With all the talk and concern over our recent baby issues (or rather, lack thereof), and with the revelation that our government is initiating policies focused on putting the boot to husbands' backsides, here's an interesting counter-perspective based on a US parenting study that lends support to what I've already intuitively known: having kids does not necessarily make one happy.
Question is, am I happy now, without having sprouted forth a genetic host to transport my genetic legacy through another generation? I'd say I was fairly content. I don't know how I could be any happier, but I do know how my encounters with other people's kids have often ruined my usually benign disposition towards the human race.
Just this morning I overheard a male voice saying, "I'll give you money if you'll be a good girl." Under normal guy-girl conversation, this line would have led to interesting possibilities, but no, when I looked he was just a dad trying to convince his bawling tot to get off the cheap ride (which again under normal circumstances is an interesting proposition, but no, he was just being a dad).
In man-speak what the dad was saying roughly translates to, "why the #%* isn't this RC working? Maybe if I #*$! bought a ^~!* upgrade, it might ^*%# work better?" We're looking at a guy who has lost control over both his finances and his dignity right out in the public eye. Definitely not a happy situation for any guy to be in. If this was a scene in a movie, he'd be the one providing comic relief, losing to a little girl like that.
This isn't the first time I heard this cry of desperation. When I see parents with their kids, more often than not the interaction is of a high-tension nature, a contest of wills. On one side, there's threat and authority, on the other manipulation and emotional blackmail. Perhaps I have a jaundiced eye, but I am not encouraged to give up my current state of mental health and overall well-being for what looks like a lifetime of negative return.
It'll be interesting to see what new initiatives the relevant Ministry intends to roll out in the next few weeks. What could they possibly say to convince us guy-folk to turn in our frat-boy beer hats and settle for a life of domesticity, barefoot and pregnant?