I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the app that lets you replace the pictures of your Facebook friends’ kids with those of kittens, sunsets and bacon. Unbaby.me‘s website promises to “delete…babies from your Newsfeed permantently — by replacing them with awesome stuff…Now you don’t have to look at all your friends’ annoying kids”. Yeah, who would want to look at pictures of human beings, when you could amuse yourself with pics of stuff to own, watch or consume (and judging from some of the sample photos on the website, also lust and mock.)
I don’t think anyone who’s tried to take more than zero kids onto a Tim Horton’s Sunday around noon could be that surprised at this. And I bet it’s not just Hipsters among the over 71,000 “Likes” — some of the dirty looks that little old ladies, (sorry, I think the term they prefer is “cougar”) shoot you when it appears that the generation that is going to be funding their twilight years of government pensions and nursing care, might disturb their weekly Maple Glazed Danish and Double-Double, could peel paint. (By the way, this is precisely why I avoid eye contact in public places.)
I do find it bizarre that those of us who have chosen to sacrifice the present for the sake of providing everyone else with a collective future, get cast as selfish, annoying dweebs, who just want to talk on and on about our kids. I totally agree that forgoing children for a higher purpose is a very noble and commendable sacrifice. Getting really good at Call of Duty, or devoting more time to your dogs doesn’t even register, Folks.
This reminds me of a something from woman’s magazine I saw from the 1960’s. It was the Shocking! Emotional! tale of a mother who was going to use birth control, despite whatever her Priest said. “What about the children I already have? If I have more, won’t it be unfair to them?” This seems so quaint now, considering the massive experiment in family living that would follow in the divorce happy 1970’s and 1980’s, calling a younger brother and sister in an intact family “unfair.”
However if this is unfair, with 5 siblings my kids must be first in line in the Completely Shafted Department, just itching to get their own Android compatible device, so that they can purge all those annoying pictures of their sisters in diapers. And yes, they surely can complain when things aren’t so smooth between them. But when the two oldest, Tall Girl and Sweetie Pie, made it home from camp, they did something that even I didn’t expect. As they piled out of the van, they ran first to me for a hug. Total reassurance that they were home and Mom was there. But, then they immediately started for Baby. They picked her up, and carried her around, and almost started to fight over who got to give her a hug. Baby, of course, lapped it up and was her super, smiley, giggly, baby perfection, waving hi with her fat little hand. Funny, their faces didn’t look put out or annoyed. Joyful would be more like it.
I really don’t know why people hate kids. Maybe they hate part of themselves. But as I’ve said before, people are awesome. Even the noisy, inconvenient, over-photographed little ones.