There is nothing like the righteous indignation of a preschooler.
I recall that when one of my sons was 4 years old, I issued the following draconian pronouncement:
“You may not watch television until you clean all your toys from the floor.”
He immediately shot back:
“You treat me worse than Pharoah treated the slaves!”
Peering into the backyard I noted that there were no pyramids that he was forced to build. Grudgingly, he turned to the task of gathering up the toys.
I don’t doubt that my son felt grievously wronged. He wanted to watch TV and he wanted to watch it NOW. He did not want to clean up the toys and was indignant that I thought it was his responsibility merely because he had been the one to drop them on the floor. He truly felt that he was being persecuted, when I could have done the job myself or simply left the toys on the floor.
My son has heard me tell that story and laughs whenever he hears it. He’s an adult now and he has an adult perspective. He understands that just because you want something doesn’t mean that you can have it; it is not persecution when someone expects you to live up to your responsbilities; and especially, that real persecution is very, very different than not getting your way.
That incident came to mind when I read the latest example of “deep thinking” from the pens of natural childbirth advocates. It’s a poem in the style of the simple, powerful work of Martin Niemoller, writing in the aftermath of the Nazi Holocaust.
Take a look:
Just as my preschooler thought that being required to clean up his toys was “slave labor,” natural childbirth advocates apparently think that doctors refusing to supervise unsafe procedures is the equivalent to carting people off to concentration camps, killing them with poison gas and then incinerating their bones in vast crematoria.
You have to be remarkably ignorant of history, immature, and narcissistic to believe that. In short you have to have the preschooler sense of grievance.
Preschoolers think the world revolves around them. They think that the satisfaction of their wishes is and should be the primary goal of everyone with whom they interact. They have an exceedingly low tolerance for frustration, difficulty understanding danger and the reckless belief that they will never be hurt no matter what they do.
Based on this juvenile poem, it seems that natural childbirth advocates think that satisfying their wishes is and should be the primary goal of everyone with whom they interact. They have an exceedingly low tolerance for frustration, difficulty understanding danger and the reckless belief that they will never be hurt no matter what they do.
I suppose we could be offended and appalled by the poem, but I find it amusing and regrettable. Amusing because preschoolers are naturally amusing and regrettable because grown women shouldn’t be behaving like preschoolers.
I thank the authors of the poem for demonstrating the immaturity, narcissism, and ignorance of history that is the hallmark of contemporary natural childbirth advocacy. I can only aspire to be as successful in discrediting them as they are in discrediting themselves.