are only little children who lived to sexual maturity. If they could,
at some point, convince a member of the opposite sex to conjugate
with them, they might successfully bring a child into the world. This
process is so haphazard that it is hard to believe that it has
escaped effective regulation all this time.
successful individuals have joined the ranks of “parents.” They
may or may not be married to each other. They may still legally be
children themselves. The pregnancy may have been by design or it may
have been an accident. They may possess the skill-set necessary to be
decent parents, or they may suffer from a complete failure to meet
any of the suggested criteria.
is no license required, and usually there is no medical oversight or
examination until the pregnancy is noticed. Medical assistance is
generally available to pregnant women in America, but, as is typical
for that benighted country, you will get what you can afford and that
will be very little if you don't have the Do-Re-Me.
is all a terrible idea. There is a huge amount of information that
expectant parents must know and understand if they are to have any
hope at all for a good result. The list of things that an expectant
mother must avoid is long and constantly growing. No smoking or
drinking, of course, and probably lay off the weed, although no
official of any kind would even broach that subject. Don't eat this;
do eat lots of this. Take vitamins. No one, even the participants who
have excellent health coverage, no one gets all of the information.
I'll tell you a secret: the doctors don't know it all themselves.
You're better off going to a good women's health center and receiving
the wisdom of female specialists who would five hundred years ago
have been called witches.
just came across a new one the other day. Pregnant women must not eat
partially sprouted bean-sprouts. Or any partially sprouted anything,
one imagines. Oh, here's a good one that they usually tell you only
when it's too late: do not take any long flights on commercial
aviation during your first trimester. You run the risk of birthing a
baby with a cleft pallet. I'm pretty sure that last one should be
part of the early warning packet. Good luck if you took a long flight
recently and subsequently discovered that you were six weeks
pregnant. That's going to be a nail-biter.
parents are rare. Is that unnecessarily judgmental? Let's say good
parents are in the minority. I've been around this block a few times,
and I've seen a lot of everything. Good parents will make their
children feel welcome in the home, will make the children feel loved,
will encourage the children in their little endeavors and put up with
some reasonable level of eccentricity. There will be no screaming or
hitting. Good parents will recognize and tolerate children whose
temperaments do not match those of the parents.
sad truth of it is that many parents bring no talents at all to the
enterprise. Many see it as a tremendous imposition from day one.
Babies are a lot of work, and many parents resent the loss of
recreational opportunities, sleep, money, the loss of being the focus
of attention themselves. They resent the many tasks that babies add
to the schedule. Many parents, let's face it, are crazy, or at least
suffering from some kind of personality disorder. The thrill of being
a new parent, if it had ever been experienced, may wear off quickly. And
for some parents, while the babies were so cute and cuddly, by the
age of four or five they have turned into little monsters that
require stern discipline.
little monsters' lives may become difficult at that point. They may
be ignored, or physically abused, or emotionally abandoned, or even
literally abandoned. I can speak from experience here. I was raised
by wolves, myself. I like the sound of that, although I know it is a
slander on wolves to compare them to my parents. Shall we say that I
raised myself? Those Goddamned nuns certainly didn't help.
got married young and became a parent as soon as it was
mathematically possible. I raised two sons. They've never been any
trouble to anyone. They seem like good men. People like them. I
enjoyed raising them, and during that process I did have the feeling
that I was doing an okay job of it. I am increasingly convinced that
that was really a myth that I invented to comfort myself.
my ACE score is five out of six, so I doubt my objectivity on the