1. Conception and birth, which are both messy and complicated. Too many bodily fluids are involved, along with emotional and physical exhaustion. The legendary bees and birds were a far more civilised, serene and environmentally-friendly way to do things.
2. The manipulation. Don’t be fooled, kids are crafty little devils with a multitude of unethical techniques at their disposal. If the melting puppy-dog eyes don’t work, then rest assured, it will be followed by banshee-wailing till their needs are met.
3. Responsibility. They don’t have it so they expect you to. Children force you to have a proper job and/or a regular stream of income. And then they eat up a major part of the hard-earned, blood-and-sweat-stained cash.
4. You sometimes have to sit near them on airplanes. Enough said there, I think.
5. Greed. You can always bribe them with a toy or their favourite food but even as they enjoy it, they will demand something bigger and more expensive. Children are similar to politicians and corporates in this regard; insatiable greed is an integral part of their constitution.
6. The shame of it. Children are always out to embarrass their elders. Their most vicious revenge include public revelations about what their parents did last night, what their elders thought of others and how and when their elders lie by reminding them loudly what they did and said at a certain time. One five-year-old girl mimicked her mother at school every day. Ultimately, the poor mother was called in and reprimanded over what not to say in front of her own daughter (in her own home, if I may add).
7. They’re the most dreadful attention-seekers. Forget intelligent conversation, one cannot even make small talk in their presence as they keep interrupting with their seemingly innocent but purposefully idiotic questions. Even in their absence, most talk revolves around their schools, their habits and how cuddly and loving and innocent they are.
8. That they get to say things others only think. Children have the habit of articulating uncomfortable and embarrassing truths. I know a four-year-old child who, while inspecting a bride at a wedding, yelled out, “This is not a bride; she is a randi.” True enough, perhaps, but hardly conducive to a healthy social life.
9. The lack of innocence. Their eyes glint with devilish mischief and sadistic intrigue, which adults often mistake for innocence. Children have a very good understanding of people and their surroundings. Each move is well-calculated and well-choreographed. Their minds work sharper than a dirty politician’s.
10. They are more effective than the most oppressive of political regimes in unburdening you of your freedom. Once children grow up, for their sake you have to look presentable and be on your best behaviour as to do otherwise would shame them. There goes your freedom. Freedoms to be precise: financial, behavioural, sartorial, physical, verbal, social, criminal, all sorts of freedoms.