Helpless and vile

Consider: We were at the center of the lives of those who cared for us.  They could be heroically Christian in their own eyes only if Eliza and I remained helpless and vile.  If we became openly wise and self-reliant, they would become our drab and inferior assistants.  If we became capable of going out into the world, they might lose their apartments, their color televisions, their illusions of being sorts of doctors and nurses, and their high-paying jobs.

So, from the very first, and without quite knowing what they were doing, I am sure, they begged us a thousand times a day to go on being helpless and vile.

There was only one small advancement they wished us to make up the ladder of human achievements.  They hoped with all their hearts that we would become toilet-trained.

– Dr. Wilbur Swain, Slapstick (Kurt Vonnegut)