I was over at BitchPhD by chance. I don't read there frequently, but several people I do read link that way. Anyway, she had a nice post about children and work, particularly related to academia. Part of her post was the following:
"Children are part of society. They are human beings. They are not exotic pets. They get to go into restaurants; they get to eat in places other than public bathrooms; they get to have bad days; they get to have their needs met, too."
The first place I remember encountering the opposite of this was visiting N's dad who lives in a sort of retirement community in Arizona. It's not an assisted living place at all. Instead people have campers and they dock there for a while before driving across the country in their RV. Her dad and step-mom are one of the few year-round residents. But anyway only people above 50 are allowed to live there. If you are under 50, you are only allowed to visit for a certain number of days. Children are not allowed to use the pool. Now, I grant the right of everyone to control their own living environment, but doesn't it, at best, seem awfully impoverished to exclude large swaths of society from your life?
I understand this desire to exclude children from your life. I know how teenagers can take over a public pool so that no one else can use it. It's no fun to have a baby screaming in to your ear on a crowded plane. Or to watch to 9 year olds fighting over the dinner rolls when you are trying to have a romantic dinner for two. But, hey, kids are part of the world. It's time to get used to it.