Societal Responsibility in a World Teeming With Children

At some point in your life you will either find yourself among the breeding masses, having brought a child into the cruel indifferent universe, or trapped on the outside of that realm as a broodless pariah. Either way, you will walk the earth as a monster or as a person who brought one into this world. That’s alright, though. That’s how things are supposed to work and it might not be all that bad. I’ve seen hundreds of happy families and contented lone rangers.

In my own life, I have noted that people have not only reproduced en masse but that their offspring are actually growing into little people. When all of my friends started having children, I did not take much notice because of how boring the little creatures seemed. Most babies spend the majority of their time crying, sleeping, throwing up, or pooping. Having one is like being in a relationship with someone who is violently bulimic and extremely depressed every single day. It’s actually worse because you can’t ever break up with your baby or even take it to the bar and show off how sexy thin it is before getting into a weirdly public argument with it about when was the last time you did something romantic.

A baby just sits there like a houseplant, except it doesn’t make oxygen. It makes messes and screams and you go to jail if you forget to water it. But, if you are patient enough, it will eventually start to do things and even play games with you. The first game entails momentarily obscuring your face and then showing it to the baby as if you’ve done something incredible. While nothing special to us, a brain in the early stages of development views this as the very highest level of magic. To the baby you have vanished from this plane only to return again healthy and non-mutated. Once this game has been mastered you can move onto pretending you’ve stolen the baby’s nose off its face. While this should be terrifying to them, expect hysterical laughter nearly every time. A baby’s sense of humor is very dark.

Things will continue on like this and you’ll notice your little creature evolving quickly. Despite this swift progress, your baby will not be ready for all games. Basketball is a good example of a something you’ll want to hold off on until your child’s body has developed a little more. While you can technically play one-on-one, it’s incredibly easy to dunk on a baby. Even a child at the age of five would be hard pressed to make a single basket when you’re stuffing every single shot back right into their face. You might be tempted to tell the child to “get that weak stuff out of here” but this is actually their A-Game.


*It’s worth noting that my body in this drawing is based off the great Bill Russell’s and not my own.

I have learned from my nephews that it’s actually more enjoyable to play games just for fun most of the time. I’ve even let them win but, sometimes, they’ll get a feeling of overwhelming superiority from this and I’ll need to destroy them six times in a row at Connect Four. Letting a kid win all the time doesn’t help them become any better at the game or life in general. There is also nothing more obnoxious than a smug six year old.

Whether or not I will ever produce offspring remains a mystery to me. I used to be really afraid of having children but then I started noticing that a lot of stupid people were having three or four of them in a row. I don’t know anything about daycare, potty training, early morning feedings, or anything of that nature. But knowing that the same applies to a lot of people who actually have kids is a big relief. If you’re running solo through life or directly responsible for the lives of others, every child you encounter has the opportunity to benefit from you… and vice-versa. Remind yourself that nobody has the answers and that good advice can come from anywhere. I doubt any of us are ever really ready to be mentors or parents but that doesn’t make us any less responsible.


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29 Responses to Societal Responsibility in a World Teeming With Children

  1. prenin says:

    Having looked after 42 of the little darlings, Emily and my God daughter Becky from birth, I agree it is one difficult task! :)

    Even so they get older and more communicative as time passes, then it’s less a case of changing daipers (as you Americans call them) than teaching an insatiable little creature to talk, read and write! :)

    To be honest the relationship grows as they do until one day you are celebrating their firstborn and subtle hints are dropped about you helping out with the next generation!!! :)

    I will not be having children of my own (long story!), but I have my adoptive family and that’s more than enough! :)

    God Bless my friend!


    • 42 kids seems like more than a lot. Also I have to know what everyone else calls diapers. I think my UK friends call them “nappys” or something like that… but diaper sounds better with a southern drawl (even though I don’t have one).

  2. If you ever do become a dad, Matt, you will make your child laugh and that is a wonderful gift. If you do not become a dad, then by all means do not let your nephews win all the time. Little people can be pretty obnoxious when they think they are just too cute. Babies can be spooky, too, when you realize they are watching you. My little one (and only one) followed me with his eyes when I left the room. He was only a few days old. I couldn’t believe it.

  3. UndercoverL says:

    Hahahaha! I love Mr. Bevins! OMFG! My husband might be Mr. Bevins! Capital!

  4. Lis says:

    I love your description of “now you see me….now you don’t….but I’m back!”. When my name-sake niece was six months to a year old, I played peek-a-boo with her and EVERY time I did she would let out this great big baby belly laugh. It got me hysterical. I don’t understand why it makes babies so happy, because whenever my boyfriend tries it on me in our relationship I just wanna smack him upside the head when he finally reappears after a few days, but….whatevz.


  5. ...but what do wino? says:

    The only kid I get along with is my step-brother’s, 7-year-old daughter. She just sits across the room, casually drinking from her sippy cup while glaring at me like she knows that everything is wrong with me. I totally respect that. After a few hours of staring at each other, pretending we don’t give a shit, she’ll come around, insult my shoes, steal them and then wear them all day while we put together puzzles made for adults smarter than me. If I was guaranteed I could birth a child like this I would likely have less fear of raising monsters.

  6. Children are one of the strangest creatures in this world. I realized this quickly when my 1 yr old nephew pointed to the air and said “dead”. Kids and animals can really get a sense for that kind of thing, in my opinion/ experience.

  7. I had kids fairly late in life. All my friends back in Cleveland have kids who are currently in, or have graduated from, college. Here I was with babies. They couldn’t stop laughing. I’ll have to admit that the first four or five years were pretty horrific. Babies are tough on self-absorbed guys like me. It’s just take, take, take! Christ, they’re needy! But as they got older it got easier and precipitously more enjoyable. I now find myself having quasi-adult conversations with my 11-year old daughter. It’s satisfying.

    I argued with my bride to stay on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and raise our sprog there—pointed out that people have been doing it for many generations—but she was having none of that. Off to New Jersey!

    • I think having kids in the city would be really rough unless you were really raking it in and they happened to be super well adjusted. Sometimes I’ll see a gaggle of teens get on the train and just want to vaporize them.

  8. Brr; having my own kid would be a total nightmare–both for the theoretical kid and I–for now.
    I’m not sure if there’s an unselfish reason for deciding to have your own kid. Increase earth’s manpower? For what? Possible alien invasion? That’s still selfish. Be an instrument to bequeath life to a possible human being? Perhaps that’s unselfish…but do people really have kids for that reason? Nah. I suspect people have kids (the intended pregnancies) because of self-centered reasons, using kids to fulfill a need of some form: happiness, a sense of being complete, to never be alone, etc. Is that bad? Maybe not, although it would be if they don’t try their goddamn fucking best to be the best parents they could be for their kids. But you already said that…

    Great post! ;)

    • I feel like a lot of people have children because they feel like they are supposed to. Parents, friends, and biology puts a lot of pressure on people. It’s fine to have children if you’re going to be responsible about it but too many people seem to do it before they can offer the child a leg up. How many kids hit 18 and have to face the cruel world without any help? How many parents have offered terrible advice and resented their child for taking away all of their money and freedom? Too many is my guess.

  9. Soul Walker says:

    Mr. Bevins always makes me smile… even though he’s kind of awful…

  10. emisformaker says:

    My fella and I are only planning to have kids in order to prove how much better we will be at parenting than 95% of the parents we witness on a daily basis. Also, we feel our genes will combine favourably into a breed of super-child who will ultimately be the salvation of the world (if s/he ends up being into that kind of thing – never foist your expectations on your spawn).

  11. Kylie says:

    And then there’s the “pull the glasses off the grown-up’s face” game. Sadistic little cuties.

  12. Pingback: Free to be Child-Free | Spirit Lights The Way

  13. sarabressler says:

    I always say nature made the little bastards cute so we would like them. If a grown up decided to pull on my belly button ring and make train sounds, they would totally get socked.

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