To plagiarize the words of the great Kent Brockman, British journalist Pete Samson might be inclined to say, "Ladies and gentlemen, I've been to Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq, and I can say without hyperbole that this is a million times worse than all of them put together."
The headline over today's piece in The Sun newspaper also reveals Samson's grueling assignment: "I Babysat for Octomum." Yanks, of course, know her as "Octomom," or La Habra single mother of 14 Nadya Suleman.
Samson reports that he was invited to spend a day with the Octomom brood, but what he didn't know until he arrived was their nanny had called in sick--"leaving me on the front line looking after her army of kids."
He admits to having been skeptical going in that motherhood is the hardest job in the world. He isn't any longer. Among the horrors he dealt with were walls soaked in red crayon, "deafening screams" echoing around the house, rugrats rolling over a floor covered in the remains of their lunches--and a "frazzled mum" frantically running around like a chicken with her head cut off.
The journo got something out of Octomom I had not read before: contriteness. She concedes it was a mistake to get shot up with sperm, take fertility drugs and carry eight children to term when she already had six hungry mouths to feed.
"It was a stupid, immature choice I made," Suleman reportedly told Samson, who was also informed of a reversal from a previous statement she made on daytime television about possibly adding to her baby battalion.
"I will never have any more," she reportedly said, adding later that she is happy living a celibate life. "God help me, no. I have no interest in babies. If I am out and hear a baby crying I feel physically sick."
Imagine your neighbors.
Suleman told the reporter she has discovered something about herself: "I'm not maternal. I'm a tomboy."
Great timing there, Nadya.
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She's found the older kids resent her for having had the babies, and she now understands why. Kids constantly fight, bite one another and the family is being eaten out of house and home. Samson said some kids have scratches, bruises and obvious speech-development problems.
He writes that babysitting her kids "is, without doubt, most men's worst nightmare," and his last line echoes Brockman's earlier expressed sentiments:
As I leave the war zone behind I breathe a sigh of relief I have survived. But for Nadya and family, the battle goes on.
War is hell. And stinky.