Why Have A Child?
Let's skip the pregnancy and childbirth bits, they're really icky and doctors deal with all that. Women should just keep screaming for more drugs during the three days they spend in labour (approx.) and everything will probably turn out okay. For men, the big question is; why on earth put your poor wife/long-suffering girlfriend/casual fling you met in Ayia Napa, through this in the first place? With the great advances in contraception over recent years, there really isn't any excuse for accidentally knocking up some tart. Unless, that is, you're like Hugh Grant in the movie 'Nine Months' - an idiot. So, assuming this is a 'planned' pregnancy, why embark on a foolhardy course of action which stops you getting a good night's sleep for several years and costs a quarter of a million pounds? Did you want to see a little version of yourself running around the house, like Mini-Me from Austin Powers? If so, HDUK recommends you try psychedelics instead; many strains of powerful hallucinogenic have a similar effect. Or do you want someone to continue your name? Take over the family business? Live on after your death? If this is the case, then you're being hopelessly naive. By the age of thirteen any self-respecting child will have renounced everything it's parents stand for and begun to grow into an unattractive adult who talks to you about once a year as an afterthought. Any illusions you have that because you brought a child into this world it could care less about you, are sorely misplaced. Haven't you read Lord of the Flies? Kids are evil scum - ask any teacher. No, the only morally correct reason to have one is if you need an indentured servant to help with jobs around the house and maybe pop to the bookies when you're too hung over to stand. Kids like the sense of independence this kind of work gives them, they'll thank you for it in the long run.
Once you get a baby you'll soon notice how, on trips to the crèche or nursery, small children investigate each other by sniffing one another's behinds. Oh no, hang on, that's dogs.
Diet is extremely important so your child remains healthy with nice strong bones. New fathers should ensure they don't hog the wife's breast milk and allow the little tyke a suck every now and again. Similarly, don't try to integrate your offspring into the world of adult nutrition too soon. Before the age of six your babe's delicate tummy is unlikely to cope with shish kebabs, and there's no point teaching a ten year old how to make whisky sours if it can't keep down a couple of bottled lagers first. Of course, if one of your reasons for procreation was to have someone constantly on hand to mix the drinks, then best get your child familiarised with all types of cocktails as soon as possible. Although, in the short-term, it might be preferable (and cheaper) to hire an out of work Australian to do the job instead.
The problem with child-rearing nowadays is that, ever since regular beatings came to be frowned upon back in the sixties, the kid knows you're not going to start whacking it and run wild. Those hippies have a lot to answer for. Luckily, as long as you're able to project a convincing threat of unrestrained violence, you'll be able to maintain absolute power over a son or daughter, at least until they hit puberty and get taller than you. The best thing to do when giving your kid a verbal telling off is to speak slowly and calmly, adopting some of the mannerisms of cinema's finest psychopaths, men like Hannibal Lecter or Keanu Reeves in 'The Gift'. Should your child remain unconvinced by this loopy over-acting and continue its naughty behaviour, a last resort would be to smash up your lounge while leaving the child untouched. That'll shut it up.
The great thing about children is that, up until about the age of seven, they have no sense of fashion or style (this
changes to four for girls). To modern parents on a budget such idiocy is a Godsend as perfectly functional
one-piece overalls for the toddler are easily made using nothing more that a burlap sack, scissors and a stapler.
Nappies can also be crafted in this way, and if you do end up giving birth more than once, make sure the younger
child is dressed in it's elder sibling's hand-me-downs for the first fourteen years of its life. This teaches a kid
valuable lessons on the folly of consumerism and "sticks and stones" never hurting. Talking of which...
If you aren't careful your child can get strange ideas from schoolfriends about clothes needing to be 'shop-bought' and food having to be 'cooked'. It's best to teach your offspring early on that all other kids are inferior and full of shit, a not-too-inaccurate summary to be honest. Unfortunately this kind of attitude may lead to your child getting picked on by the hard kids, so make sure you teach it to fight early on. Boys must learn that 'might is right', and if they don't get that from watching George Bush on television then you're going to have to teach it to them. The best way for schoolboys to respond to insults is with a strong left hook. That shuts the bullies up, and children never get expelled for leathering the shit out of each other nowadays. Teachers accept playground rucks as a necessary part of a child's development, one more charming quirk of schoolyard life. Besides, any headmaster will tell you that expulsions generate an awful lot of paperwork. When choosing to adopt this course of action we recommend you also become 'a bit handy' yourself, just for when the ex-con father of that psychopathic kid your son stamped on comes a-calling. Conversely, girls are a whole different kettle of neuroses, and the best way for suffering daughters to respond to tormentors is to spread inventive and malicious rumours about the bullies. For example, your girl could surreptitiously get the whole class believing little Bryony gets fingered daily by her dad, or tell the school that bossy Eileen enjoys being boned by paedophile uncles. Once that starts being chanted in the assembly hall, not only will your daughter have sweet revenge, it'll be excellent training for a future career as a gossip columnist in the tabloid press.
If you have a child, only to discover you can't afford to indulge its every whim, best give it up for adoption quickly and let someone rich bear the debt. Otherwise you'll only end up being pestered and screamed at following your refusal to buy that My Little Pony/X-Box/pair of Nikes/Range Rover. Unfortunately, if you do have enough money to give your offspring everything they've ever wanted, chances are they'll grow up into the kind of wanker who gets spat on in the street. In conclusion then, you can't win. Welcome to parenthood.
Children can be extremely hyperactive and annoying, so ensure you know someone with a prescription for valium who's willing to sell some on. That way you can slip half a tablet into their pease pudding when it all gets too much.
The Birds & The Bees
Eventually every parent will have to explain the facts of life to their child. The key to correctness here lies in giving your offspring a basic grounding on the organs involved plus some understanding how humanity's collective sex drive keeps the world turning. Chances are the little 'un will have heard various phrases in the playground, and these ideas may lead it to laugh in your face as you try to illustrate the act of penetration using only vague hand gestures and the odd euphemism. The best way of describing copulation to children, I find, is to depict sex as a kind of competition between males, into which your son will soon embark; a kind of game where the winner is that guy who conquers the most partners without getting some nasty disease or knocking up a minger. Outdated notions like 'romance' and 'love' can only confuse a young boy and should be avoided wherever possible. If all else fails, the traditional fall-back option for fathers is to pay an older woman to bang the son. Should your child be a girl then keep it simple - guys are evil, fucking is unpleasant in the extreme, women are meant to keep their virginity intact until after marriage (and possibly even later). These key points will get you through.
Don't despair! Having a child need not be the end of the world! For women it's merely a time-consuming inconvenience which goes away after a couple of decades. And even childless men don't get off scot free, they always encounter kids somewhere down the line as they remain sexually prolific into the thirties. But for those guys who do see one of their sperms pop out as a fully formed little person, there's always the option of abandoning the mother. This means you only have to expend energy on the little tyke every other weekend, or less if the courts have their way. And the occasional possession of a child gives a man access to great groups of 'yummy mummies', all of whom think he's lovely and sensitive and whose hormones are all over the place. A knowledgeable father will get far more poon-tang than those guys who don't know one end of a baby from the other.
But whatever happens, never forget the old truism - children are our future! Unless, of course, they turn out to be morons. In which case they're best forgotten.
Birth, puberty, masturbation, first base, going steady, banging away, relationships, marriage, children, maybe a couple more marriages, death. That's they way it is, the way the world's always worked, and don't think it'll be any different for you. By the time we reach the late thirties two-thirds of us will have a child of some sort, a terrifying thought for most, and slightly strange to consider when no one I've met has expressed the slightest desire to pro-create. At least not the males. But somehow the population of our world keeps renewing itself, with thousands of storks employed delivering babies down chimneys the year round and Carol Vordermann now up to seven offspring and counting. Still, since Brits are slightly shyer than most, their average family is soon to contain just 1.6 children rather than 2.4 (I think I went to a school that catered solely for those .6s and .4s, but I digress). In the UK it becomes more and more important those couples who do drop sprogs manage to bring them up proper like. No one wants to wake up one morning to find they're Bryan McFadden's mother. With that in mind, and following many epic consultations with experts in childcare, child-rearing, and corporal punishment, we at Home Defence now proudly present our guide to making sure your kid doesn't turn out to be a Nazi, reality TV flop or Anne Robinson...
NB. In the interests of political correctness the following article will not refer to your child as 'he' or 'she'. These archaic terms are sexist and offensive. Instead we simply call your child 'the thing' or 'it'. Thank you.