06/05/2009 By Shawn Burns

It’s about that time, summertime, when kids transition from school to home, and that means that some parents will notice their kids around more often, and that will spark a small flame of interest in the question of whether it’s better to work or stay home with the kids. And that small flame will spread from the parents with school-aged kids to parents in general, until several small conflagrations dot the parental landscape and Smokey the Bear starts tromping everywhere saying “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.” It’s the most fun time of the year.

Basically, the “debate”, when it reaches martyr pyre status (which is not to say there isn’t a legitimate question about what’s best for kids overall, but that level of reasonable discussion isn’t what I’m talking about here) looks like this:

From the Stay at Home Parents: Parents who work and rely on daycare instead of raising their own kids have no soul!

From the Work Out of the Home Parents: Parents who sacrifice income and their kids’ quality of life and futures have no brains!

I’ve seen this debate before.

Liberals: Conservatives don’t care about anyone. Their policies are heartless. Conservatives have no soul!

Conservatives: Liberals are bleeding-hearts who can’t see that their policies are disastrously stupid. Liberals have no brains!

And I’ve seen yet another version of this debate:

Zombies: Vampires are demons inhabiting the undead and reanimated corpses of real people. Vampires have no soul!

Vampires: Zombies are shuffling, decaying undead and reanimated corpses of real people. Zombies have no brains!

Guess what? These criticisms only work against zombies and vampires. Because they’re not real.