Saturday, April 2, 2011

Guest Post: A Rebuttal from my Dad

Remember that post I made about being the daughter of a PhD. Yeah....this guest post is what happens when;

1. You're the daughter of a PhD and he can run rings around you logically.
2. You post about not having kids yet.

So without further dilly dallying a guest post from Dr. Daddy.

I will attempt a somewhat systematic response to your various reasons for not having a “baby” now. I’m one of the few people who has standing in this discussion, since you are (here’s another one for your list) the fruit of my loins, the issue of my manhood (unless the DNA results on Maury prove otherwise) or simply the misguided result of a night of drunken passion. Most people are simply too polite to engage you on this level, but I’ve never been one to worry too much about the niceties of social intercourse (and yes I’m aware that the word “now” looms large in what you’ve written, but that was simply put there to try and keep your mother at bay. I on the other hand will ignore this nuance and release the dogs of war).

Yes, “babies” are awesome, but you depersonalize them by simply calling them babies. When I held you in the hospital in the pediatric recovery room for the first time, waiting for the blood to start circulating in your right leg (yes, I remember every nano-second of the first time we met and yes you had an apgar score of 9 rather than 10) my first impression was that I was holding another “person,” a potential adult, a potential savior, a potential lover, a potential axe-murderer (this has become the derby thing me thinks). All I was sure of was that you were a little girl (we checked) and a person. The term “baby” did not even appear in the equation for me. I don’t care for „babies“ (Die sind klein und unbedeutend). Persons, on the other hand, I like. They are interesting, especially when they learn to express themselves and as a parent you have an opportunity to correct their misinformed opinions.

While cats are cute they do not replace person. A cat will usually die before you do. Cats cannot take care of you in your old age. Cats cannot make your proud. Cats cannot break your heart. Cats cannot graduate from university and receive their degree from your hand. Cats can legally be spayed or neutred and you like it that way; you would be broken hearted if someone did that to your child without a sound medical reason.

1. Selfishness miraculously disappears in most adults when they have another person to take care of. Would you think the same way of John? Does John think this way of you? What if one of you was to suddenly become very chronically ill? Remember, a little person (not a dwarf or a midget) will grow out of it. When you have a little person it is not longer a matter of being selfless, self includes the little person. Taking care of the little person is the same as taking care of oneself.

2. We had much less money than you have when you were born and you turned out okay…kinda. You don’t need everything that our materialist world says you do to take care of your little person. It is nothing but “propaganda” perpetuated by those who have nothing better to do with their “babies” than use them as a status symbol. In this case the “baby” has become no better than property for the enhancement of the prestige of the owner, like owning a new MB E-Class with all the bells and whistles. The question is, can you afford not to have a future taxpayer and contributor to CPP? Who will pay for your retirement? Everyone else’s little persons I suppose. But, then one might consider you a parasite having not contributed to the pool of supporters, but still wanting to take from it. Remember that CPP is not a savings account. My CPP contributions are paying for my parents’ retirement, not being saved for mine. I in turn will rely on my children to contribute to the plan (yes, I have private pension and RRSPs as well. I intend to care for my own needs on a greater scale than the previous generations). That is why we are having trouble right now, or will have shortly; we simply have not generated enough future taxpayers and CPP contributors.

3. Not at all. Gripe water was great . You don’t know what you would do in that situation, so don’t imagine the worst. Yes, you will be tired, but what do you think all those all-nighters were preparing you for. Honestly, people go out all night and drink themselves silly and then call in sick the next day or drag their sorry asses into work and look like hell. What do they do? Do they stop drinking and partying because of lack of sleep?  No, they go out the next night and do it all over again. They nap during work, so that they can go out and abuse their liver all night long. So, what’s the difference? One is a detriment to our society and the other will be a net benefit to our society. You pick.

4. The fact you are writing this and having to justify your decisions indicated that you hear the clock ominously ticking in the background like the stopwatch at the beginning of 60 Minutes.

5. Perhaps you rock at being an auntie and godmom, but that’s so easy to do it’s almost ridiculous. Pat them on the head. Buy them presents. Have them in the good times. The real joy comes when you cry with them because of a broken heart and you would like to break the bastard’s neck. Don’t compare the two.

6. Derby is a trivial pursuit. The world would not end, if there were no derby. The world is not better off for having it and would be no worse off if it did not exist. Bringing a new person into the world with all the hope that accompanies it, that’s different. Every person profoundly affects the world. The pain of giving birth means something in that hope comes from pain. A black eye from a bout is just stupid and meaningless.

7. Stubbornness is a useless vice of those who have nothing to lose or don’t know what they have or could lose. By being stubborn, you are letting someone else control your life. Just watch this: “My God, there is no way in hell that you could ever be any sort of a parent. Another person is put in your care at their peril. You would be a terrible parent.” I will now sit back and wait for your stubborn streak to kick in and show me.

8. Have you played in traffic? I have. We use to play street hockey, tin can cricket, and football. We use to beat the kids on Toronto, Simcoe, and Furby streets all the time. Our home field was Maryland. We had a much tougher home field to practice on.

Actually, it’s worse when they are your children when they cry, because you hurt along with them. The hardest thing for me was not when you cried. It was when I held you in my arms in a hot steamy bathroom when you were about 6 months old and had a cold. You were too tired to cry and I can still hear you trying to breath through all the congestion. I would take all the crying in the world from you, if only I could erase that memory.

Please remember that you were no treat when it came to the crying department and served as the perfect example for why certain species eat their young.

9. See above for my terms. Add to that sweetums, kleine, and Weeds.

10. You have it all wrong here. Your mother used to regularly kill plants. She was the embodiment of Lizzy Borden and Carla Homulka in the world of horticulture. It is only after having another person to care for that she learned how to tend a garden and grown a jasmine bush, a bougainvillea and to propagate Cape Primroses in Newfoundland. That’s gardening. Even Ross Traverse is in awe.

The persons in your care do not need to be awesome and brilliant. They only need to be loved and be good people.

The dogs of war may now come to heal.
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5 comments:

  1. I think good points were made on all sides in this one. I await Tatiana's rebuttal to the rebuttal. At the end of the day, I happen to believe 'I do/do not want kids' trumps all - but I'm enjoying the discussion. :)

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  2. Very interesting points, your dad raises.

    #10 literally made me laugh out loud.

    Be firm and confident in your choices (whatever they are!). Afterall, it's you who will have to take care of said child--so if you don't want one, then don't have one!

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  3. I think this is kinda sweet :)

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  4. Wow. I think your Dad just convinced me to have a baby.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing.

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  5. That may be the best "about having babies" essay I've ever read.

    Speaking as one who did not want babies, but had them anyway (the first coming at the most inopportune of moments), I have to give the thumbs-up to the 'old codger' viewpoint. I couldn't imagine life now without my kids.

    Never dismiss the perspective of someone who is looking over his shoulder at what you are still facing straight-on.

    PS. Derby is very good prep for parenthood, which is like a smash-em-up derby full of surprises and stumbles, only it goes on for decades.

    PSS. Let the record show that I have no standing in this debate and will not be greatly affected by your decision one way or another. I'm just in awe of your Pa.

    Jo

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