Basic Human Decency v. Competent Parenting

Sorry, no, Aunt Buzzkill. Me NOT being an asshole to a little kid is a far cry from “great maternal instinct.”*

My 2-year-old nephew asked me to hold his hand to help him down the stairs and I did. That’s not “instinct,” that’s…not being a douchebag. What else was I gonna say? “No way, fuckface, you’re on your own.” It’s also just part of a social contract — I would really prefer not to explain to his parents how their child ended up tumbling down the steps.

If If anything, that’s the KID’S instinct: “Hm. I require assistance navigating these stairs. Perhaps I should request some help from someone with marginally superior motor skills. You there! Lumpy! Take my hand!” That is me taking direction from a child who knows his needs better than I do.

I’m good with toddlers because all I have to do is play Mr. Potato Head, tickle tummies, and make sure no one explodes. Fairly easy in 1-day increments, but I wouldn’t call it “instinct.” Once they get fussy, I hand them back to Mom or Dad: “This one’s broken, fix it.” I don’t know what the hell to do with these kids. My instinct is to give him 20 bucks and a bus pass and tell him to figure his life out.

* I am quite sure this was intended merely as a compliment, and not as any sort of pressure to be fruitful and multiply from someone who’d never even see my hypothetical spawn. Well, I’m MOSTLY sure that’s how it was intended…probably… She IS kind of a dick…

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