Wednesday, December 17, 2003

fairy tale children

Yesterday, I visited k2ia, the old company I used to work for, to deliver a couple of gifts for one of Sage's godfathers. It was good to see some of my old workmates, old friends who went through thick and thin with the company during its more trying times. Two of these guys came up to me and asked how many kids I had by this time. I told them I had just Sage and they told me they had two kids each.

Nikki and I are definitely not ready to have another child, not this soon. Unless, of course, nature dictates otherwise (well, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, right?). But it got us thinking. Again.

Being the type of people that we are, we thought about fairy tales (now you know the peculiar tangents our thoughts take). If you apply fairy tale logic, having children is not the way to go. The picture is not pretty.

A. Single Daughter: Nikki will pass from the mortal sphere and my daughter gets a new stepmother who emasculates me. The girl will be a victim of jealousy, put into long sleep. Or a bear will come and take her away to live with him. Or she has to go east of the sun and west of the moon to find her love. Or you will have to give her up to the devil because she's the first thing you see when you turn the corner. Or she will fall for a frog. Or be befuddled by her maid, who switches places with her, leaving a horse head as her only comfort. Or sit on a glass mountain and throw away precious objects.

B. Single Son: Either very clever or very stupid, he will go off to seek his fortune away from you. Or will want to learn the meaning of fear. Or will try to outwit the devil or Baba Yaga. Or will come home from war with three big-eyed dogs in tow. Or he will be the size of your thumb.

C. Son + Daughter: Stepmother scenario again, and we lose the kids in the woods, despite breadcrumb trails. Or the boy gets turned into a deer and the girl cannot speak for years. Or a sliver of ice gets into the boy's heart and he turns cold, and the the girl goes on an arduous quest.

D. Daugher + Daughter: One will be kind, spitting gems from her mouth; one will be cruel, earning a vomit of frogs and centipedes. Regardless, they will have to work for witches. Or both will be beautiful but doomed to much harship before they settle down much later with handsome men.

E. Son + Son: One will be poor but generous, giving comfort to God who happens to be walking around in disguise; the other will be rich but heartless, earning the wrath of God. Or one will covet the other man's wife or his saltmaker.

F. Three Daughters: The youngest will be the only one that matters. She will be very beautiful and attract the attention of a beast. Or will be a brown-noser ass-kisser who will ask for a rose while her sisters ask for dresses and jewels from you.

G. Three Sons: You might as well not love the first two because they will perish or turn to stone or be blinded or lost to despair or beheaded. The youngest will be of good heart and do great things, but forget you when the girl of his dreams shows up.

H. Many Daughters: Set aside a huge budget for dancing shoes and be prepared to lose all your daughters to a mass wedding. By the way, your youngest will marry a commoner.

I. Many Sons: They become oriental and people will try to murder them all, but their odd talents will save them (when else is something like an iron neck useful?).

J. Many Sons + Single Daughter: Lots of sons turning into swans or crows. Your daughter will spend years sewing shirts and fail to complete the last one.

On the other hand, childless couples in the tales are always miserable.


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