Problems in Parenting

I realize that the timing of this post could not possibly be more inappropriate, coming as it does on the heels of my eHarmony experiment, but I have blog incontinence, and simply can’t resist the impulse to post. For the record, this post is not the result of me eHarmonizing a little too closely with anyone of late, if you get my drift. Consider it a separate entity entirely.

In Human Growth and Development class several weeks ago, we learned about. . .well, the growth and development of humans. The first few days provided extremely interesting insights into the brains of babies and toddlers. The third day was completely terrifying, as we talked about teenagers. The fourth day was fascinating, as we talked about me (well, my age group. But I still haven’t overcome the teenage phenomenon of thinking that the world spins according to my own personal gravitational pull). The last day we talked about death. Apparently it’s all downhill from here.

Anyway, at some point during that class, I had the startling realization that my hypothetical future children are going to be losers.

There was a time when I, too, was a loser. I would like to pretend that that time is far behind me, but I have a feeling it was yesterday, when I tripped while running, did a “please don’t fall” dance that consisted of four faltering steps with some bonus arm choreography, and then gave in and belly-surfed my way to home plate, which in this game was a pine tree. Miraculously, I lived.

But I kinda wish I hadn’t. Even my liver is sore right now.

So anyway, about my kids. . .

It isn’t the grace their Momma passed down to them that will make their lives miserable, for my agenda has much room for adoption and none for pregnancy (and God laughs).

The unfortunate fact, however, is that I plan to raise my kids as though they were living in the “good old days,” defined entirely by the romanticized ideas of moi.

I want them to read books instead of watching TV. In fact, I don’t want to even have a TV. So my kids will grow up with little exposure to Teletubbies, SpongeBob Squarepants, and whatever other television fads our culture will undergo in the distant future. Instead they’ll be able to discuss Almanzo Wilder’s farming techniques. How’s that for a talking point?

I want the chilluns to make up their own games instead of relying on the newest and biggest and best toys. In fact, I plan on never buying them toys EVER. I jest. Maybe a little toy. That they can share. That I found at a yard sale. That is missing most of its parts. If they’re very good.

I want my kids not to be addicted to technology. That means no Internet, computer games, cell phone before age _____. (I haven’t decided yet. I’m still talking myself down from ’30’). It means that when their friends are playing Wii, my kids will be playing the actual games Wii simulates. I almost feel cruel writing that.

I want my kids to have concern for the world around them; for those who are less fortunate, for unjust social issues and systems, for the environment. Which means that they’ll always be seen as the weird hippie kids (or just the kids with the weird hippie mother. Neither one is good when you’re in middle school). Also, I might make them bike or walk everywhere. Uphill both ways in a snowstorm.

I also want my kids to be interested in and knowledgeable about the world around them. Which means that when Billy Bob is channel surfing on a Saturday afternoon, my kids will be at the zoo, or a museum, or concerts, or pursuing a hobby.

I want a garden. Which means my kids will weed.

I want my kids to eat good food. That means nothing fun–no green ketchup, no boxed mac’n’cheese, no Wonder Bread. It means whole grains and lentils. YUM.

So you see, my kids are going to be losers.

They will be able to hold conversations with adults on global politics by the tender age of nine, but will be clueless when talking to their fellow nine-year-olds about the latest Facebook application.

They will become world famous astrophysicists, find the cure for cancer, compose awe-inspiring symphonies, or at the very least be completely and totally awesome, well-rounded, interesting people.

But they won’t be able to relate to any of their TV-weaned, toy-raised, technology-addicted peers. They will wither socially, especially when their best friends, the people in the nursing home next door, pass away.

I have no other option.

For the sake of my children, I’m not having any.


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