A World Gone Mad

Has the world gone mad? That’s a question I find myself asking DH a lot lately. He’s used to it by now and knows that there’s no easy answer. He probably thinks that I read the “wrong” things and that I think too much. Is that possible? I don’t know. Below, in no particular order, are some things that are stressing me out today.

I’m not going to go into a long diatribe about Octomom today, but I’m still wondering how a single welfare mother of 14 children can take care of all of the physical, emotional, social, and financial needs of her family. A person’s thinking has got to be somewhat “twisted” to even consider bringing another child into the world when you already have six that you aren’t able to provide for, without assistance from the government, that is. It also strikes me as funny that she’s decided to pursue a Master’s degree in counseling. Counseling. Wonder who her clients will be and what kind of help she will provide.

Also on my list are the employees at Clemson and USC who have received big bonuses and raises while those on the lower echelons have not. To add insult to injury, tuition has soared, supposedly because of “costs.” Costs of what? The raises and bonuses of a select few? While I’m on the subject, why does a college education cost more in SC than in any other southern state?

Moving along, I read a great editorial last week about the legislators in SC who can draw pensions that are nearly 50 percent more than their salary for the rest of their lives. On the other hand, state employees who retire after 30 years of service can expect to receive a pension equal to 43 percent of their former salaries. Huh?? 

Then there’s the guy (Madoff) who bilked people out of millions of dollars, leaving many of them penniless, who is still considering how to keep his family fortune solvent.  He’s deeply sorry for the pain he’s caused. Hmmm. He’s 70, so maybe he can spend the rest of his life in prison pondering just how severely his actions have hurt others.

A couple of weeks ago, a child in Sumter died of starvation. He was 18 months old and weighed nearly nine pounds.  I saw a photo of his parents in the newspaper and couldn’t help but notice that his mother had a weave in her beautifully coiffed hair.  When my grandson was born a month ago, he weighed in at 9 lbs. and 9 oz., big in terms of a newborn, pathetically small for an 18 month old.

While some children are starving, America also has a huge (pun intended) problem with obesity. According to Feldman in Development across the Lifespan, 15% of American children are obese, a rate that has tripled since the 1960s.

Lest we forget, there’s Darfur. No, I can’t go there today. I find my throat closing up just thinking about the horror of life there.

Should I mention the AIG “issue” or let it pass for today? Think I’ll wait on that one until after I see what happens in Washington this morning.

I can’t resist mentioning that some folks are gravely concerned that Michelle Obama has been baring her arms in public. “It’s simply not done,” they exclaim. Well, apparently it IS done. She’s the first lady and she can go sleeveless wherever and whenever she pleases.  Quite frankly, I’d probably follow her lead if I had arms like hers. But I digress. What I want to know is why people zero in on something like her arms when people are being slaughtered in Darfur, bilked out of the fortunes by preying vultures, and starved by their own parents?

Is it just me, or has the world gone mad? Has it always been this way, or am I just awakening to the vileness of some of my fellow humans?

Nadya’s Babies

I don’t understand Octomom. I really don’t. How in the name of heaven does she think that one person can take care of eight infants and six other children without a job, a home, a husband (or helpmate), or any means of stable support? 

My daughter Carrie has four children ranging in age from three weeks to nearly 5 years old, and she is busy from sunup to sundown…and in-between those times too. She and her husband are excellent, caring parents who take their parenting responsibilities seriously, and both will tell you that it’s hard, hard work. Between food preparation, story time, daily baths, laundry, ball practice, dance lessons, and breastfeeding the newborn, Carrie is s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d to the max. How can Ms. Suleman feed eight at the same time? And while she’s feeding them, who will be taking care of the other six children?

And speaking of feeding the children, how will she manage this with no job? Formula, diapers, wipes, car seats, clothing, bottles, blankets and all of the other paraphernalia that go along with babies are quite expensive. Where will she and the children stay when they leave the hospital? Admittedly, I haven’t kept up with this situation, but the last time I read about it, she was living in one of her mother’s rental homes that was nearing foreclosure. Is this where Ms. Suleman will take the children when they go “home from the hospital?” I shudder to think about their tiny bodies and psyches and what might lie ahead for them.

Back to the money issue, my son-in-law’s insurance didn’t cover all of the doctor and hospital costs, so Rich and Carrie ended up being responsible for $2500.00 out of their own pocket. They’ve been budgeting very carefully and hope to have this obligation behind them this month. Who’s paying for the extended care of the octuplets? I can’t even imagine the staggering cost of their intensive, round-the-clock care. Though I’m ignorant about such things, I’m guessing that the state of California is footing the bill. I’m also thinking that there may be some special needs among the octuplets that will require $$$.

Octomom says she plans to go to graduate school to earn a Master’s degree in counseling. I was incredulous when I heard this. Who in the world will be minding her 14 children while she sits in class? How will she have time to study, conduct research, and write papers? I teach adults, many of whom are young mothers. Believe me when I say that they struggle just to be in class on time. Heck, between ear infections and stomach viruses, sometimes they struggle to attend period. Then, there’s the cost of tuition and books to consider.

Ms. Suleman says she missed having siblings when she was a child. Poor baby. Does she honestly think that these 14 children are going to feel happy, loved, and valued? I can’t see it. I see rivalry, tons of it. Neglect too. Saturday, my 23-month-old granddaughter was lying on her father’s chest enjoying a special moment with her dad who had been gone much of the week. Her four-year-old sister came into the room and began talking to her father, and Emma actually became downright hostile. How dare Brooke talk to “her daddy?”  And this is a family in which there are only four children, all of whom get plenty of TLC from two parents.

In my opinion, these precious children deserve better. There are surely couples who would willingly adopt and provide love, nurturance, and stability to each of them. It’s my hope, no, it’s my prayer, that this young woman will love her babies enough to grant them a better life.