The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘parenting

Why I wanted to throw an Oompa-Loompa off a moving ferry: blogging from the BlackBerry

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Public transport. It’s a never-ending source of depraved curiosity, bewilderment and material. If my travels don’t find me perplexed by the riddle of the ring, it seems like I’m perpetually pondering blasé parenting. I know, I’ve got a bit of an alliteration thing going on at the moment. Honestly, a solid week riding on the trains, buses and ferries could yield enough material for a year’s worth of TDoT posts. There’s a chance that it would also yield any number of genital-specific diseases, but I digress.

Why do parents think their spawn are not only bonsai geniuses, but that they are the most delightfully amusing munchkins on the planet? Furthermore, what drugs are they taking to nurture the delusion that the rest of us want to be subjected to Johnny reciting the alphabet on the bus, or little Barbeigh (yeah, like the doll, only cooler) running from one end of the train carriage to the other? Not only is Johnny in all probability as dumb as a post, he’s also as annoying as fuck. Put a leash on him or something.

On my ferry ride home this afternoon, I was accosted by four little darlings screaming and arguing. When they weren’t galloping around the cabin, they insisted on testing the trampoline-like qualities of the seats. A cessation of this behaviour only signalled that it was time for them to question their parents about why they hadn’t received a new toy in the last three minutes. At the top of their voices. Once the interrogation was over, the Oompa-Loompa wannabes resumed pulling each other’s hair and running the Tour de Ferry.

What did the parents do while the fruit of their loins were unleashing commuting Armageddon? Nothing. They chatted, played with their mobile phones and, unless I’m completely mistaken, seemed to take great joy in watching the bambinos entertain the other passengers. No, I don’t find your kid’s off-key caroling soothing – I’m trying to determine how harshly society would judge me for throwing a five-year-old off the stern of a moving vessel.

Given that I’m devoid of any paternal instinct whatsoever, one could assume that my Grinch-like complaint was unfounded and purely the result of not being very cherub friendly. But it wasn’t just me. Upon assessing the facial expressions of my fellow commuters, it was clear that I wasn’t the only one wanting to jettison minors. Had I followed through with my plan, I guarantee that I would have had to take a number and wait in line, a la a suburban delicatessen.

Can someone please explain to me why most parents believe that their progeny running riot in public and pissing everyone else off is adorable?

His parents will never understand why you want to murder him.  Source: blog.southeastpsych.com

His parents will never understand why you want to murder him. Source: blog.southeastpsych.com

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3 things that should never be dressed up

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Everyone has a limit. A line that, if crossed, causes one to leap into action to try and right perceived wrongs. It turns out that my limit is faux reindeer antlers on cars. And trucks. And taxis. What the hell is going on? Why do people feel it’s necessary to adorn inanimate objects and innocent children with shit that they would never consider subjecting themselves to?

Let’s look at my top three:

1. Motor vehicles

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Honda Source: behurop.net78.net

I’ll try to make this as concise as possible. Decorating a car for Red Nose Day is a good thing. Garnishing your Prius with plastic antlers and a bulbous proboscis so it resembles an arctic mammal isn’t. Sure, it’s festive, but it’s also fucking ridiculous.

Author’s note: I know you’re going to click on the above link. While you’re there, please make a donation to SIDS research. To prove that I’m happy to put my money where my mouth – or at least keyboard – is, if this post gets 10 reader comments, The Dissemination of Thought will donate $25 to this fantastic cause.

2. Pets

I’ve already expressed my bewilderment at pet owners who dress up their pooches in tutus and tiny tuxedos. To those individuals, I offer this advice: the people peering over top of their chai lattes and mugachinos don’t think that Chi-Chi’s three-piece puppy suit is to die for; they’re actually weighing up the probability that you keep severed human heads in the freezer.

I’m sorry, but this is just disturbing. Source: cu2nite.com.au

3. Children

Just because it’s “adorable” doesn’t mean you should run with it. Source: socyberty.com

It’s bad enough that your little darlings have to live with you calling them Summer Raine, A’meelya or Tangerine. Don’t rub salt into a gaping wound by parading them around in stupid outfits for all to see. If you do dress them up and then produce the photos on their 21st birthday for laughs, they will suffocate you with a pillow while you sleep. Or firmly lodge a tangerine in your throat.

He’s not tired. He’s plotting your death. Source: blogs.smarter.com

Written by disseminatedthought

December 7, 2011 at 09:10

To breed, or not to breed: that is the question

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It seems that in mid-2011, everyone takes it upon themselves to tell you what you should be doing. For whatever reason, some people have in their mind a path that you, as a contributing member of society, must follow in order to adhere to what is deemed the cultural norm. Should you decide to veer off the path of the apparent status quo, and then declare this intention to people, they will look at you like you’ve just shown them the video of your recent Alaskan seal clubbing holiday.

In the office today, we somehow got onto the topic of marriage, and as a natural progression, onto the subject of having children. When I casually informed my colleagues that I didn’t want children, I was met with a few mortified yet bewildered stares, as if some part of my ejaculation defied comprehension. That’s right, my ejaculation. While I realise that there are literally dozens of synonyms that I could have, and probably should have, used in place of it, I chose not to. See, it’s all about free choice as individual. Besides, I like the pun, and I’m sure at least one person at the news with nipples will find my reckless use one of H.G. Wells’ favourite words amusing. Once you have finished reading this, head across and check it out – it’s always a great read. Anyway, back to my ejaculating.

Once they got over the initial shock of my defiance, my co-workers interrogated me as to why I didn’t want children. In between questions, they peppered me with nuggets of wisdom like “everyone wants kids” and “once you find the girl, she’ll change your mind”. One even went as far to suggest that I needed to sow my seed and surround myself with progeny, ostensibly to fulfil some unwritten obligation to the universe. Why is it so much of a surprise to some people that not everyone wants to bring forth a legion of Mini-Mes? More importantly, why do they presume that what I do or don’t do with my swimmers is any of their fucking business?

Quintuple strollers: the stuff of nightmares for yours truly. Source: Stroller-Advisor.com

As far as I’m aware, I’ve got no medical issues that would prevent me from impregnating some poor woman with a bonsai version of your 6’5” scribe. I’d like to think that if I ever did decide to procreate, I’d at least have a basic understanding of what constituted good parenting. While I’d more than likely be sketchy on the specifics, I’d know that trying to sell my spawn for $2,000 came under the umbrella of “shit that makes one a poor parent”. Given that sale of parental rights is an existing felony charge in Florida, one has to assume that in order to necessitate such a charge, a lot of parents – and I use the word for want of a better description – missed the Parenting 101 class.

My point is this: just because I can reproduce doesn’t mean that I should automatically want to, nor be expected to. Hell, the woman in the story obviously had the physiological capacity to give birth, but she strikes me as someone who probably shouldn’t have done so. I’m not going to speculate on how or why she came to have children to sell, but she followed what many see as the path of social convention, and is now being ostracised and denounced by society, which includes those the people who have the “everyone should have kids” mentality.

People decide to have children for a myriad of reasons, but there are also just as many reasons behind the decisions of those who elect not to. As long as that individual is happy with their determination, and the decision is an informed one, based on their own personal circumstances, why is it anyone else’s business what they do? What’s good for the goose isn’t always good for the gander, so isn’t it better that a decision of that magnitude be made at an individual level, and not predicated purely by a physical capacity to do so, and the expectation that one will adhere to society’s “must-do” list?

Written by disseminatedthought

August 22, 2011 at 21:47