The Ideal Child

I was driving home from the coffee shop when my thoughts turned to children and how much I despise them. As I turned onto the highway, I wondered if anything could make me content in the presence of kids. The kid would have to be perfect, I thought. And, like a ton of bricks, it hit me: the ideal child—what would he (or she) look like? Immediately my brain sprang into action, and I began brainstorming of the traits my future child had better have—or else.

(For simplicity's sake, the child will be a boy. Having a girl opens up a myriad of problems to tackle—chasing off the inevitable horde of amorous suitors being only one of many.)

So then, I compiled a list of particulars that my perfect child will have. Enjoy.

  • The child will be British in word and manner. This is absolutely non-negotiable.
  • I think that the age of my offspring will remain constant at 14: young enough to not taking my MINI out for a spin, while old enough to wipe their own butt. I should note that the child will be born 14 years old, just like Benjamin Button.
  • In keeping with stereotypical British tradition, my child will have impeccable manners—to the extent that casual observers will not recognize the relationship between the child and myself. I will be fine with that.
  • The child will have a sharp intellect: intelligent enough to know the creation myths of the Norse and Egyptians, but not sharp enough to construct a Rube Goldberg device that will punch me in the face when I'm having breakfast. He will still ask me for help on arithmetic and sciences and will listen intently as I instruct him on the art of proper sarcasm.
  • He will have a soul patch. This is also non-negotiable.
  • Family nights will consist of enjoying a couple of pipes by firelight whilst watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 and sipping cups of Earl Grey tea—and we will do this in those fancy embellished robes that Clark Gable always appeared in.
  • He will be adept with the sword and shield, but not the bow. I don't want him needlessly hunting the king's deer.
  • If asked what his favorite book is, I want him to reply, "Well, I very much enjoyed C.S. Lewis's Perelandra, but Artemis Fowl was good too. However, I would have to say Les Miserables—Father read that to me when I was 14, and I found it absolutely compelling."
  • He will be a worthy Stratego opponent, and will quote The Princess Bride while moving his pieces.
  • Preferably, the child will make me breakfast every other month (so the occasion does not become commonplace). He will walk into the room in his jim-jams carrying a tray of bacon scrambled eggs (with complimentary orange juice). As the morning sun strikes his noble face, he will greet me, saying, "Good morning, Father—I hope you slept well."

    I will reply, "Thank you, Son. This looks delicious. Say—how would you like to practice your Latin while sparring with the gladii in the backyard?"

    He will smirk and reply, "How would you like to ask me that question again, except replacing those words with ones completely different?"

    And I will say, "Truly, my child, I have taught you well. Now, let's fight."

And, dear friends, that is the ideal child. Thanks for reading.