The decision to get rid of a child is a personal one and you should talk to your partner about what is best for your family. For us, after much discussion, it was clear that the right choice was to get rid of our child.
We had a son in August of 2013. Like most new parents, we were excited. It was a new adventure, one that was sure to be full of ups and downs. When our baby arrived, he looked like most new babies: like a saggy, sunken, squashed old man. And a genius, of course. He came into the world quietly, scoring poorly on the APGAR tests because he simply refused to cry. He stared with wide eyed wonder at the buzzing delivery room, refusing to give any medical professional the satisfaction of a peep. Like Jesus hanging from the crucifix, he stared forward, forgiving, but knowing. He would not cry out. He would endure the shame of public nudity, shocking temperatures, and unfathomable cruelty silently. The battle would not be lost without his consent.
We should have known then that he was willful. We should have guessed that his silent entree to existence was a marker, not of his serenity, but his commitment to doing whatever it took to be contrarian. “You want for me to scream?” he said. “Beg. Beg and might consider it. Tomorrow.”
As the months wore on and he grew from a tiny babe into a sparkly eyed infant and then into a toddling smidge of wonder, his small personality began to emerge. Laughter, joy, and small acts of premeditative evil were his hallmarks. Eventually we began to tire of his pint-sized bullshit, but we pushed through. We continued parenting because we believed it was what was right. It was what society expected. You don’t just give up. You can’t throw in the towel.
We talked with friends and loved ones. We agreed that he was slightly too old to be a candidate for adoption and the risk that he would run off from the fire station before they found him was too great. Sometimes our decision would be delayed. It would seem that he had turned a corner and we would allow ourselves to believe, once again, that we could be parents. That we could have this life that society wanted from us.
But we were wrong. We were naive. In the end we could keep up the charade no longer. So we got rid of our child. We wanted to help others in our position by sharing our experience. We hope that by seeing that others are struggling you will be helped. We’ve documented for you what led us to making the right decision for our family. We hope it helps.
Fuck You and the Shit Stain You Rode in on.
The poop is unfathomable. The poop is so present, so pervasive, that you find yourself becoming desensitized. Poop on your clothes? Meh. Poop smear on your wall? It happens. Accidentally left a poop diaper in the diaper bag for an indeterminate period of time? Bummer. But okay. And then they start eating real food. And what was once just alien enough to be fascinating instead of full on horrifying becomes human. It becomes Poop.
And then they’ll shit in the tub. If you’re lucky they have some sort of bath game that has a net, or– though not ideal– some sort of scooping cups. If you’re not lucky, you’ll spend ten minutes fishing turds out of the tub with a water logged paper towel before you regain your sensibilities and scurry off the find your kitchen gloves. And you won’t even throw them out afterwards.
Poop seeps. It creeps onto organic cotton pajamas with tiny bears on them and ruins any chance those $45 pajamas have of seeing a second life with a friend of cousin. Poop hangs out on the crib sheet and no matter how much you wash it, Poop stains.
We lived like that. We communed with Poop until one day we realized we were slaves to fecal matter. He shit, we wiped. And the cycle repeated as we became less human and his Poop fiercer and less forgiving. And then we said, “STOP! We are humans with college degrees and HORN RIMMED GLASSES FOR GOD SAKE!” And we knew. Goodbye, child; Goodbye, Poop.
“Mine” is Not a Complete Sentence. It’s a Lie.
One day his tiny voice rose above the nonsense babble. “Mine!” it said. And we laughed and repeated the word over and over, encouraging him. “Mine!” we’d say and then laugh. “Mine!” We were fools.
Not everything is his. Truthfully, nothing is his. Not his room or his bed, his clothes, or his shoes. Not even that godforsaken piece of shit-smelling filth he passed off as a lovey was really his. We built this empire. This kingdom was built with our sweat and our tears and watching a two-foot-tall life terrorist run around like Christopher Columbus yelling “mine!” at every chair, book, and picture was not only inaccurate it was offensive. Not so much as one summer job or after school grocery gig of his went into the creation of this home.
And then it became about the food. God forbid the parents, the masters, be allowed to eat their pork tenderloins and nice cheese in peace. “MINE!” we would hear bellowing from the high chair, a nice bowl of pasta and sauce hitting the ground. “MINE!” he would squeal until someone parted from their moist pig meat. And then he would giggle. He would actually giggle. Because to him, this torture, this inhumane pageantry was funny. And then I found myself standing at the Whole Foods, picking out a piece of organic, wild caught, Coho Salmon and it occurred to me. “This is MINE, dammit! And I do not have to share it with you!” I felt liberated. I felt free. I knew that I was being treated unfairly and there was something I could do about it.
Hey, Halfpint, Where’d’ya Park Your Stool?
Children are short; and while we as parents try to help them adapt to the world, can we really be expected to wash, brush, rinse, reach, and put away every single thing in their lives until they are able to see over counters or to the top of the laundry machine? It’s barbaric.
In the beginning it was sweet. A soft, pudgy baby perched in a laundry basket was Instagram gold. But the reality of expecting me to wash all those tiny shirts? Seriously? And the stain removal is a full time job. There’s no end to the amount of crap that ends up on the front of those Boden shirts when the wearer has the dexterity of a moose. And we were expected to reduce ourselves to the level of laundry mistress in order to make sure they are cleaned and returned to the drawer, where they will most certainly be tossed out carelessly? No. No, I say! We have choices!
I Am Not Moved By Your Crying. But You Will Be.
Tears flowed like angry rain at any sign of even the slightest (fake) injustice. Just before our decision to get rid of him, our son had a full-on tantrum in the middle of a Toys-r-Us express at the mall because I would not allow him to take every.single.ball out of the ball bin and throw it down the aisle. To my credit, or rather, in my defense, I allowed it to happen three times before I realized what a schmuck I was. I actually thought I was picking out the wrong one and he what he really wanted was a very specific one. Rookie move. He wanted all the balls. All 8792 of them. And he wanted to throw them down the aisle of the store. And if I was going to try to stop him, I would live to be sorry.
He wailed and wailed and wailed. He did that slow, rocking, penguin/toddler walk where the arms don’t moved and the mouth is the size of a petri dish, the face flushed crimson. Photographed in black and white, it would have been captioned, “Young boy hears of his heroic father’s untimely death in a suicide mission to save a 342 Jewish children in WW2.” Photographed with the Nashville filter, it reads, “Entitled Barnacle Screams Over Loss of Balls.”
It wasn’t just the balls, though, or that specific tantrum. It was the inanity of trying to reason with the unreasonable. Did I mention my college education? How could I be expected to endure such ridiculousness? I couldn’t.
You Lack Respect; We Lack You
Sane adults can only be expected to chase after an oily-fingered toddler headed toward a designer couch so many times before they have to make a choice. An Eames lounger can only endure so many close calls with a Sharpie before someone needs to prioritize.
As we conferenced in the living room, my husband in the Eames, myself stretched out on the Muskoka blue couch, the newest furniture arrival perched in our periphery. It would never make it. Between the razor sharp fingernails and the crayons, the mini muffins and the tiny 990s, our furniture wouldn’t live to see our 40s. What were we thinking bringing a child into this home? The upholstery preferences alone should have been enough to convince us that we were being stupid. But then we realized we’d put our furniture at risk and there was no choice left to make. The child would have to go.
College is a Mirage
The college education was really what pushed us over the edge. We don’t even know this kid and we were expected to squirrel away thousands of dollars a year to send him to a four-year, young adult, education and promiscuous sex camp? All my shoes and dinners and fancy cars are being taken away so that you can have a “bright future?” What kind of bullshit is this?
So far I knew he could wield a Crayola and draw semi-recognizable circles. What about that was supposed to warrant a $1000/month college education nut? I was insane. It shouldn’t. The idea that we should invest in the future of something we love is not only wrong, it’s irresponsible. It defies human nature. Enough with the selflessness and bed time reading and learning the alphabet. We wanted our lives and our finances back and when we really sat down and looked at it, we knew that there was only one way to get those back. We had to get rid of the kid.
We called around for someone who would take him. Grandparents were out, they’d already done that song and dance once. Friends and other relatives suggested some good orphanages in Upstate New York where they’d heard the foster care system wasn’t so rough for blue-eyed white kids. We had a few responses to a Craigslist ad we posted, but no one that was very serious. We did manage to pawn off an old A/C unit on one of them, though. So it wasn’t a complete waste.
We finally decided to drop him off at the fire station. We’d originally been nervous that he would not stay put until they found it, but we solved that by putting him IN the actual fire truck. They’re sure to have found him there.
And now we finally have our lives back. We’re thinking of turning his room into an exercise space. It’s going to be awesome.
22 thoughts on “Why We Decided To Get Rid of Our Child”
I hope this is a joke. Otherwise thanks for identifying yourself as a complete piece of shit,
Agreed. Apparently the type that quits everything at the slightest sign of adversity.
At least Julio is an easy going kinda guy. He’s gonna feel like an idiot when he discovers that you wrote all his favorite parenting books. Yes Julio it is a joke. I left her in a taxi and she would never do that sorta thing. On with the next response.
Should you read this without taking it too literally, as I might suggest that one should read anything, you might begin to understand that it is pointing out the alternative. That if you feel your daily routine with a small child is overwhelming to the point of no return then your alternative is to commit such an act as leaving him/her with a fire station. Any parent would immediately see the ridiculousness of their frustration and perhaps realize the option of pause and “regroup.”
Parenthood is a lifetime commitment. This blog states no different. Albeit sarcastic, you should read willing to laugh at the common frustrations while raising a child as well as the common love of the way they grow.
Don’t stain a humorous read with your inability comprehend what you read.
Sorry for the name calling, it’s just that I feel a little sensitive about this since I had an acquaintance who did actually give up their kid in a similar way. So it’s hard for me to see this as a joke, especially when the subject is repeated at length. As a psychiatrist I ha e often found that even when people are ‘joking’, there is usually some truth to what is said. I have 2 amazingly well-mannered and well behaved boys which I thank the universe for every day; both of whom I could never even think of joking to give away. So I am sorry for my earlier remark and wish you all the best in having your son become easier for you. I really hope this page is gone by the time he can read. Even jokes can hurt the ones we love. Maybe put more time/energy into your kid instead of a blog?
Are you really a psychiatrist? You don’t seem well educated.
From a person who is proud to be in therapy, you might want to seek a therapist of your own and work on your issues. You seem to be deeply troubled by what this acquaintance did. The whole point is that parenting is difficult. You clearly have a difficult time with being honest within a difficult moment. You exemplified this by the grandiose description of your children in defense of your ignorant comment. Why is it so amazing for children to be well mannered and well behaved? Personally, that is my expectation. After all, they are just little people. I expect all people to be well mannered and well behaved. I love linabeau’s writing style, and the HONESTY she puts into it. There are parents who pretend all is great, and then there are ones that give you the real human side of parenting. It is my OPINION that the best parenting style is to not forget that you are human too. Have honest dialogue so your children won’t think it is okay to hide their “not-so-good” feelings, they must be communicated as well. Those feelings will end up festering and turning into something very ugly if these little people do not learn how to deal with them early on. You are raising a person, not a self-indulgent, overly entitled monster who does not respect humanity. Just remember, your children will want to be treated like people; they will not want to be smothered and “loved” so much that they don’t trust you with their “not-so-good” moments. Linabeau has an enthralling writing style that brings humor to the big and little challenges we face. This blog is clearly not for you. As a psychiatrist, you should know not to take other’s words and feelings so personally. You might want to rethink your profession if you get this enraged by an article you read on the internet.
Watch your back, or you’ll find yourself lying on it, unable to rise.
Damn, all sorts of hostility here. Get on some meds people.
Julio it is truly refreshing to read your response unfortunately there are far too few that would do so. Rest assured that “their” parenting is fabulous. Author will never lack for love or attention. They too have an amazing child for whom they are equally as thankful for!
I tried to trade my daughter in for an older model but she shit all over that idea. Literally. And the couch.
Poop. So much poop. Good thing she is cute. 👪
Some people are taking this way too literally and have no sense of humor. Anyone reading the third to last paragraph and believing it is real has issues. I enjoy reading the articles by linabeau and hope that a couple of trolls do not have any influence on her future writings.
Your sarcasm is thinly veiled at best.
Your contempt for any sort of adult responsibility (parenting, to example) is palpable and pitiful.
Your narcissism is the purest form.
And your son will have to deal with his mother’s problems the way that you (I’m betting a million bucks) have had to deal with those of yours.
Stop with this shit, Carolina. It hurts all the people who have kids. Yes, we can relate. Yes, we know you are a funny person. But there is a place for writing like this and it is called a journal. You don’t have to publish everything that comes to mind. When you do, that’s just the narcissism talking…
So much for freedom of expression…….and creativity too. It’s too bad that some people have nothing better to do than to judge others.
Reply below. 🙂
Goodness! I am surprised by the polarizing emotions I seem to have conjured with this post. WTFer, you either know me or you’ve taken some colloquial liberties in your comment. Regardless, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. Going forward, I would absolutely suggest you not read this blog, as it will likely continue to anger you. It’s entirely possible that I am selfish, narcissistic, and ruining my child’s life; however, I do not see it that way. I very much see myself as human. These are the things that I experience, the way I process my life and my choices. This is MY blog and a place for ME to put those things down. In a sense, it is my journal. (Welcome to 2015.)
As for A and how my thoughts will affect him; it is my firm belief that transparency and honesty may cause short term pain or discomfort, but in the long run, it will give him the confidence to face his own life and decisions head on. I hope that it will also encourage open dialogue about the status quo and what expectations he will face.
In the meantime, when he woke up this morning in his room, with his blanket and lion, when had his juice and waffle and helped me put on my makeup, when we sat on the floor and talked ad nauseum about shoes– mine, his, Pups’, and when we drove to daycare and chatted about cars and trucks…. he seemed fine.
Oh people of the internet. Here’s the thing; it takes a mere click of the button to rid yourself of said internet. If you don’t like what you’re reading, stop reading it. The author of this blog is clearly intelligent and unique. You have no way of knowing her specific situation and family lifestyle. You only have access to her art form and personal release, which is writing. How kind of her to invite you in to that arena (especially since some of you have no business being here). As are most things, this art form is subjective and therefore, I’d like to remind everyone of the aforementioned power to click.
I absolutely love your articles!!! Your writing style keeps me hooked until the very end!!! This was HILARIOUS!!!! Thank you for another great one!
Thanks for the chuckle. I have often wondered if we could still divest ourselves of them while they were still totally dependent. Many of your same thoughts crossed my mind when my youngest was tiny (she’s nearly thirty now and we had no blogs back then) and then again during her teen years when I didn’t want to be anywhere near her. A healthy outlet for these feelings is absolutely necessary and your blog provides that… in spades. loving it.
I loved it. Emotions. But glad it’s not real although if it was for all you ppl that dissed her blog, could you honestly say that boy would of been better off with parents like that. No. Thank goodness though it’s FICTIONAL (you know authors sometimes write from different realities) but I feel like the moral of the story was terrible twos can often be overwhelming but sometimes you have to find a way to release your frustrations without taking it directly out on the child. And when he gets older and he’s most likely told about this one blog I wrote to curb my frustrations and he’ll read it knowing it wasn’t that bad and probably see that it’s just fiction and hey they call it terrible twos right lol