|There was an old woman who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children, she didn’t know what to do;
She gave them some broth without any bread;
Then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.
I just read that the reality show clan, The Duggar family, is expecting their 20th child. I can’t even fathom how one woman could survive that many stretch marks and live to tell about it, but she has definitely paid her dues into the cult of the “barefoot and pregnant” club.
Truthfully, the story is not heart-warming to me, but rather sad and scary. The whole “go forth and multiply” thing seems to have been taken way too much to heart, while the “love your wife as yourself” was not, or he would have gone to the doctor and had something snipped a long ways back. I doubt that if he were capable of having children himself, he would desire to do it twenty times over.
You may ask, “Who are you to judge this couple and their ever-growing brood?”
My answer: “If they want to be on national television and promote their unusual lifestyle then they should expect myriad opinions from bloggers such as myself. Besides, my words come free of charge. It’s not as if they’ll owe me their twenty-first born child or anything.
Large families are a puzzle to me. I mean “large” as in group home. A family of five or six kids isn’t puzzling, just loud and boisterous. Get up past a dozen and you have to own a dairy farm to make sure everyone gets enough calcium. I’m pretty sure the first cattle rustlers were just hungry children from a large family.
Being born into one of these extra large families must be a very lonely existence. No one really knows your name. They will definitely not yell, “Norm!” when you enter a room. Your own mother could stutter and sputter names for five minutes and never get to yours. You’re so far down the line, they’ve switched to the Greek alphabet. Forget having to suffer through hand-me-down clothes. By the time they get to you they’ll only be useful as rags for washing the car. You’d probably just run around naked until some neighbor took pity and gave you an old shirt from her ex-husband’s closet.
Large families tend to be home-schoolers as well. This concept completely baffles me. As a mother, I would not want to herd children day in and day out. Cattle rustling classes aside, teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic to a dozen or more kids with my stubborn genes and overactive imagination would just be asking to be thrown into a padded room without a view.
Regardless of my personal opinions on twenty-something children, I wish this family all the best and a safe pregnancy to this poor woman. I also have one last thought. Perhaps tattooing a first name to each of their children’s foreheads would make their lives a whole lot easier. That…and some of those magic beans that Jack traded the cow for.