Today I went out in a certain part of London which has a very high ratio of children to adults. Different parts of the city have different ratios – in fact once my kid asked me why there seem to be no kids in Mayfair. “They don’t make kids in Mayfair, they just make money” is the answer he came up with on his own.
The area I was in, lets call it “Grosvenor Green” (making it hard to pronounce for tourists and impossible for you, the reader, to know who I am picking on) has a VERY high child/adult ratio. Now, before I get started, let me make it clear that I have nothing against kids – mine are amazing – anyone that knows me will attest to this and it’s not just “Proud Parent Syndrome” (known as PPS). They are not perfect – but they are polite, friendly and they have respect for other peoples things.
So anyway …. I went into one of the large supermarket chains on the high street in Grosvenor Green, we can call it Testblos, just to give it a name, and inside were maybe 70 people shopping, but with maybe 300 kids in tow. Now I understand how parents need to take young children with them on errands. Getting a babysitter for a trip to the market is both stupid and uneconomical – not to mention close to impossible. But why do they need to bring their 13 year olds? And why do they need to be pushing 2 of them (estimated to be 5 and 6 in a massive oversized baby carrier? I saw a family of 9 – grandma, mom, and a slew of kids from 2 – 17. Is this their “day out”? What you end up with is accidents on a grand scale, lane blockages, and people tripping over the insane amount of prams in a small space. Couple that with the fact that the vast majority of these parents think it is their right, no…their DUTY, to take up as much space as possible, never appologize after running into you (repeatedly), giving you dirty looks if you don’t yield to their Double Massive Baby Carrier Machine(with built in ironing board)℗ with their entourage and pushing their way with sheer numbers ahead of you in line. It’s as if they have to scream to the world “hey look at me, look at me! I am a parent! I can breed”. (It isn’t all that hard to do after all, really).
I have to question why they need SO many kids. Most of them can’t control them, they don’t dare leaving a 13 year old home alone, and their 8 year old can’t seem to walk on their own without throwing a fit – hence the need for more and more prams. As a pedestrian (with kids that can walk without interrupting the world), I/we deserve just as much space and freedom of movement. But we get glared at, should we even get a little upset that they run into us (repeatedly) or ask them to move their MegaPram™ which blocks the entire isle.
So what is the need for having a family of 11? Is it religion? Is it the ease of getting welfare (each child = another check). Is it the lack of knowledge of birth control? (These same parents get upset when this is taught to their kids at school).
I say license people to breed – you need a license to have a dog, a TV, a car – make people take a test…a simple politeness test, a child rearing test. I am not talking about genetic testing (relax you antidisestablishmentarians). Anyway, the more kids parents have, the less time they have for each one -and science (not me) has proven that kids that lack attention tend to turn into negative people. Do we really need more of that?
I for one say no – it’s time to implement rule 2421.12a – a test to breed, and max limit on checks per child (say 5, like in New Zealand) and mandatory birth control classes for all new comers and all students. (oh, and a maximum size limit on prams)
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Check out This Article for some great photos of parents being utterly stupid