A 6-post collection

Challenge #02712-G155: But I Want It

Everyone's heard of the Terrible Twos. Well, everyone who's familiar with raising human infants. A piece of information that's been surprisingly slow to make its way around, though, is that those years are only so terrible because the little ones have wants and needs and thoughts that they don't know how to communicate; a combination of not being exposed to the words for what they feel and having tongues too big for their mouths, making it near impossible to articulate the words they do know.

All of this can be circumvented with any form of sign language and a bit of effort to introduce more vocabulary on the part of the caretaker(s).

That said, toddlers are universally curious, not so good at thinking ahead, more mobile than expected, and surprisingly good at disassembling everything they come across in an effort to find out what's inside. What happens when a mixed-species daycare, meant for the young offspring of ship-board passengers, finds itself saddled with a toddling human who, while familiar with instructions to be "gentle" with soft, furry friends (in an effort to get them to stop yanking the poor skitty's fur and sticking their fingers up the dog's nose), hasn't gotten the memo that the whole of the universe isn't familiar with the cobbled-together signing vocabulary they use with their parents to communicate such vital things as "baby eat waffle" and "baby drink juice" when they want something specific. -- Anon Guest

The Human toddler is a primer on Human instincts with a negative impulse control. They are all action and very little in the way of reason. Even the Humans who spawn them are shocked by the mobility of a small being with legs less than a quarter of the length of an adult's. Their capacity for improvisation can boggle even the most experienced minds.

As for the inexperienced minds... Meet Laeth. Ze has had the presence of mind to keep the Havenworlder children separate from the Deathworlders, but this was the fourth time ze had captured the very small Human Pip attempting to open the keycard-locked door to get into the Havenworlder rooms.

"Pip, you should go back to the room you came from. That is a better place to play." Laeth, one of the many who were carers for the children, moved hirself to gently herd Human Pip back to the chamber from whence they had come.

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Challenge #02680-G123: Small, Cute, and Terrifying

Doctor: Human, you need to take it easy. Rest. Don't do anything strenuous for the next week.

Human: Alright, I'll stay at home and watch the kids.

Doctor: From what I know of human young, that is strenuous. -- Escla

[AN: Pffffft...]

The Humans had a saying for everything. Some have been adjusted slightly to be more inclusive, but the relevant one in this time and space was, No being is an island. Perhaps, with an added dash of, It takes a

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Challenge #02519-F329: For the Greater Good

Several Enforcers of Pax Humanis teamed up and took down a pirate's ship. They were tearing the ship apart from the inside-out when one hears crying in one of the cargo holds. Tearing the hold's doors off, they find dozens of children, human and haven-worlder, locked in cages with price tags already printed on the tops of them. Now they have children to care for, and the potential buyers? Were about to get a lesson in what it meant to mess with

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Challenge #02241-F051: Courage Pour L'enfents

There is no living creature more dangerous than a mother wanting to protect children. Even if the mother is an Havenworlder. -- Anon Guest

The UFTP vessel Vengeance tried their best to make it to the Havenworld Yannomar in time. They had pushed everything to the limit, including the Human crew. They had hoped to make it in time to save lives, and found scenes of devastation instead. Too late. The Konthar had already struck, and apparently left the southern continents in

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Challenge #02234-F044: Incidental Hazards

Young children like to lounge on people, caregivers and companions alike. Do other species deal with this? -- Anon Guest

There is an instinct almost universal to the young of any given species. Stay close to your caregiver. Once able to move about free of the nest/clutch/creche/pouch, the caregiver is still a bastion of protection, font of education, and primary source of emotional resilience. In species with communal childrearing, any older member of the species will do.

Which was

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Challenge #02233-F043: Greatest Responsibility

What would an intergalactic nursery look like? -- Anon Guest

Multi-species infant care is a fascinating workplace to begin with. For each species, there are separate demands beyond the standards of clean, warm, and comfortable. There are some general rules, like mammals do best when fed on their parental secretions. Reptilian life forms, for instance, get essential gut bacteria from their parentals' regurgitations. Some, like Humans, thrive with the assistance of gentle physical contact. Others are too frail to be disturbed until

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