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The Big Question: The Oh, so all of the sudden eating babies is WRONG NOW? Edition | Manolo for the Big Girl

The Big Question: The Oh, so all of the sudden eating babies is WRONG NOW? Edition

Now I have never actually had a child of my own, but I HAVE seen Mommie Dearest about fifty seven times, so I think I know a little something about parenting, and as such I am concerned by the lack of parenting I’m seeing at local grocery stores and I am about to make my own Modest Proposal.

Picture it: a Wednesday afternoon in beautiful Austin, Texas.  Your heroine, laid low with the hamthrax, has dragged what remains of her dying-yet-still-pretty-great-looking carcass to the local grocery store to avail herself of some lemonade popsicles. She needs more lemonade popsicles because apparently that’s her lawn guy’s perferred form of currency, which is just fine with her because I don’t think it counts as child labor if it’s on the barter system. (ManoloLawyer, where are we on that?)

Everything was going just fine, I had my box of tissues, I had my sunglasses, I had my enormous cart for one (possibly two) items because I cannot be trusted to not lose a handbasket. The whole thing should’ve been a 10 minute excursion, 15 if I bought wine.

So there I was, minding my own business, gracefully dying of the swine when *WHAM.* CHILDREN.

Now, I think I’ve made it clear that I really don’t care for children.  They’re loud and self-centered and usually leaking some sort of fluid,  and frankly that’s my shtick.  So basically as a species, once they’re past that cute stage where you can just put them in the dryer and let them take a nap (helpful tip: the dryer really does have to be off. Even on “fluff” your cocktail hour will still be interrupted with THAWUMP THAWUMP WAAAAH and that defeats the whole purpose) I could do without them.

The one exception is this boy named O.

O is 8 and calls me “The Prim and Proper Lady” he is a tribute to both his mommies and once waited in line on Easter Sunday to tell me how much he regarded my chapeau (which, of course, was lovely.)

In my head I’ve got some sort of thing where I’m his Auntie Mame and he’s my Patrick and we’ll travel the world together until I accidentally buy him long pants and then he tries to marry some yankee girl with a Locust Valley Lockjaw and extremely wrong-thinking views about iced tea.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t O who rammed into me going full force somewhere near the frozen green beans. No, it was some feral tribe of ankle biters who had escaped their astoundingly young mother (confidential to mother: seriously do you even go to the hospital anymore or do you just point and shoot, hoping they’ll land on the soft spot of their skulls?)  and had gone all Lord of the Flies on me.

Who? Who are these people? I mean shouldn’t they be at school, torturing the smart kids who will one day buy and sell them? Why are they disrupting the natural order of things? What’s up with the mom and why am I not allowed to beat these children the way they so sorely need?

Mmmph. Okay, need a poptail now (Poptail recipe: take one lemonade popsicle, and 2 oz of Pernod or Chartreuse –or Absinthe if you’re an a#%hole– dip popsicle in the booze, lick, repeat.) so while I’m getting potted on popsicles, let me give you this big question:

 Today Miss Plumcake wants to know:

What is YOUR child-related pet peeve and what, in your non-legally-punishable fantasy would you do about it?

yeah, but you’re hungry again 30 minute later

I’m just saying.

70 Responses to “The Big Question: The Oh, so all of the sudden eating babies is WRONG NOW? Edition”

  1. KES May 9, 2009 at 11:11 pm #

    To those who tell the poor just not to reproduce — sometimes, life just happens. I am very poor. My husband and I both make as much as one of these poster’s daughters does at babysitting, and we were waiting to get him through his master’s degree to have children. We were using condoms (which are not free, by the way). We were waiting for his health insurance to kick in so I could go to the doctor and be fitted for a diaphragm. The weekend that our benefits began was also the weekend that we went on vacation and I was away from my email service which reminds me when I am most likely to be fertile. I am now almost out of my first trimester with our first child. LIFE HAPPENS, quit judging people for not having the same priorities or as much money as you do.

    And yes, I did complain about children earlier, but it was about poor parenting skills, not about the children themselves. And I also think in complaining about children’s behavior, we need to apply the “Life Happens” principle as well. Kids have bad days too. Parents have bad days. What I do not like to see is the repeated bad behavior of children with no intervention on the part of their disengaged parents (those two kids I talked about in an earlier comment were repeat offenders at our store).

    I am just appalled at the lack of sensitivity on both sides to this issue — those who have children speak from their high horse saying that those who don’t have no room to complain — those who do not have children speak from their high horse looking down upon parents and children as somehow less than fully human (comparison to tigers? Really?). Both sides need to grow up and find some compassion for those who are different from them.

  2. Kimks May 10, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    Well Said KES.

    One More note on the babysitting- If you can afford a three hundred dollar per couple meal on occasion, you can probably afford a babysitter. If you tell me you cannot afford a babysitter and yet are at the $300 per couple meal, I am going to question your priorities.

  3. Kimks May 10, 2009 at 9:45 am #

    Emma-

    If you find the doctor who gets that it is your choice and will perform the surgery- please let me know- WHen I was 26 I watched my mom get through Ovarian Cancer, two years after her sister died of it- My Mom id fine now- thank God, but I decided that I wanted to have a hysterectormy in order to prevent my getting it. I could not find a doctor to perform the surgery- All the Docs I spoke too said that I may change my mind and want more children. Fast forward 3 years when I was sent to the emergency room due to a burst Ovarioan Cyst- They did everything they could to save the ovaries- Even after that insane pain and the doctors finding pre-cancerouse cysts on both ovaries I could not find a doctor who would give me a hysterectomy because “I may change my mind on more kids, after all, we might want to try for a son.”

    Meanwhile, my husband was allowed to have a vasectomy at 35- no questions asked no “you may want another child” Just Snip, and he was done. He apparently can decide what he wants when it comes to kids. Of course, he is a man.
    .
    We love our daughters. We do not want another child, at all, not a son,not another daughter, we are happy with two girls. What we want is for me to not die of a cancer that cna be prevented by removing an organ I no longer need or want- let me suffer early monopause- don’t want to suffer through cancer, again. Let me be a mom to the two daughters we have.

    I am still trying to find a doctor who will perform the surgery- Found one who will do it when I am 37- somehow, then, I will be smart enough to make up my own mind.

    Seriouslly!

  4. emma May 10, 2009 at 11:07 am #

    Kimks,

    I understand what you mean, even though I’m not looking at anything as serious as a hysterectomy or the like. I just want to get my tubes tied. It’s an outpatient procedure for goodness sake. Unfortunately, since I’m a childless unmarried woman in my 20’s, I obviously have no clue what I want to do with my life, because my life will be completely meaningless unless I have children. My doctor has basically told me that he will not be performing the procedure and will not be referring me to anyone else who might be willing to. Other doctors won’t listen to me/won’t even schedule an appointment. My doctor’s also told me that the only way he’d be doing it is if I had kids already…ummm, what? I want to get elective surgery not to have kids, and in order to qualify for it, I need to have kids?

    Also, not removing your ovaries in a potentially life threatening situation? That is completely reprehensible on the part of the medical “professionals.” I really hope that when I get cancer (family history of it too, but I’m going to worry about that when it gets there) I don’t meet these people, because I tend to get violently angry when dealing with people like this, and who knows, I might finally snap and beat some of them senseless with a bedpan. Or steal some of their scalpels and do the damn surgery myself.

  5. Cat May 10, 2009 at 11:49 am #

    Kimks and Emma: Same here (also minus the life-threatening cancer issue). I was told, when I first started asking at the age of 25, that I could not have my tubes tied because I did not have any children. I said, “But that’s the whole point. I don’t want any.” I was told I might change my mind. I was told by one doctor that “maybe” I could have it done after the age of 35. I wonder if this doctor would be willing to pay to raise any kids I might have during that decade. I also wonder whether women who are trying to conceive are told by their doctors, “Oh, no. I’m afraid I can’t let you do that. You might change your mind later and wish that you hadn’t had kids.”

  6. Kimks May 10, 2009 at 5:19 pm #

    It really angers me that Men can have vasectomies whenever they want, but women are not allowed to decide what we want to do with our reproductive organs because we may want children some day. Idiots with penis’s lead that charge.

    I questioned one doctor why it was OK for a woman to have breast tissue removed to avoid breast cancer but it was not OK for me to remove my ovaries and uterus to avoid cancer- he looked at me, with complete sincerity and said “reconstructive surgery.”

    Idiot

  7. EV May 11, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    Kimks, Cat, and Emma: Have these people never heard of adoption?! Well, clearly, if by some miracle you decide you *do* want to have kids, they’d *have* to be your biological children or they wouldn’t count. *eye roll*

    I am also childfree, intend to stay that way, and am sick and tired of the self-righteous attitudes from everyone who thinks that having kids is the only thing really worth doing with my life. Yes, children are important. No, they are not perfect and that’s fine. But you know what? They are not the center of my universe, and they never will be. They are not the center of *many* peoples’ universes, and they never will be. Deal with it.

  8. Kai Jones May 11, 2009 at 1:23 pm #

    I’d like to make a point that I think has been missed: the people who complain about poorly-behaved kids are also suffering from a sampling error. You don’t notice well-behaved kids because they are unremarkable–they aren’t yelling from across the store, they’re quietly following their parents around. You don’t notice the parents who got a babysitter because you can’t tell they’re parents, they’re just another couple at the next table or in those seats ahead of you at the ballet.

    So all the kids you notice in public are the ones who make a fuss, who interfere with your life in some way. Just one of those at an event colors your perception because that one child stands out and irks you. But the 10 other children at that same event who were behaving well, you might not even have known they were there!

  9. Kimks May 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Kai-
    Exactly- While I do not always prescribe to the Children should be seen and not heard camp, there are times when Kids need to be seen and not heard, meaning, they need to be behaving appropriatly for the situation. Its the screechers that are noticed- or the mess makers, or the runners, because they are acting inappropriatly.

    Again, it goes back to the parenting.

    And before someone says that I am being overly judgemental on the parents- I get that not all kids behave the way they should at all times- All kids will eventually do something that is not appropriate- its part of being a kid- How the parent responds is the key. If your child is misbehaving and you conntinue to ignore or reward the behavior you are not doing your job of raising kids that are self sufficient and can function in the world.

    I have been the mother getting the rolled eyes as my child misbehaves- I ahve said it before, Parenting is not easy.

  10. raincoaster May 12, 2009 at 5:29 am #

    Babies are VERY high in cholesterol!

  11. Twistie May 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    But they make the most delicious donuts.

  12. La BellaDonna May 13, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    In point of fact, Jen, I was NOT “speaking from a spoiled position of privilege, poor or not”. Compared to actually feeding, clothing, housing, and schooling a child, a babysitter IS a minor expense, and I posted that because if someone, ab initio, considers a babysitter an insurmountable expense, then he or she is not in a position to take care of a child’s needs. I posted that because I actually CARE that people make informed decisions to have, or not have, children. I am astounded at the number of posters I have seen in various forums who apparently never ever calculated the possible cost of having a healthy child, never mind a special needs child, and others who seemed to think that the money for caring for a child, or children, would fall from the sky. I think having children is so important that people who are considering having children SHOULD consider the consequences of their actions, and calculate BEFORE having children whether they can care for them or not – because if they cannot care for those children properly, the children are the ones who will suffer the most. And as a taxpayer struggling to get by, I certainly resent getting dragged in. I’m not talking about people who have catastrophic events occur in their lives, who then need help; I’m talking about people who take no responsibility for their actions, and who expect other people to rescue them from the consequences of those actions, when minimal analysis would have told them that Now Is Not The Time To Have A Child. I do not consider being responsible for one’s own actions as “speaking from a spoiled position of privilege.”

  13. La BellaDonna May 13, 2009 at 6:45 pm #

    Yes, Abby, I’m aware there’s a recession. Why, did you think it had detoured around me? Lather, rinse, repeat: I am not talking about people who have encountered catastrophic events: death, disease, job loss, even divorce. That’s the reason that we pay for a social net to catch us all. I am talking about people who feel entitled to have children just because they want them, and who feel entitled to have the net meant to catch those who are falling be all the cover that they and their families require. Talk about a sense of entitlement! “I want children and will have them, even if I CAN’T afford to care for them!” THERE’S your sense of entitlement, folks.

  14. La BellaDonna May 13, 2009 at 6:58 pm #

    Emma, have you looked into a new procedure called “essure”? General anesthesia is not required, and it doesn’t depend on hormones. It blocks the tubes, and the procedure can be done in a doctor’s office. It doesn’t replace prophylactic removal of the uterus or ovaries/tubes, unfortunately, but it should be easier for a woman looking for permanent birth control to obtain than other methods may. It is outrageous that women still are being treated like children by their doctors – unemancipated children. How many MEN need the wife’s permission to be sterilized? None that I’ve heard of. There’s a woman at my office who’s had YEARS of horrible pain from ovarian cysts – but her doctor ignores her begging, because she “might want children some day.” She’s forty! She isn’t planning to have children! But it’s OK by the doctor for her to endure endless excrutiating pain. Same with my best friend; they took one ovary, but wouldn’t take the other one – even though she’d already BEEN sterilized! If my uterus hadn’t exploded all on its own, I don’t know if they would have taken it, honestly.

  15. Grainne Gillespie May 21, 2009 at 5:14 pm #

    Yes Nicole, I was a child at one point.

    I was also a sperm too, but that doesn’t mean I want to cuddle up to a wank stain

  16. Misty May 21, 2009 at 7:02 pm #

    @Tatiana: I always wish someone would start a “reality” show like that, but since it would probably “traumatize the poor little children” that alone would keep it from happening. A show where people find unattented children, and take them. Not very far, and not doing anything to cause them physical harm. Just take them far enough that when the parent notices the child is gone they have time to freak out a little. Get a good hard lesson on just how easy it would be for someone to take off with a child that’s not on a short leash, either literally or figuratively.

    I can’t stand children and their parents. I work retail, and that is a hell job for anyone, even if you normally love children. Kids who think it’s OK to wear Heelies in the store, wheeling around out of control and running the risk of plowing into other customers. We FINALLY seem to have simply done away with the “customer in training” carts as most children had no idea how to handle these things and the parents made little to no effort to teach them. Kids would run around top speed, ram the carts into whatever was handy to ram them into, some kids would climb in them while another pushed them around despite not being able to actually FIT in the cart, and they would treat them like some strange modified skateboard, picking their feet up and balancing so that momentum rolls them along in the store out of control.

    Children like to scream in the store over every stupid little thing, too. Yesterday a girl dropped a pretzel her mother had the sense to bring from home. (I hate when people feed their children apples, bananas, and grapes as you can’t pay for that once it’s being digested!) The girl dropped a single thin pretzel stick and started to screech bloody murder like this pretzel was her cat and she just saw it skinned alive or something. Or a kid will be told “No, you can’t have that” and will start screaming like they’re being killed. More often than not the parents will then give the child whatever it wanted that they were told “no” about before the screaming.

    I’ll never understand where the idea of “parenting” has gone. People seem to think all they’re supposed to do is crap out a bunch of kids and that’s it. They forget that they have to actually raise the child to be a decent human adult. I hate to steal a line from a TV shrink, but it’s true. You’re not raising children, you’re raising adults. The children grow up and they need to know how to act like a grown adult, not be encouraged to act like a spoiled child forever. “They don’t know any better” is no excuse, it’s your job as a parent to TEACH them.

  17. Deb May 21, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    I’m not going to have kids. I am child free, not child less. There is nothing wrong with me, no nurturing instinct or motherly feelings are missing.

    I simply decided at one point in my life that I do not and never will have what it takes to raise a child. Not physically, not emotionally, not monetarily. This does not make me a bad person, it makes me a responsible one.

    However, that does not mean I am not sympathetic to parents with cranky, tired or out of their league kids. I just prefer not to be exposed to them constantly because the parents think little Mary or Bobby are just the most special snowflakes ever.

    When I was a child, if I acted up I was promptly punished. Misbehavior was never, ever ignored. It was dealt with quickly and competently. My parents went through lean years (Remember the 70s and the recession then? Yeah.) yet still managed to be responsible financially for me and my brother. If it meant going without X so we could have Y, that’s what they did.

    The problem for me is so many parents (not all!) seem to be too busy yammering on cell phones or just plain ignoring the kids. Man, I get it. You’re tired after a long day at work. You don’t want to hear the constant whining of your kids, or the minute details of the macaroni pictures at school. Really, I do get it. Kids are a 24/7/365 job, and it’s a hard job, an underappreciated one, where people condemn what you do wrong and never notice what you do right.

    All I ask is if your kids act u, you try to deal with it. Bad days happen, sick kids happen, bored kids happen. Unhappy kids happen. I was a kid, I know.

    Just please, try to be considerate of those around you. Compassion goes both ways. If you want me to have some empathy for you then please understand your child’s tantrums, screamfests and seat kicking impact me.

    Kids will be kids. They have every right to be. But you also have a responsibility to those around you to try and keep behavior under control.

    PS: When I see a kid being good, I make a point to tell the parents how wonderful the kids are and what a pleasure it is to see them.

  18. sharkman May 22, 2009 at 12:26 am #

    “Oh, so all of the sudden eating babies is WRONG NOW?”

    If eating babies is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

  19. Misty May 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm #

    @ Abby: So not having a kid means we don’t know anything about them, even if we spend time around them regularly? When did this logic become acceptable. So, all those folks who have no children of their own but who work in day care, raising YOUR children so you don’t have to, don’t know anything about children? All those teenagers people hire to look after their kid while they go out to dinner don’t know ANYTHING about children despite being asked to care for one?

    I never knew. And here I thought I knew that children shouldn’t be allowed to break things in a store. I guess since I don’t have a kid of my own, though, I’m wrong and children should all be allowed to destroy whatever they want. I have now seen the light!

  20. red cross cna training November 18, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    ugh! having a hard time trying to read this. What font are you using?