Only Child Syndrome: A Photargument
“So, how many brothers & sisters do you have?”
It’s a small-talk question I’ve grown to dread. I always find myself fumbling for a flippant answer like, “Oh, I’m one of those (l)only children” … all the while seeing the questioner’s eyelids lower with the sudden suspicion that they’re talking to a spoiled & selfish brat who is probably very unhappy, lonely, and dysfunctional.
Us only children have had a bad reputation ever since the late 19th century when that jerk of a psychologist G. Stanley Hall claimed that only children could not be expected to go through life with the same capacity for adjustment as children with siblings because “Being an only child is a disease in itself”. Media of the time jumped on board with Only Child Syndrome, one journal stating ”It would be best for the individual and the race if there were no only children”.
Well, I’m here today to rescue “Only Child” from its stereotypical pairing with the word “Syndrome”. Yes, I’m sibling-challenged, but I think if you look at the following photargument you’ll see it has not created a maladjusted monster at risk of contaminating the human gene pool.
Some people might argue I’m casting my dinner bowl aside like a grubby & ungrateful little princess. However, I would argue my mother forgot my usual puréed caviar & Baby Dom and the storm-scale temper tantrum on the horizon is completely warranted.
Some people might argue I’m exhibiting classic signs of early onset couch-potatoery, most likely caused by a lack of young playmates. However, I would argue that without young playmates to distract me I had already developed the capacity to meditate deeply on the meaning of life … and look darn sharp while doing it too.
Some people might argue I’m seeking solace from my fortress of sibling-less solitude in cocoa’s comforting arms. However, I would argue beaming out from behind that beater is the grin of someone who knows something the rest of the world doesn’t, namely the hidden health benefits of chocolate consumption.
Some people might argue I’m a walking flashcard for classic signs of exhibitionism, most likely stemming from being reared in a center-of-attention type environment that bred a being with the unquenchable desire to remain the center-of-attention by any means necessary. However, I would argue that the sheer magnificence of my flexibility renders this point null.
Some people might argue if I’d had siblings to sadistically torture I wouldn’t have manifested masochistic tendencies towards engaging in activities such as putting my own tongue in the vacuum cleaner. However, I’d argue that … well … really, it’s hard to argue with sadomasochism and perhaps on second thought we could scrap this piece of evidence as irrelevant to the case, which I think has already been sufficiently made.