Humans Should Not Have Litters
February 13, 2009, 11:13 pm
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I’ve been feeling miserable about myself lately.

Clearly that means there is only one logical thing to do: mock other people and criticize their poor life decisions!

So I guess you’ve heard about that crazy mom? with the octuplets? And the 6 children already at home? And the fact that OUR TAX DOLLARS are funding this birthing spree?

Right, you have. No need to bore you with the details.

I’ve been mulling this over for quite a bit, and I’m stuck on her reasoning for doing it. I know, I should be stuck on the risk of being a preemie, and the tax dollars, and the creepy resemblance to Angelina Jolie but minus the funds, and the TAX DOLLARS.

Instead, I’m stuck on her reason: she was an only child, and she hated it.

Well, me too, honey!

Oddly enough, my father is one of the few parents in the world to have raised 2 only children. My brother and I are 13 years apart, and we’re half-siblings. Nobody ever referred to us as that: he’s my brother, and I’m his sister, and it’s just this weird quirk of things that we happen to have two different mothers. It was extremely important to all the adults around us that we be siblings.

And yet we’re still only children! He was 13 when I was born, so for all intents and purposes he was raised. He merely needed fine-tuning at that point. His mom had custody of him, but he spent a lot of time with us. Of course, that dwindled as he got busy with high school, and then when he left for college.

We’ve never had breakfast together that I can remember. We never had to share a bathroom, or the couch. We never really had to fight for parental attention, not in the traditional sense. We never fought over what to watch on TV, or who used up all the hot water. If we had lived together, that would have been a problem because we both like to scald ourselves to the point of eczema.

When you don’t have those sorts of sibling wars, you don’t really become siblings in the true sense of word. We are only children who happen to be siblings.

I spent a lot of time very lonely as a child. I didn’t (and still don’t) make friends very easily. Sometimes I want to go back and smack my elementary school self for stressing over whether or not so and so actually want to play with me, and if she would like me, and then I remember that I still do that. I relate better to characters in books than I do to real, live people. I spent a lot of time alone, reading. It’s made me into the well-rounded, exuberant person that I am today. I always thought that if I had a built-in playmate in the form of a sibling my age, I would be less lonely.

I probably would be, but I would have also had a lot of anger and arguments and sibling wars, so it all evens out. I still wish I had a sister close to my age. I can be fiercely jealous of my mom and her sister (13 MONTHS apart), even though I know my mom and I have something special, too. I am grateful that Nathan and I have become closer, Internet-ly, as I’ve gotten older.

But I still wish I had had a playmate.

But Octuplet Mommy? that’s not a good enough reason to get pregnant, out of marriage, with no job, 7 times, to produce 14 children. To risk the lives of the babies in that litter. To prevent your children from ever being raised in anything but poverty. To deprive them of any substantial parental attention, especially since there’s no father around. Having multiple children just so the first won’t be any only child isn’t a good enough reason to have them. To have children to provide yourself with siblings isn’t a good enough reason.

And admit it: you know you liked being the center of attention. I know I did, and still do. I might be jealous of my mom and her sister, but I know that I’m my mom’s pride and joy, her one and only. Why else would you have brought this many children into the world so foolishly? You get to be the center of attention for a few days until better news comes along.