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Who Are the Freaks Now?

We believe large families are nature's norm. And when norms are ignored, unusual phenomena occur. With the proliferation of small families, we're seeing a lot of parents going to absurd lengths for their children: catering to their whims, making sure they get what they want for Christmas, attending every sporting event no matter what the hassle. It's almost like they're trying to squeeze into two kids the family experience that comes naturally with six kids. Or, perhaps more likely, the parents are "hard wired" to spend a large amount of time and energy on raising children, but due to their small families, they concentrate it on one or two children instead of spreading it naturally across a bunch of them.

Here's the most-recent example: parents standing in line nine hours to register their children for a preschool program. LINK. Excerpts:

“The hot ticket was a place in a popular three-day-a-week, morning preschool program for 4-year-olds. Both women, now moms, were trying to get their youngsters enrolled in the Tot Spot, Brighton's popular preschool program.

"My husband Chris got here at 10 p.m. Thursday night," said Carney. "He wore a snowmobile suit and slept in a sleeping bag in his car after starting a sign up list on the door. I thought he was crazy going at 10, but he proved me wrong because if I was behind these ladies who got here at midnight, our daughter wouldn't have gotten in the class we wanted."

“Following Carney's first place position were three neighbors - Heather Horst, Pam Chaundy and Liz Glaser - in that order. They'd arrived at midnight and watched a movie in one of their cars.

"'We made a party of it,'" said Chaundy. 'You've got to get your kid in the right preschool. My first child went here, too.'

"'My husband told me to get here at midnight,' said Horst. 'He said do it right or don't do it at all. We moved to Brighton just for the schools.'”