Tuesday, August 09, 2011

This Is a Rant. I Don't Really Hate Babies. Just Yours.

Photo: eclectic echoes, Flickr Creative Commons

I just got through reading an article on Salon by a woman who, in my opinion, was deeply scarred by overly prudish parents. You know the type. If you say butt, they freak out on you. This got me thinking about how much I HATE baby talk. I can't really pinpoint the exact origins of my spite for the language many parents create for their children, but I do have some reasons to justify my irritation.

Baby talk makes your kid stupid. Kids learn the vocabulary that is used with and around them and if you use stupid words with them, they're going to be stupid people. It also makes you and the child annoying. You may think shoo-shoo and binkies are cute. They're not. They make the parent sound foolish and people who aren't parents already hate your kid. They're loud. Whiny. Dirty. Lacking in understanding of social rules. Heck, many parents only really like their own kids anyway, so even they're annoyed with you and the kid.

I understand some of the language rules used with kid. You want to teach them to avoid insulting people and you want to teach them that there's a time and place to talk about what goes on in the bathroom and out in public is not one of those places, but it's often taken too far. Why does my son get in trouble when he gets frustrated with one of his toys and calls it stupid? He's not insulting anyone and he's venting his irritation in a much less annoying way than whining or doing that weird growl-scream he does sometimes when he's tired. In fact, I have never heard him insult another kid in his life. His mother and I aren't the type to bad-mouth or intentionally belittle other people. He lacks the negative influence in this area. And what's wrong with the word butt? I don't want to hear him talking about poop coming out of his butt in the grocery store, but saying he's going to headbutt me in the butt is pretty funny.

Then again, while I try to observe the conventions about profanity when I'm around people who are easily offended or when I don't know their stance on the matter, I really think the whole concept of banned words is ridiculously stupid. Why is booty any less offensive than ass? Why is shucks okay when I can't say shit? There is no logic to be found here. Stop trying. The meaning of what you say can be good, bad, or neutral. The words you use are only relevant as far as they contribute to that meaning.

I'm not even trying to claim we should teach our children to curse. The taboo is there and it's not an important one to focus on killing it off. I'm just saying that we shouldn't dumb down language so much for kids. They're going to be adults sooner or later and no one likes a prude or the clueless.

Of course another part of this is my distaste for modern parent culture. So many of them feel so entitled, so special just because they have children that haven't died yet. Guess what, neither you nor your children are special. I have three guinea fowl roaming loose in my yard with a brood of seven chicks. They have managed to keep those seven alive several weeks despite having no protection from the ample predators that live in my area. Sure, they've lost slightly more than half of the chicks they started off with, but when you manage to raise kids without medical care in an environment where you're a prey species and manage a better success rate, I'll be impressed. Until then, you're just one in an uncountable number of your species to reproduce successfully. Seriously, have you seen some of the parents who manage to get children they never planned or really wanted all the way to adulthood? Having kids doesn't make you special. Your kid is only really precious to you and your relatives and maybe your friends. Stop expecting the world to bend over backwards for you and your brats.

Basically, I consider kids to be like religion. I have no problem when people choose to have kids or when they're strong believers in some religion, just don't force that crap on me. You make sacrifices for your kids, no one else should be expected to do the same. You keep that in mind and I'll try to not force my kid on you.


Julie said...

Meh. Children are our future but I do dislike being inconvenienced.

CjW said...

I like most people's kids as long as they aren't too annoying.

I agree on the baby talk/cussing rant. Hell, I've never understood why people care about your work choice when it still means the same thing. Euphemisms are stupid.

Courtney said...

I completely agree. The bright side for you is that you're somewhat allowed to have those opinions as a man, but the second a woman says something that isn't fawning all over babies, God help her.

I guess I can understand parents not letting their kids cuss because they'll get in trouble for it at school, but there are plenty that go too far. For instance, my mom thinks "pee" is a dirty word. We had to say some babyish variation of the word the entire time I was growing up.