Another school of thought (or the lack of it) labeled the decision to not want kids as selfish. I haven’t heard a bigger load of utter bull. Nothing is more selfish than littering the whole damn planet with several mini versions of you so you can proceed to live out your life vicariously through them. You send them to the schools you could not get to attend, through your own dullness or the inability of your parents(who, it must be noted, too the unilateral decision to summon you from the bosom of God, or the sticky embrace of the spaghetti monster, entirely without your consent or notification), and then you demand that they go to school, and read all the courses you were not smart enough to met to read.
“You must be a doctor” you say. It matters not that the child has an abject fear of blood, and would rather kick a ball around and engage in physical exercises than study anything. You have a chance to play God, and that’s the way it must be. You want the prestige, the acclaim, the glory, of being called Papa Doctor, and you will mandate him to treat you, your wife(her mother or not), that your friend, and anyone else you damn well please. In your mind the die is cast, you are Papa Doctor, the Lord God himself, whose word is yes and amen, within your microcosmic section of the universe, and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
When the second one comes, having the advantage of an elder sibling, communication is much faster, and the child learns to talk much quicker. “Lawyer!” you scream. It matters not that this child is clearly an artist, always creating, always restless, picking up random things and seeing patterns in them that most people would never even be able to visualize. You pack and parcel the child off to law school, and there, the creativity of the child is reduced to collecting endless reams of ppaper and covering them in pointless legalese. By the time the midnight shifting and shafting leads to the birth of a third child, expenses have gone up, income has not appreciated quite so much, and a little more prudence is called for, therefore, the child in question must be …
“An accountant!”. And thanks to you, we have another slew of square pegs in round holes. Professionals walking in the shoes their parents happened to pick, and then forced them to walk in. I have seen many such professionals walking, working, going about their jobs, no passion for their work, no twinkle in their eyes, surviving day to day by dint of rigorous training.
I had an unnerving experience a couple of days back. On my way home, as soon as I entered the bus, I plugged my ears and began to soak myself in the cool music of Gregorian chants, we are, after all, in the season of Lent. I flipped open my tab, and pored through the pages of one of the resource materials I always have handy, both to exercise what little brains I have, and to keep away the pests and disturbances that are the scourge of bus stops and parks in lagos.
What drew my eye was a naira rain. It seemed to be that people had been told that they had heavy pockets, so desperate were they to lighten them. Freeing one ear, I paid attention to the events around me. The man, tall and slim, was asking for assistance. He had been unemployed for four years, and his wife was in the hospital, delivering their babies. The ones at home had nothing, and he was appealing for help. The kind of naira rain I saw would have given credence to Kemi Adeosun’s (in)famous “recession is just a word” postulation. Notes of various denominations jostled for attention in the man’s hands, and no sooner had he stuffed his palm into his buba than he was handed more notes from passengers.
What I found amusing was that it appeared as if we, by our almsgiving, were legitimizing the man’s lifestyle. If I may, what business does a man who has had no job for the past four years have producing children? The answer, dear reader, lies in the prayers offered by the yorubas of south western Nigeria, upon hearing of the birth of a newborn. Regardless of whether the child is born to a prince or a pauper, the answer is the same: “ah Olorun a wo o”. and by so doing, it seems, they absolve the parents of the natural responsibility of caring for their progeny. Little wonder, we see women with newborns, more often than not twins, begging on our streets and roads, yanking on our heartstrings and purse strings. No one ever seeks to remind them of planned parenthood, that the furious nightly shafting which leads to the birth of children can be had without conception being the end result, that condoms, intrauterine devices and other prophylactics are there for a reason. No, brother, e no go work. I cannor come and be using condom with my wife. We just keep right on humping, and when kids come, we beg. Right?
Kids are overrated biko. You are still a human being, valid, worthy, and whole, whether you have rugrats or not. Can you afford a rug in the first place?
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