Thursday, April 11, 2013

Children: Not A Toy

I found an article on MSN yesterday about a British mother, Isabella Dutton, who regrets having her kids. Here's a quote:
“My son Stuart was five days old when the realisation hit me like a physical blow: having a child had been the biggest mistake of my life...I felt completely detached from this alien being who had encroached upon my settled married life and changed it, irrevocably, for the worse.”
I'm sure all mothers have that "Crap, what am I supposed to do with this tiny person?" moment. Most of them don't think it's necessary to announce it to the media. This was featured news. I'm pretty sure Stuart's seen it by now. Ouch. Thanks, Mum.
Back in third grade, I got a little alien being of my own. They're called tamagotchis.
There's a red sensor on the top. When you touch one tamagotchi's sensor to another, you can get a baby tamagotchi that lives in the same device as yours. And really, that's all it does. They're pixel parasites. Unlike the adult tamagotchi, you can't play games with it (on my version, anyways. I haven't seen the newer ones). It's an accessory. It sits on the screen and looks cute.
Kids aren't tamagotchis. If you put them in the washing machine, they won't come out a little fuzzy but still usable. When you shove a baby in a drawer and forget to feed it for a couple months, there's no reset button. And oh, yeah, they're humans.
They aren't dolls either. They don't exist for you to stuff them into stupid outfits and coo over them.
Owning a tamagotchi could change your life for the worse. Third grade was the year my grandma was hospitalized for skin cancer. My family went to visit her before she went into chemotherapy. Chemo's supposed to make you live longer, so I saw nothing wrong with devoting all my attention to the little screen while Grandma and Mom discussed blood transfusions.
She had a stroke a week later. My last hour with my grandmother was wasted on an alien parasite that lived in a keychain. Biggest mistake of my life? No, I've done stupider things. And I have other, better memories of my grandma. It's called family.
I don't know what Isabella was expecting but she's far from alone. Just be glad she's content to whine about it. 57% of murder victims under the age of five are killed by their own parents. And that's only babies aged 0-5. In the United States alone, the number of fetuses aborted each year outnumbers the casualties in 237 years of military history. Children are no longer a priority in society. We've been shoved onto the back burner by education, careers, and pure laziness. Twenty countries around the world have birth rates at negative or zero. Japan's thirteenth on the list, but hey, they have tamagotchis. They can deal with it.
If you don't think you have what it takes to be a competent parent, do the world a favor and don't reproduce. And please don't pout about it to the media. There are still millions of parents out there who know better than you.

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