Having kids, especially very small ones, tends to make your mind completely full of them all the time, even when you’re doing non-kid related things. You think about your own relationship with them, and when you’re engaged in various media, you tend to think more about the implications of what the characters’ own parent/child relationships have been to bring them to that point. At least, I do. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep or something.
Well, this past Sunday night, the kids were all asleep in bed by 8(!), so I managed to sneak in some extra video game time before passing out for the night. As mentioned last post, I’ve been veeeeeeeeery sloooooooowly making my way through . I played the first two XII games, and enjoyed them well enough. I particularly like this entry because it has the highest potential for goofiness, and that’s all my brain can handle after having night after night of segmented 5 hours of sleep. I’m not going to explain all the mechanics here, but basically you have a bunch of outfits that change your stats and powers, and you can customize the looks of these outfits further by changing the colors and adding little extra “adornments”, like hats, and glasses, and tails and other cutesy stuff that belittles the seriousness of our stoic heroine. So, I’m running around in Cloud from FFVII’s garb that I’ve altered to be entirely pink, with a horrible little Tonberry on my shoulder, as I tell grown women dressed as the iconic Chocobo birds, “Meow-meow choco-chow” so that they give me fireworks.
This is all in front of a darker backdrop of immortal (but not invulnerable) people existing in a world set to end in a few days. And as a parent, that setting got me to thinking: what about the babies?
So, it is established early on that no one has been having babies since the event that caused all the chaos to come out and stop people from aging. But, surely, at the moment this happened, and obviously before it happened, people were having babies. There were probably women giving birth the very moment that time was distorted, and shortly before. There were women who were pregnant when this event occurred, even though we never see any. Then again, in a previous FF game, FFX-2, a character was said to be close to having a baby, and she looked exactly as she had when she was not pregnant, which was not fat. But I digress. The point is, we encounter an array of adults stuck at various ages, and we also encounter young children running around this world, still doing kid things… but no very young children. No babies. Maybe I haven’t searched the datalogs, which flesh out extraneous game details, properly, or maybe I haven’t gotten far enough for an explanation yet, but did the babies magically grow to a certain point in childhood while everyone else was stagnant, or…
Having a newborn is tough. Having an immortal newborn has to be nigh impossible. How long did it take for the people to realize that they weren’t aging? How long until they realized their newborn would never sleep through the night, never reach any milestones, and never learn to smile at them? Never feed themselves, never walk on their own, never say “Mama”? How long until they gave up loving the child they had been hoping for and nurturing and caring for before their world was torn asunder? And then live with themselves for centuries and centuries after giving up… or not?
I’m on my final kid; we’re stopping at three. Part of me has been melancholy about little Bulbasaur outgrowing clothes that won’t be passed down anymore, learning to sit, moving on to solid foods, etc. Squirtle is maybe possibly not eating every toy and art supply anymore? Charmander has decided to give up taking a bath in favor of a shower, all on his own. I’ve always been proud of my kids’ achievements, but I’ve been increasingly aware of how they’re eventually not going to be as cuddly as they once were. Thankupo, Final Fantasy, for the refresher on how horrible it would be if they didn’t grow up. And thank you, children, for making me think of the horrible things that happened to the fictional babies, instead of contemplating how Sahz and his son are the only black people in the entire FFXIII universe, and no one has anything to say about it. Meow-meow, choco-chow.