Children, Improved: A Letter to God


October 29, 2013 by lucieromarin

Dear God,

Having observed, entertained, restrained, fed, cleaned and comforted other people’s children for some time now, I have come to realise that, while they are often cuddlesome and delightful, they could be even more delightful with only a few adjustments. Please find below a list of quirks which I hope, very respectfully, that You’ll attend to, should You happen ever to send me a child of my own.

1) They don’t know anything, but they still know what they want. Thus, a child is able to shout “NO!!!” years before he is capable of understanding exactly what it is he’s having a tantrum about. Please send me a child whose intellect and will develop at the same rate. (Please?)

2) They have no skills, but they have opinions. This, I suppose, is an addendum to the first point. It seems incredible to me that a being incapable of cooking his dinner should still be capable of steadfast resistance to eating it; that he can be incapable of tying his own shoelaces, yet implacable where bedtime is concerned. He can’t read, but he can say, “You should have read me three stories, not just two!”

3) They are too heavy. No, really. Pick up a baby for a moment and it’s all kisses-and-cuddles; hold him for a couple of hours (or even just twenty minutes) and suddenly the puffy little cloud of baby-goodness actually feels like a ball-and-chain nestling in your arms. I’d like to suggest that You make babies as light as pillows, so that they can be carried for hours and hours without the carrier experiencing shooting pains in her arms for a day afterwards.

4) They are too fast. Why is it that the adults – who understand why one ought not to run into the middle of the street – have slow, aching, lumbering limbs, while the children, who know nothing other than what they want at that very second (see point one) can move at the speed of light, even into oncoming traffic? I blinked, once, and when that blink was over, the infant next to me had shimmied up the side of the car and was dangling off the antenna. I’d like to suggest that speed and energy be redistributed to the advantage of the responsible adult!

5) They are too charming. How can I say ‘no’ to this little tucker when he looks at me like that?!?! Aaaargh! Someone invent me a cuteness-repelling spray!

6) They think they own all my stuff. I remember one child who didn’t even bother with the usual, “Mine!!” He just reached for my glass of water and said, “I need this,” – and he said it so ominously that I couldn’t help wondering what it was he planned to do with it.

7) They are too noisy. Look, I do think it’s kind of cool that something the length of a ruler can make the kind of noise that shatters glass. You know, babies are pretty vulnerable – lacking claws, teeth or spikes, the ear-splitting noise is pretty much all they have. The trouble is that they make this noise almost indiscriminately, with a bias in favour of the wrong moment. They never scream when their parents are standing alone in the middle of a football field. T hey only shriek their heads off just as the silence falls upon the congregation for the Consecration. Perhaps you could make my future baby a little… just enough to help him choose his moment?

Yours, very gratefully,


6 thoughts on “Children, Improved: A Letter to God

  1. Cojuanco says:

    I think No. 5 is what compensates for the other six items on the list. Least that’s what my aunt says with her rambunctious daughter that seems to look for something to fiddle with she’s not supposed to.

    • lucieromarin says:

      Grin. The funny thing is that you can put a row of deluxe toys in front of them, and they’ll still toddle off and find a pebble (or a piece of electrical equipment) and try either to play with it or eat it.

      • Amanda says:

        I love the fact that they don’t really distinguish between Toys as mass produced/gendered/over-determined/made of unrecyclable material/playing unspeakable tunes, etc etc things designed to make profits and random bits of cardboard/leaf/coasters, etc etc. It’s tremendously encouraging. Is it nature or nurture that later turns them into monsters demanding the latest plastic thing with batteries?

      • lucieromarin says:

        I love it, too. I think it must be a bit of both. I’m guessing that the latent human weaknesses get fed with years of ‘Put down that stick’ and constant offerings of plastic at birthdays and Christmas. Also – television and marketing directed at children. Wah.

  2. Cojuanco says:

    I always played with tree branches as a child. They were everything from Ned Kelly’s guns to something to disperse “holy water” when I would play “priest”. Or a sword of a medieval knight.

    • lucieromarin says:

      Me, too!!!! My sisters and I would arrange them in rough squares and then sit in the middle of them pretending it was a house. This was so much more interesting than sitting in the real house, which was only metres away!

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