Take the kids to the zoo and watch them watch the animals. Like the parents they are drawn to the cute ones. Pandas, dolphins, chimps and talking parrots. Notice, though, how the newborn are more than cute. They’re already well on their way to becoming self-sufficient. Nature does its thing fast. In the case of OUR newborn, well lets be honest; they’re totally useless right from the get go. I mean, our little offspring take such a long long time to grow up and learn how to function in this world.
Sure, we love them, but at what cost in time and money? Unlike those caged cuties, ours take exhausting years and savings accounts to start pulling their own weight. Yes, yes, I understand our little guys have bigger brains and result in more complex behaviors. But think of all it takes. Feeding diapering, cuddling, teaching, schooling, braces and piano lessons. It never ends!
Meanwhile those little pandas are up and running in 18 weeks, finding their own dinners and building their own homes so that mom and dad can get back to their everyday routine again. Jeez, how long does it take a college grad to get out and find a job, buy a car, oh and start cleaning up his room.
The evolutionary psychologists chirpily explain: “Our useless babies are really useful learners.” I like the sound of that. So do young moms, vintage grandmothers, and unmarried aunts. Still, every time I took the kids to the zoo and watched the little newborns jump, climb and fend for themselves, I had this urge to scream: “Look, I’m not complaining, kids, just showing you how’s it’s being done elsewhere.”
But now here’s the great parental secret for any exhausted young moms and dads. Your family narrative is not one of a kind, not the only one taking place, not even exceptional in any way. Sorry about that, but the more you think about it, the happier that should make you. Because you see, not only have babies and youngsters been largely useless through the development of our species….and not only have they turned rebellious and ungrateful in their early adulthood….but in their later years, most of these little creatures become not only useful in their world, they become grateful in yours.
No telling how long that will take. But take hope. Because even though it takes time, it does happen….
Filed under: Uncategorized