Being a father is something I quite enjoy, and after a couple of years I'm fast coming to the conclusion that, when the trial period ends, we're not going to send him back.
I think he'll be pleased with that. The Orphanarium is cold in the winter, even with the new candle.
I think, as parents go, we're not doing too bad a job. The main evidence I have for this (apart from the fact that I've rarely accidentally sat on him) is that my son takes us utterly, utterly for granted.
Sit down, and I'm a climbing frame.
Stand up, and I'm a pair of shoulders to sit on. This desire is indicated by him simply standing in front of me and lifting his arms up, fully expecting - no - knowing that he will be lifted on high to take his rightful place.
My dinner is his dinner.
My snacks are his snacks.
My computer blog time is his YouTube Pingu time ("Wanna watch Pingu on the 'puter!").
He is Emperor of all he surveys, so I'm glad he's only small.
Now, I'm one of those kerr-azy Englishmen who would prefer not to have a monarchy, or a House of Lords, and thinks that democracy is, out of all the bad ways of running things, one of the less horrendous ones that we currently have.
Being a father has convinced me that I'm right.
Hereditary power is wielded by those who haven't earned it and really don't know what to do with it. My son has complete authority over me. Just about everything I do is for his benefit in some way, but he hasn't got a clue. He wanders through life oblivious to our protection and efforts to provide for him, ignorant of how to act for himself, and in return he swans about like he owns the place, which he will one day.
I have enough hereditary impedance in my life without having to put up with it running the society in which I live in as well.
My little boy will one day become a big boy, and he will rebel and earn for himself the independence he will so desire. He will stick it to The Man, unaware that The Man in this case will be behind him every step of the way, letting him make his own mistakes without falling down too hard if I can help it. Maybe, one day, he will experience the same genetically driven pseudo-altruism that we call parental love, and then he will be truly rewarded with the shackles of independence.
I expect that society will, eventually, follow similar lines, and that we will outgrow the perceived need to have our decisions made for us. I'm not expecting, nor indeed want, revolution through extreme acts, unless they are extreme acts of wisdom, but I'm not counting on that. We will, however slowly, move away from that overly-paternal attitude that has developed to control us, and will one day reach the point where we can control ourselves.
We will, in effect, grow up.
It won't go easy. These systems are run by those who get a lot out of running them, who benefit substantially from the wealth, the notoriety, the power and the glory. Old fashioned notions that have no place in benefitting the individual member of society. Autonomy is a scary prospect for many, and not just those who would lose their status. Imagine being responsible for your decisions. Imagine being accountable for your own mistakes.
You can see it happening already, albeit in embryonic form. Despite desperate attempts to appear relevant, like denouncing Facebook, religion is gradually, but definitely, moving away from being a power in society to become a sort of hobby for those who wish to dabble. The old fashioned paternalistic idea of medicine has long been replaced by a more inclusive paradigm of including patients in their decision making processes. Politicians get beasted by a warped media so biased against everyone that any suggestion of wrongdoing is examined with a scrutiny usually reserved for serial killers.
Are we ready for such levels of self-determination though? Will democracy be able to evolve into something that would cater for general autonomy, where decisions are made from evidence, where rationality is valued above hysteria and loud voices?
These are not thought for a whimsy-heavy blog which I have on good authority is not read by the Prime Minister, although I've got a funny feeling that the Queen may be one of my followers.
You know who you are, your Maj.
So, instead I will limit myself to what is truly important, and carry on allowing my boy to steal scraps of cheese from the kitchen:
Look at that! Like a cross between a ninja and a cat-burglar!
Nom nom nom!