Basically, this is my rant on why some of us (myself included) can get awful snarky about children and parents.
I look at the "Caution, baby on board!" signs or bumper stickers that basically warn me to be an extra good driver, because the car in front of me is carrying a child inside as a good example. I've lost count of the amount of bonehead driving I've seen by people with one of those stickers. I'm not saying that being a parent makes you a bonehead driver, and I know there are plenty of bonehead drivers that are childless. However, these signs crawl right up my ass and then some. Why? Well, I have several reasons.
1: Every car contains a living being inside. Why do I have to be extra careful just because said being is a child? Is a child's life more imporant than an adult's life? Not really. Is a mother's life, any mother's life more important than my own? I don't think so. Even in the argument over animals vs. children, people could have a point, but I won't buy the argument that children are more important than adults. In fact, until a child is able to contribute something to society, in a case of survival, children are often the first one to get the boot. It's only because adults work hard to provide the things needed to survive that children are allowed to exist. Trust me, if I have to be shipwreaked on a deserted island with a bunch of people, I pray like hell most of them are adults. While being shipwreaked with a bunch of little kids would be all sweet and cute, guess who's going to have to do all the work to assure we all survive? Me. No thank you. It's only because we have a society where needs are provided for easily that children are suddenly cherished so greatly. Because now we have the time to be able to devote ourselves to loving things that take and don't give to society. Yes, I understand that at some point all children will become adults and be able to contribute (Baring handicaps, etc.) but until they are, they are only allowed to survive by the grace of adults who are willing to care for them.
In brass tacks, it goes like this. That which can provide for itself will always flourish over that which cannot. If something came along and wiped out the planet, leaving only children 5 and under around, I'm pretty sure the earth would be doomed. Whereas if you reverse this and something kills off all the children under five, but leaves everyone else, within a few years, on a worldwide scale, it won't make much difference. Well, no, teacher and daycare centers would be in trouble, but their only reason for existence is to care for an element of the population that is unable to care for itself.
2: An accident is an accident. Even if I should get in an accident involving a car with a small child, it's still an accident. Why should I be made to suffer more because the car had a child in it? It's a freaking ACCIDENT. If I'm a cold hearted enough person to try to deliberately hit other cars, chances are I won't give a crap if there is a baby inside or not. I'm a bastard. So, why bother with the sign? Shouldn't we be trying our best not to get into an accident, regardless of who might be in the vehicle?
3: The sign negates the guilt. It basically says, "if I hit your car, it's YOUR FAULT CAUSE I HAVE A PRECIOUS BUNDLE INSIDE!" Oh bullshit. If you can't put your brakes on fast enough, cause you're too busy yelling at your kids, or even switching radio stations in the car, and you rear end me, the police and the insurance company aren't going to say, "Oh shit, you have a baby! That means you're innocent!" Why? Cause that's just fucking retarded. So, why are you bothering to slam a sticker on your car?
I don't believe having a child makes you a saint. I don't believe it makes you special. It's not that hard to do, for most people and it's been going on for a lot longer than we've been around. And what it does do is give you a sense of responsibility. You are responsible for that child. Until the child gets to be at least in their teens, their terrible behaivor is a reflection on you whether you like it or not.
But the attitudes nowadays seem to be that parenthood = absolvement of all guilt. "Bame TV, blame the internet, blame the schools!" No, look at home first. Don't think just cause you had this child you are no longer responsible for any of his/her actions. You are. Very responsible. And people like me will remind you that you're responsible if you come whinning to me about how rude that waitress was to you, when your kid was flinging peas in her hair.
If your child is out of control, you are obligated as a parent to control the child. The problem is that everyone wants to be a mommy or daddy, but most parents don't have the energy or patience to deal with it. (Both people have to work now, etc. etc.) So, rather than say, "You know, maybe we shouldn't have children" or "Maybe we should wait!" they go right ahead and have these children, and allow so many of them to be little hellions, then expect the rest of the world to take the blame. I'm not saying this is true in all cases, some folks do try. But the increase of bratty children is on the rise, because parents want their cake, want to eat it, and own the bakery. They drag their kids out to movies, parties, restaurants, cause they feel they have the right to have a good time. No, you have a child. If the child's nap time is 3:00 every afternoon, then guess where you should be at 3:00? You should be AT HOME with your child asleep in his/her bed. You do not drag your child to a mall, where he/she will pitch a fit because he/she is exhausted. Since children are such a big friggin' delight to have and a constant joy, then it really shouldn't be such a sacrifice to stay home with your child. Spend some time with the kid, read him a book, teach him to make play doh puppies. It's your kid, you wanted to have him/her, if you can't stand to be home with the child most of the time, then maybe you shouldn't have had him/her in the first place.
I know I take a pretty harsh line on this issue, but it comes down to this, having a child is a big responsibility. And if you aren't up to the challenge, then don't take on the job. It's as simple as that.
In closing I do understand that there are some great parents out there who do their best to make sure their children get the love and attention they deserve, who do their best to make sure their children behaive themselves in public, baring the occational fit. I salute you. Unfortunately, the parents that want it all have a tendency to outshout you.
Or, maybe that's just their kids screaming.