What’s Assault?

Here’s a very controversial matter I’ll speak about: spanking. But I’m going to make it short. I just want an answer to this question.

A few days ago, I overheard what I think was a crime show my grandfather was watching. The episode was featuring a woman who’d escaped from a very abusive relationship, and she described some incidents of the abuse. One of them was when her husband had told her to lean over the hood of his/their car and proceeded to spank her with his belt. She outright said he was hitting on her behind, so it was what’s considered a spanking. She described the pain as being so terrible, she was hoping she would somehow melt into the engine of the car (or in other words, die right there on the spot) to avoid having to feel any more. She said every time she didn’t listen to her husband, he would do this to her.

This woman is an adult, so that is classified as abuse. But if she were a child, that would be discipline. Why? That’s my question. Why is this “abuse” when done to an adult, but “discipline” when done to a child?

Spoiled Like A Princess

First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I figured I may as well throw it in since I’m posting on the holiday.

For someone who wants no children, I talk about them a lot. Then again, I have a strange knack for talking a lot about things I don’t have, whether I want them or not. Don’t ask. Chalk it up to “I think a lot”.

Yesterday, I saw a video on Facebook about a mother who takes her daughter to Disneyland several times a year because they have annual passes and live about 20 minutes away from the park. She sews costumes for her daughter. My first thought was, “Yeah, this is why I don’t need a daughter.”

I can’t deny it’s because I myself am female, but if I had a daughter, she would undoubtedly be a spoiled princess (or tomboy, if she preferred that)! If I had the finances and lived very close to Disneyland, it’s a safe bet she’d be going everyday. My only regret would be I couldn’t wear the costumes with her. Disneyland forbids guests over age 14 from wearing costumes. I understand the reason for the rule, but it’s one of the reasons I lost my desire to go years ago. Oh, well.

Funnily enough, my boyfriend also agrees. When I showed up him the video and told him the above, he replied we’d both spoil our non-existent daughter if we could. I was a little surprised to hear him say that because he does not like taking care of kids at all. The next thing he said was: “If I had the money, I would be spoiling [his niece].”

To me, it’s genuinely one of the cutest things he’s ever said. His niece is the exception to his dislike of caring for kids. Even I have to admit I love his niece, despite having zero familial relationship to her and only seeing her a handful of times, and she also likes me, to the point she was once screaming she wanted me after seeing me when I hadn’t been around her for some time.

However, it still prefaces why neither of us needs kids. We want the adorable parts of raising a child without the awful parts, but there’s no way to separate the two. It’s the reason I stick to fantasy and Sims games, and he sticks to being devoted to his niece. Children aren’t novelties. Dolls are for dressing up and parading around. There’s so much more to children, and they deserve parents who are willing to take all the awfulness along with the cuteness. I regularly hear raising children is 90% awful and only 10% good, but the 10% makes up for the 90%. I think it’s only worth it if you’re willing to accept those odds from the start, and even some people who are already parents aren’t. Ouch.

Still, I also think it’s ironic and a bit funny two people who do not want their own kids think nothing of spoiling our hypothetical child if she did exist. Or he. The mother from the video also has a son who she lets get in on the fun. I only emphasize “daughter” because the video mainly focuses on the daughter.

Seen and Heard

I’ve talked about this before, using a different phrase, but after working in retail for some time now, I can’t help bringing it up again.

“Children are meant to be seen, not heard.”

The sentence ignites a great amount of irritation in me. I won’t repeat myself because I went into plenty of detail about why the similar phrase, don’t speak unless you’re spoken to, is outdated and makes no sense. But this one feels even more so.

Although it’s short, after the time I’ve already spent working in retail, if there is any age group that should be seen instead of heard, it is adults!

The majority of the customers are pleasant and most transactions go normally with zero trouble. Of the problematic customers I have had, however, I’ve never had one who was a child. Neither have my co-workers. When my co-workers talk about the trouble they have with customers, they are referring to adults.

That’s not to say the children are always angelic. Of course, I hear children cry and occasionally throw temper tantrums. Or they touch things and don’t put them back correctly. I won’t deny that behavior is annoying.

But it pales in comparison to the adult who yells at me because I can’t do their return due to lack of any proof of their purchase (receipt, phone number, and/or sale tags). It’s nothing compared to the adults who frequently come to the register at closing time with a large amount of items for purchase, layaway, or both. It’s not children who leave the aisles a mess, with clothes and trash strewn across the floor (our toy aisle is very rarely messy!).

The worst thing a child has done to me directly at my register? Chatter. Yes, the “worst” experience I’ve ever had with a child at my counter is them sparking up a conversation with me. How dare they speak to me, an adult, when they haven’t been addressed?! Actually, I’m glad they do. They’re quite cheerful and tend to be the bright spot of a long shift.

In fact, the only times so far I’ve heard children continously cry are when they are tired or otherwise uncomfortable, and they’re usually small children (under three years old). I remember one particular small girl who was wailing so loudly, she could be heard throughout the store the entire time she and her family were there. My curiosity got the better of me and when they came to my register, I somewhat jokingly asked if the little one was having a bad day. Her mother flat out said she was tired and needed a nap. Is it the child’s fault she’s not being permitted to sleep? Who isn’t cranky when they’re being kept awake?

Now, I do not at all think children should be treated like adults, and in general, adults are more mature than children. I do believe that. But this concept that a child shouldn’t be allowed to speak solely because they are a child isn’t one I’ve seen to have much merit to it.

If this also refers to interrupting adults when talking, again, that should apply to everybody. Interrupting someone is rude, regardless of your age. I don’t want to be interrupted by a 30-year-old any more than I want to be interrupted by a 3-year-old.

An Angel I See

This past Saturday, my eight-year-old cousin came to visit. I don’t see her often, but I love spending time with her. She’s a sweet, typical kid. Loves cartoons, loves to play games, loves being silly, and she’s fairly quiet, though she seems to be growing out of that. She was quieter when she was younger than she is now. The first time she ever came to visit (I think she was five), the only sound she made was when she cried about simply walking to the back room alone. Now, she has no problem with our house and will respond without trouble if you talk to her.

In my eyes, my cousin is an ideal child. Well-behaved, patient, able to sit quietly and occupy herself, polite. Out of all the times I’ve been with her, she threw a tantrum one time. And she had reason because she was tired and had been abruptly woken up. I couldn’t blame her. Nobody likes being woken up, especially not in such a rush.

Every now and then, I think if it were guaranteed my first child would be like my cousin, I’d consider being a parent. However, experiences like the above knock me back down the Earth. I don’t doubt my cousin is well-behaved most of the time, but in truth, I can only make that judgment based on the small amount of time I spend with her and what my aunt (her grandmother) tells me. At most, I only spend a few hours with my cousin when one of us visits the other. I see the sweet, playful side of her because, unless she ever feels like throwing fits for a day, there’s no reason for her to behave any differently in the few hours I’m with her.

Even if I spent a full 24 hours with her, I may not see much difference in her behavior. She would have people to pay attention to her, she knows she is wanted and loved, she has plenty of things to play with, and she has more than enough to eat if she’s hungry. The only way I’d see anything different from what I know of her is if someone or something agitated her, which, from what I hear, is rare.

It’s unrealistic to expect anyone to be proper 100% of the time, let alone a child who still has a lot of growing and learning to do. Most kids stop throwing tantrums around my cousin’s age, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to deal with unpleasant feelings. If I spent a week with my cousin, chances are I’d see fits, some stubbornness, and some sadness or even anger. No matter how angelic I see her as, the fact remains she is human, not a flat character in a TV show. Spending 24/7 with her is much different than a few hours, especially if she spends that time occupying herself and not needing or wanting someone’s attention.

When I was a child, I often got upset at myself for not being perfect. I actually thought something was wrong with me (being asked by an adult what’s wrong with me didn’t help either) because I couldn’t be perfect like everyone else seemed to, or I couldn’t be good like I was the previous day. When I was old enough to seriously think about parenting, I envisioned my child always being happy and loving because they’d have no reason to ever be upset. I hadn’t yet learned that nobody is perfect and it’s okay because perfection does not exist. Children are going to act out from time to time, no matter how well their parents are raising them, because people make mistakes. I wish someone had to told me as a child, “It’s alright you feel this way. You just can’t [whatever I did that was inappropriate].” Honestly, even as an adult, I don’t see the point in punishing a kid because they’re unhappy.

My little cousin reminds me of childhood and what it was like to be so young, innocent, and joyful. And while I know it can’t last forever, I do hope, unlike me, she is able to grow and mature at her own pace instead of having to be hurried into it.

Bullying

There are three topics that get deeply under my skin: abortion, rape, and bullying. This post is about the last of those three.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2604933/Mother-speaks-11-year-old-sons-suicide-attempt-teased-carrying-My-Little-Pony-backpack.html

This 11-year-old child was driven to suicide because his a**hole little classmates wouldn’t stop bullying him. And no, I do not care that I just called a group of kids a**holes. Why should I? Look what they did to this kid!

I dealt with bullying every year I was in school. I know what it feels like. I know how it feels to be suicidal. Knowing what happened to this child makes me want to bust through a wall. What really angers me is many people would say the kid simply shouldn’t have kept the backpack. Why? Because a bunch of little f***ing brats don’t know how to behave?! If it were possible and I were in charge of the school, I’d round up every kid who tortured this child, make them apologize to his face, and suspend them from school.

Moreso, this is one of the big reasons I do not want to be a parent. If this boy were my son, I would’ve found a way to bring down hell on Earth for him having to deal with that nonsense. And if one of his bullies were my child, his/her life would become miserable. No, I wouldn’t hit them or even yell at them. Just strip them of every privilege available for a period of time and have them apologize to that child directly with a gift included.

I hated school when I was attending and I still hate it, despite that I no longer attend. Why? This. In fact, I’d say I hate it even more because this nonsense is still happening and it always will be.

Something doesn’t add up here…

Normally, if I make a post for commentary, it’s on a site article or blog post. This time, it’s on a response at Yahoo Answers.

On YA, a girl asked why people say not to become teen parents when many claim to have beat the odds and become successful. Most of the answers explain why and then, there’s this:

Why not? If you have a strong relationship, stable income, and the ability to finish school, there is no problem. I mean it. I’m planning my second child at eighteen. I’m a high school senior taking all AP and Honors classes. We live in a nice four bedroom home. I’m married to my daughter’s father. My daughter is a smart, happy, and healthy two year old. She’s learning English, Spanish, and Japanese. She can sing her ABC’s and count to ten in all three languages. We are a happy family with a flourishing business. We had income even when I was fifteen and he was sixteen. We’re smart and know how to bring in money (yes, legally). Why does that bug people? We are causing no harm to anyone. We aren’t harming our daughter either. We aren’t taking in benefits and instead pay sales, business, and income tax. We are productive, normal members of society.

The whole “go to college, buy a house, travel” thing is bullsh*t in my opinion because it’s not a requirement before an adult chooses to have children. Only 27% of Americans have a college degree. Only 60% own homes. 68% of children are growing up in a single parent household. 71% of pregnancies to woman 20-29 are unplanned.

In my opinion, if you can make it work, go ahead. It was our choice to be young parents. We planned out the rest of our lives when we were young. So far everything has worked as planned. I still want to study to become a doctor, he just recently opened up his shop. Our daughter is always ahead on her milestones. The expectations should be the same for both adults and teens. Age isn’t enough to determine if a couple can handle children or not.

Now, I realize I don’t know much, but this doesn’t sound very plausible to me for a few reasons.

  1. She is supposedly 18 years old and her husband is a year older than her, but she claims to live in a four-bedroom house. Who would sell a house to a couple that young, especially when one of them is still in high school? Doesn’t that mean there’s a chance she was sold the house before she reached the age of majority? Is that even legal?
  2. She claims she and her husband have a flourishing business and they had income even when she was sixteen and he was fifteen. Tell me, how can teenagers run a business?
  3. This might be irrelevant, but where on Earth were this girl’s parents? I would love to know how they were able to allow their teenage daughter to run an actual business before she was even a legal adult.
  4. She says she wants to study to become a doctor and her husband recently opened a shop. Unless he runs that shop from inside their home or takes their child to work with him, I’m assuming this kid is in daycare. She’s planning for a second kid. Unless she’s going to go to medical school part-time (is that possible?), who’s going to watch that second kid if her husband is working? Unless her or his parents are doing it for them.

This Makes Me Uneasy…

I know I’ve done serious posts before, but nothing like this. This actually makes me sick.

Yesterday, on one of the forums I frequent, a member posted this video. I’ll give you a heads-up before you click it. The video is of a father whipping his two teen daughters with an electrical cord for making a “twerking” (butt-shaking) video on Facebook.

I’m not a parent and have no plans to be one. I don’t feel I can judge anyone’s parenting. But watching this video just brought up bad childhood memories for me. There’s a point in the video where one of the girls shouts, “I’m sorry, Daddy!” As if seeing the punishment wasn’t enough, hearing that did it for me.

What that father did to his daughters is the same thing my mother did to me. The earliest I can remember is age seven. My mother denies any account of it happening, but my childhood isn’t that blurry. I’m not even sure if it was abuse or not because some say it is and some say it isn’t because no marks or bruises were left. I really have no idea. All I know is I now have a strong resolve of never allowing someone to hit me ever again.

I would say if it’s abuse, I hope law enforcement sees this and interferes, but I know how much worse that could make these girls’ lives. No abuser will be make their actions blatant because they know the potential consequences. Of course, it could turn out differently than what I know, but that’s not likely since these girls are teens.

I hope this doesn’t sound creepy, but I wish these girls lived near me and we were friends so I could bring them gifts or something. If they’re anything like me, they’re fine by now, but something is still lingering and I don’t mean the physical pain. Sorry if that doesn’t make sense.