I think I have figured out why we are an overpopulated society. It took me awhile, but I get it now.
Let me preface my explanation with one important fact. The creation of life is a miraculous event that is not to be taken for granted. There are many people who yearn to have children and who try for a long time to do so, with or without success. Others try their hardest to perfectly plan their family dynamic only to find that they have less control over it than they originally thought.
With that said, I propose my unscientific theory: Little ones, especially babies, are super cute! And their super cuteness as tiny tots makes us want more as the super cuteness starts to fade with age. What follows, I suspect, are Ken and Barbie conversations that go something like this:
Barbie: Little Buffy is 2 now...I miss my baby. I need another adorable, squishy little baby.
Ken: OK, let's go!
(Something tells me Ken doesn't really even contemplate the baby-part of the conversation, only the hint of the baby-making part.)
Now it seems that most people (with the exception of course of the now-famous reality show family the Duggars who are, frankly, out-of-procreating control) have a tendency to pump out babies in succession when the cuteness-factor is still in overdrive. But once we've experienced our cute, cuddly little munchkins as hormonal, combative teens with major bratitude, we no longer surrender to our urge for stork-supplied sugar, spice and everything nice.
It's at that point that the Ken and Barbie conversation goes a little more like this:
Ken: Hey Barbie, want to practice some baby-making?
Barbie: You better stay away from me Ken or I'll strangle you with your turquoise polka-dotted ascot! Don't you need to drive Buffy and Biff somewhere?
As I reminisce about the early years when my kids were babies, I recall the mishaps and tough nights consisted of spilled milk and interrupted sleep. And all was easily forgotten as soon as the super cute little sponge muffins kicked-in to super-adorable mode again. Who needs sleep or clean floors, we think, after a little smile or laugh has the ability to melt our hearts?
All of that changes, though, when the little tikes become teenagers and they get moody, stressed, and opinionated. Their moments of adorability are fewer and further between, if they come at all. Smiles are much harder to come by than before. And you quickly learn that not only are you profoundly un-cool in the eyes of your kids, you are a constant source of their angst.
It seems that once kids hit a certain age, something very strange happens; like they've been struck by lightening, or their bodies taken over by a poltergeist. They go from zero to 60 in seconds. And you look at them with a perplexed expression wondering, where in the world is my cute, sweet child?
As I discussed this phenomenon with friends, they each shared with me countless stories of their teens' transformation from sweetheart to dictator. One told me that her daughter apparently thinks that she is in charge of the lives of everyone around her, including her mother's, and often threatens her mother with ultimatums. (I wonder if Amazon.com sells wooden paddles.)
All moms I talked to agreed that when their teens want something, especially a ride somewhere, they expect mom to drop everything post-haste. And if our little darlings don't get their way, the pout comes out, as does the ‘tude, complete with slamming doors and the silent treatment.
Over the years, I've heard many parents warn about the frightening transformation their children go through when they become teenagers. While I have peppered some slight exaggeration in this column for fun (certainly we can hope that other more prudent factors are considered when deciding whether or not to expand a family), there is no mistaking the monumental changes experienced by our children when they hit the teen years. Good luck to all the moms and dads out there. You are going to need it.