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Saturday, July 02, 2011

Children are little insane people

I am uncomfortable around small children who are still tripping.

You know how small children trip, right? I have a very vivid memory of the end of my own tripping phase. Around age three or four, I was watching Sesame Street while my mother was outside watering the garden, when this segment came on the air:

As Grover was rocked back and forth by the suddenly living mountain, I was seized by the idea that an evil Chinese empress was about to kill him, then come out of the television and kill me. I have no idea how I got this idea - I was, as I said, a small tripping child. I ran outside yelling for Mum and breathlessly tried to explain the trouble.

"Mum mum help Grover is in trouble he's on a hill and there's an empress and she's coming out of there to get me and it's scary and you have to come in and help because she's coming from China and --"

"What on earth are you talking about?"

And suddenly, I stopped, confused. What the hell was I talking about? Chinese empress? Coming out of the television? What?

In my late teens, through, ahem, various sources, I came to realize how closely this stage of brain development mimics the effects of hallucinatory drug usage.

Anyway, tripping children make me uncomfortable. As Matt and I shopped for LED rope lighting for our basement at Walmart last night, surrounded by screaming (and I mean screaming) tripping children, I felt wave after wave of anxiety. God, make them stop, I said to myself. Why isn't anyone making them stop?

And it dawned on me that I don't like tripping children because they are essentially little insane people. I have about twenty years of experience with insane people, and possibly a low-grade case of PTSD as a result. For about a decade of my life, when someone started screaming uncontrollably for little or no reason, it was my job to try to shut them up and calm them down, fast. It was kind of terrifying.

This also completely explains my lack of desire to have my own children. I used to reason that I didn't want kids because I have such terrible mental health genes coming down both sides of my family, but it's much more selfish than that. I have already spent enough time looking after insane people. It wasn't a fun time. I have no intention of subjecting myself to that again in the near future. I don't think it's cute when little kids make no sense; it pushes all kinds of OHJESUSGODEMERGENCY buttons for me.

I really like little children once they stop tripping. This usually coincides with the onset of comprehension of sarcasm. Once they're brattily giving their parents and friends sarcastic lip, they're awesome in my book.

This post brought to you by Intensive Weekly Free Therapy at Penn's CAPS, Summer Edition.
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