Children are just too taxing

February 10, 2009

One baby can furnish more business than you and your whole Interior Department can attend to. He is enterprising, irrepressible, brimful of lawless activities. Do what you please, you can't make him stay on the reservation. Sufficient unto the day is one baby. As long as you are in your right mind, don't you ever pray for twins. Twins amount to a permanent riot. And there ain't any real difference between triplets and an insurrection. -- Mark Twain

So try eight. No, make that 14. In Hagerstown, that's enough votes to re-elect Kelly Cromer.

Fourteen children. The mind swims. I never wanted any children and here's why: They scare the liver and lights out of me. No way I could shepherd even one freshly minted human being through life's slings and arrows, and by slings and arrows, I mean me.

I would be the worst father ever, and I know it.


"Hey dad, can I have the keys to the car?"

"Sure. Here are the keys; the car was impounded two weeks ago -- knock yourself out."

Asked if he liked children, W.C. Fields retorted, "Yes, if they are properly cooked."

When God was injecting us with parental instincts, I missed the needle. I'd have been like the banker in "Mary Poppins." You could only get me to spend time with them through deceit. I can relate to youngsters well enough when they're not mine. Were I to have one, though, it would only serve as a permanent mirror into my own inadequacies.

I could never discipline a child because I could all too easily see myself committing the same atrocity.

So what are we to make of Nadya Suleman, who had six kids and then went to Very Extreme Measures to have another eight. All at once. She wanted a girl. She got two, with six boys thrown in as a parting gift.

At least it will look great come tax time.

Except that she is unemployed, so that wasn't much of an issue to begin with. This could be a key. She can keep having babies and I will purchase them by the pound for use as a tax write-off. Although I have to take issue with the statement that she is out of work. If you have 14 kids, you have plenty of work.

Suleman's mom says of her daughter: "She is not evil, but she is obsessed with children. She loves children, she is very good with children, but obviously, she overdid herself."

In football terms, this is known as outkicking your coverage. All I can think of is that this is going to be awkward at Thanksgiving, especially if everyone wants a drumstick. Where do you find a 14-legged turkey? At Christmas, you're going to have to add a couple of stanzas to "The 12 Days of Christmas" to accommodate this crowd.

And Mother's Day is going to resemble a Cuban tribute to Castro.

I don't read too much about any papa though, so Father's Day could be a bit of a ghost town.

However, there is one other addition to the clan. According to The Washington Post, Suleman has yet to reveal how the babies were conceived, or which clinic or doctor was involved. Her publicist said she has "reserved that part of her story."

Rats. How in the world did I miss out on first-mover status as her publicist? We all know the math: 14 kids + 1 publicist = FOX television.

That could mean some major jack.

Apparently, unemployment will not be an issue for long.

Tim Rowland is a Herald-Mail columnist. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2324, or by e-mail at

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