Mewling Monsters

I was working on a short article about the history of unit blocks, a mainstay of preschool, and wrote the following, which I then discarded as too off topic:

In centuries past, children were unproductive, mewling, and uncooperative small people who, when the time was ripe, could increase the labor of a family and potentially increase its capital. As industrialization and efficiency improved the quality of life, and hygiene and medical improvements lengthened it, child labor became largely unacceptable and society must needs educate the little monsters during the period from infancy until a point in adolescence.

But it was too delicious to not post.