed to having children, provided you don’t go overboard and start to create your own clan — but don’t get me started on population control.
If one is lucky to find the right person, I think there’s nothing more beautiful than creating new life from the love you share for each other.
Ok, that sounded pretty girly — but you get my point.
And while I’m not inclined to go all “ga-ga” over somebody else’s kids, I’m most certainly going to do it over my own.
[artwork: “Kiddie Leash” – courtesy of Lawrence Yang at suckatlife.com]