March 13, 2009

How to love your child?

Last week, I was walking through the buildings at work, when I happened to pass through an area that specializes in pediatrics. For those of you who aren't up on medical jargon quite like I am, pediatrics means healthcare for Peds, which is Latin for "small proto-adults," otherwise known as children.

Anyway, as I was passing through the pediatrics area, I happened to notice a poster on the wall, and I noticed the poster featured a long and rambling poem of sorts entitled "How to love your child."

Now, even though I don't actually have a child, I figured it might be helpful to learn how to love one just in case one materializes in front of me holding the hand of one of my ex-girlfriends.

At the risk of basically second-guessing the poet who penned the advice regarding how to love your child, I have to say, quite frankly, that I believe the poet was either extremely wrong, extremely high, or a combination of both.

For example, consider some of the following actual love advice ladled out in poem form:

"If they're crabby, put them in water."

Notice it doesn't indicate how deep the water should be. Ankle-depth? 20 feet? Are you supposed to hold the child under the water until they're not crabby any more? For that matter, it doesn't even specify the water temperature. Ice cold? Boiling hot? What's the best depth and temperature to hurl a crabby child into to ensure an adequate amount of love?

"If they're unlovable children, love yourself."

Excuse me? How do you get to deem a child unlovable? What's the criteria? Is there an expert out there who hands out labels that read "Lovable Child," and "Hateful Brat?" This whole snippet of advice just basically makes it really easy to give up on a difficult child, lock yourself in a room with a naughty magazine, and love yourself like crazy.

"Hug trees together."

Because nothing says you love your child more than walking around embracing trees and making everyone around you super uncomfortable. "It's that tree hugging weirdo with the tree hugging kids."

"Go find elephants and kiss them."

Right, then. Well, you might somehow manage to score love points with your child by slipping through the zoo bars to peck pachyderms, but the child endangerment alone would probably negate the love gains. Say what you will about hugging trees; at least they don't trample you or gore you with a tusk.

"Make loving safe."

This coming from the same person who advocates smooching Dumbo.

"Plant licorice in your garden."

Show your child you love them by practicing non-productive gardening methods. Sure, you'll starve come winter, since that licorice just didn't germinate like you'd hoped, but the love between you and your child should take the edge of the starvation pains.

"Paint their tennis shoes."

If child services has not intervened by this time, there's something wrong with society. After snogging elephants, embracing trees, planting licorice and chucking crabby children into the local pond, there's a pretty solid dossier of evidence that you might just be an unfit parent. As if any more proof is needed, now your children are running around the neighborhood with tennis shoes painted with "Unlovable Child."

"Invent pleasures together."

I think I caught "Inventing Pleasures Together," one night on Cinemax. It wasn't much of a storyline, from what I saw of it, but it most certainly didn't strike me as the best way to show love to a child.

Posted by Ryan at March 13, 2009 04:15 PM | TrackBack


i'm now even more determined to remain childless if this is what loving your children involves.

Posted by: amy.leblanc at March 18, 2009 03:07 PM
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