I just got my first "Mini Boden" catalog in the mail and flipped. The clothes are beautiful and the suntanned, surfer children wearing them are very sexy. I'm just going to have to have a girl and spend all our money on seductive Velour Bootlegs. Thing is, a funny feeling came over me as I perved the flowery tights... I made it go away by deciding that it's not that weird to dress your kid in the same clothes you wore when you were 22, fucked up, and trying to get laid.
My husband and I watched a DVD for the first time since our baby was born a year ago. It was spectacular. Not just to lay back in the A/C and watch a movie but to watch the specific movie we chose to watch: CLOSER. I have no idea what anyone else thought of this movie. Was it discussed? Was it a hit? I must have been preoccupied with umbilical cord care when it came out last summer. I thought it was a horror movie, or some kind of thrill ride. But it's actually about immature, beautiful people fucking each other's husbands or girlfriends and setting each other up for emotional ruin. It was full of close-ups of Julia Roberts' brown eyes and Jude Law's bed hair. And though you'd think a new mom might find all of this immaturity and idiocy completely tedious, I loved every last moronic minute of it. The characters had no children, for starters. Their problems were blissfully narcissistic. Had this movie come out before I had kids, I’m sure I would have stormed out of the theater:“I can’t believe I just had to spend two hours with stupid, idiot people I hate!!!” But these days I can’t seem to get enough of narcissistic single characters. I saw the ending of “St Elmo’s Fire” a few weeks back and left my high school best friend a very long voicemail message about how truly genius the movie is and how right we were in 10th grade to have quoted it incessantly. Hollywood marketing departments take note: new parents don’t really want to watch some movie about family life! We want stupid, irresponsible, narcissistic characters with shallow, first-class problems, impossible apartments in glamorous cities and great clothes. Maybe it's time to Netflix "Less Then Zero."
What is it with this column? Are they actually looking for writers their audience will find irritating? Ever since Ayelet Waldman's "What's wrong with me for wanting to blow my husband more than I want to hug my children?" piece , which riled people up so much that it actually inspired an Oprah episode, I haven't met a Modern Love column I didn't hate. Or at the very least, Love/Hate.
Today's confessional comes from a Brooklyn mom who feels really really nostalgic for her messy youth...and who found reading her nanny's blog really really disturbing. I'm guessing most parents/employers would not be thrilled to hear the semi-sordid details this girl was disclosing, but I think the mom's response was equally creepy. Mostly I think this brings up some interesting issues about the deeply underappreciated value of childcare... what we expect from the people who care from our children, and how we deal with them when they don't meet our expectations. Here's the mom's side of the story, and the nanny's.
An article by the Freakonomics guys in yesterday's Times claims that carseats are actually no safer than seatbelts for kids over two. On their blog, they cite other studies with the same findings. Didn't New York law just change to make carseats mandatory up to age seven or something? Is this guy off base, or are we being duped? Regardless of how true his thesis may be, the following quote rings mega-true to me, if not all parents who have had countless hours and dollars siphoned into the carseat nation:
"Considering that Americans spend a few hundred million dollars annually on complicated contraptions that may not add much lifesaving value, how much better off might we be if that money was spent to make existing seat belts fit children? Some automakers do in fact make integrated child seats (in which, for example, the car's seat back flips down for the child to sit on); other solutions might include lap-and-shoulder belts that vertically adjust to fit children, or even a built-in five-point harness."
I'm sayin'. Start designing some shit so we can stop schlepping and strapping... especially if it's not doing us any good.
Some feel that this male midwife has no business stepping into what should be an exclusively female profession. We say, go for it. It's great that a man wants to follow a woman's lead in the area of childbirth. For a long time midwives were shooed from the birthing room in the favor of whacko Victorian (and even relatively contemporary) male doctors with questionable hi-tech solutions to women’s health problems. These days the midwifery practice is back in fashion (though Ob-assisted births are still by far the majority). Who knows, if men start getting in on the action, maybe this ancient profession will finally get the widespread respect it deserves.
A one year old boy in India was operated on earlier this week to remove a swelling in his stomach...which turned out to be the fetus he had apparently ingested in utero.
Pregnant moms are prodded, measured, monitored, advised and interrogated about their health for nine long months. Then the baby comes out and suddenly mom's body is literally yesterday's news. The follow-up for mom's health is pathetic... BOTH physical and mental health (both of which have quite a bit to do with chemical im/balances, thank you Mr. Cruise!). Brooke Shields is so eloquent in her NY TIMES Op-Ed. She's absolutely right that obstetricians and pediatricians need to get on the ball as far as mom's postpartum health and start screening for postpartum depression ASAP. One in ten new moms recommend it.
"... If any good can come of Mr. Cruise's ridiculous rant, let's hope that it gives much-needed attention to a serious disease. Perhaps now is the time to call on doctors, particularly obstetricians and pediatricians, to screen for postpartum depression. After all, during the first three months after childbirth, you see a pediatrician at least three times. While pediatricians are trained to take care of children, it would make sense for them to talk with new mothers, ask questions and inform them of the symptoms and treatment should they show signs of postpartum depression.
In a strange way, it was comforting to me when my obstetrician told me that my feelings of extreme despair and my suicidal thoughts were directly tied to a biochemical shift in my body. Once we admit that postpartum is a serious medical condition, then the treatment becomes more available and socially acceptable. With a doctor's care, I have since tapered off the medication, but without it, I wouldn't have become the loving parent I am today."
I'm so proud of Brooke. I worshipped her in her Calvin's when I was 12, but I never thought my admiration would be revived in this kind of enlightened and politicized context.