How do children, little beings no larger than your thumb, wield so much power? How can they cry and get what they want? How do they enthrall us so, even while throwing temper tantrums, smearing crap on the wall and toppling over their peaches in a jar on the high chair?
Is it love?
Verily I say it must be love that makes us put up with the little whining creatures, through tests and homework and endless snacks, drinking all the orange juice in the ‘fridge and generally going left when you want them to go right (or just stand still).
It’s love. That’s what you’ll say.
I say they’re aliens. I say they were sent here from another planet to torment us and generally make our lives miserable. “Oh, you’ll say, you’re so mean. I can’t believe you’re saying such a thing. Children? They’re a miracle. How can you say such mean things about a little, helpless, innocent child?”
And you’d be right. I am mean. I also tell the truth (sometimes). And I believe they were sent here from another planet to disrupt our leisure time. I believe they were sent to send shivers up our spine every time they scream in that high-pitched glass-breaking tone that just makes you want to pour a carton of orange juice over their little, alien head.
But I know I’m mean.
I was born that way. I’m from the planet Mean as Shit. It’s about 3 planets away from the sun. Undiscovered. Hiding behind whatever planet is 2 planets away from the sun. So it’s real hot there. And when I was sent as a 3 lb. preemie baby, smaller than a Cornish game hen, I was already hot under the collar, as they say (or don’t). I was mean and hot and tiny. I was an overcooked chicken of an alien ready to raise hell on this little blue green planet filled with roses and bad pop music.
So, yes, I have mean thoughts about children. I love them. Don’t get me wrong. I’m just pontificating. Speculating. Rambling.
I just think they’re so small and loud and nasty sometimes that they must be from another planet.
We can still love them. We can still feed them. We can still sit up all night doing homework with them. We can even send them to college.
But I say, maybe we need to tell them to drink less orange juice.
©2023 Bruce Palma. All rights reserved.