Yes, I Do (*usually) Hate Your Kids


And I usually hate their parents, too

Youth is a wonderful thing.  What a crime to waste it on children.  ~George Bernard Shaw

What is a home without children?  Quiet.  ~Henny Youngman

If there is a benevolent god in this universe, which I’m inclined to believe there is, I thank him every day that he gave me the good sense not to want children of my own. He gave me an introspective nature, a love of peace and quiet, and a reserved temperament, which don’t add up to being the ideal for a parent. There are days when I look at my peers who are parents and laugh hysterically. I might even cry on their behalf. Mostly I’m just thankful on a Biblical level that no miniature humans walk the earth and also share half my genetic makeup (that I know of…there was that strange incident in Nevada back in 1988 which I’m not going to discuss here.)

Part of my work involves dealing with kids. I had the good sense not to choose a career as a birthday party entertainer or child photographer and be driven into early alcoholism, but I still see the little buggers day in and day out. Children are much like bathrooms. You don’t even bother to notice the nice ones; it’s the nasty ones that linger in your memory. And they are everywhere. They’re also like cockroaches: for every one you see, there are a dozen who lurk out of sight.

Today is "Eat Your Siblings" Day, kiddos!

In a way I’m stuck in a conundrum the way Willy Wonka, everyone’s favorite candy-mogul recluse, was. Kids want to be around me, but I don’t wish to be around them. (This was true of several titans of children’s literature: Beatrix Potter and Lewis Carroll, for example, largely despised rugrats.) I suppose I have some kind of mystique; the same aura which inevitably draws dogs to trees and fire hydrants. Is it my personality? A kind of fascination with gruff but tenderhearted giants (see: Mr. T, Shrek, etc.) My fashion sense? I’m not entirely sure, but many school-age kids actively seek my company despite my poor children’s song repertoire and propensity to snarl.

Most kids repulse me. If they’re not crying, they’re grabbing. If they’re not grabbing, they’re reciting rude words. If not that, then perhaps hitting, messing up the parlor, throwing things. With so many children in the world it is remarkable the world itself has not been utterly annihilated.

I mean it, mofo!

As civility has declined in society, the kids have become less civilized despite all the anti-bullying and conflict resolution programs in schools (I am in the minority, but I think these programs do more harm than good in the long run.) Children imitate their parents and other adults, and when those grown-ups are self-centered, crass buffoons, isn’t it inevitable what will happen? I’m not one of these dewy-eyed idealists advocating a return to some Ozzie & Harriet fantasyland; I realize that the world we live in is a harsh one and that not all families are perfect. One thing I was always taught: no matter what your station in life, it doesn’t cost a thing to practice civility and good manners. Money can buy trappings but it can never buy class.

Or else the squirrels will eat her...either way...

I always loved Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ; a sort of morality play disguised as a children’s book. Cardinal sins in the form of gluttony (Augustus), sloth (Mike), avarice (Veruca) and pride (Violet) take the stage and are suitably punished after a lengthy humiliation. In the 1970 film version, even the virtuous Charlie is subject to a final test (a pretty kick-ass scene in which Willy Wonka tells him, and Grandpa Joe, to get the hell out of his office) before ultimately claiming his reward for being a Really Good Kid. That’s my kind of book right there.

Ultimately, I hope to be a Wonka figure to many of the brats whom I encounter on a daily basis. I can dispense wisdom in the form of riddles and rhymes, much as I’d like to slap the little bastards silly some days or feed them to my Vermicious Knids. That remains illegal, as does scaring them half to death the way Mr. Slugworth did to Charlie in that classic movie. (Today he’d likely get arrested for indecent…something.)

On the positive side of things, there are virtuous, selfless, Really Good Kids like Charlie Bucket still around today. I try to reward these kids with funny jokes and stickers and an enigmatic smile.

The fact remains that there are too many bad ones. Try being a role model for a change instead of an enabler. Get off Facebook and play with your kids. Read them a story at night. Turn off the TV and really talk with them. You’d be surprised how much they not only need, but crave, this time with you. And you don’t have to be a perfect parent to do this.

If you don’t? I’m afraid I’ll have to send my Oompa Loompas after them to terrify them into submission.

The original "Sweetie Man"

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~ by Howlin' Mad Heather on March 10, 2011.

4 Responses to “Yes, I Do (*usually) Hate Your Kids”

  1. Excellent post!

  2. great post! i hate other peoples kids, particularly in the swimming pool

  3. Hehe, much amused 🙂

    I wonder if kids are really worse now or if it’s just the duty of every generation to assume that they couldn’t possibly have been as bad as this new lot.

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