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June 3, 2011 12:51 PM   Subscribe

30 and Pregnant "How did this happen?" he said. I couldn't believe he didn't know. "We were so careful." I sighed heavily, twirling a piece of spaghetti around my fork, feeling overwhelmed that now I would officially have to come down on one side of the cloth versus disposable diapers debate.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero (212 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm so relieved this is from McSweeney's and not Salon.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:53 PM on June 3, 2011 [18 favorites]


/r/FirstWorldProblems
posted by orthogonality at 12:55 PM on June 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


Can I quote the whole thing for truth? I'm 31 and would be horrified to find out I was pregnant.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:55 PM on June 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


From a Salon article a few years back: "...the idea of giving birth and raising children began to seem almost a retro, labor-intensive enterprise, like growing your own vegetables or sewing your own clothes."
posted by needs more cowbell at 12:57 PM on June 3, 2011 [21 favorites]


A+
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:57 PM on June 3, 2011


I would be horrified to find out mefites breed.
posted by hal_c_on at 12:59 PM on June 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm embarrassed for the author. This is so elitist.

FAIL.
posted by zombieApoc at 12:59 PM on June 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


The last line really hit home: I'm not looking forward to giving up sushi.
posted by Specklet at 12:59 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


the idea of giving birth and raising children began to seem almost a retro, labor-intensive enterprise, like growing your own vegetables or sewing your own clothes."

The thing is, that it's EXACTLY like that. Like if you wanted to make a huge cake completely from scratch, as in grow your own ingredients and everything. It would take so much time and effort and money -- months? A year? And that's just cake... this is a HUMAN BEING.
posted by hermitosis at 1:00 PM on June 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


This is actually really hilarious. I'm 25, which means a lot my friends are in their marrying-and-baby-having years. I can't even picture myself with a kid right now. My parents had me in their mid 30s, so I've always figured I'd have kids in my mid-30s, and that having kids in your mid-30s is the "right" way to do it.

But every time I sign on facebook, another person I know is posting preggo pictures, and all I can think is "WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE?!" the same way I've reacted to every acquaintance's pregnancy announcement since I was 15. And I think I'll probably continue to have that reaction for roughly the next ten years.
posted by phunniemee at 1:00 PM on June 3, 2011 [55 favorites]


Wait, you can't eat sushi when you're pregnant? Yeah, sorry baby-that-I-might-have-had, that's a deal breaker.
posted by eunoia at 1:01 PM on June 3, 2011 [13 favorites]


I think there's something here I'm not quite getting. Is this one of those "You have to be an upper-income, single careerist to understand" things?
posted by Thorzdad at 1:02 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


As I read, I got the sense that a baby is like an equalizer from Harrison Bergeron.
posted by Mooski at 1:03 PM on June 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm embarrassed for the author. This is so elitist. FAIL.
--
/r/FirstWorldProblems
--
Can I quote the whole thing for truth? I'm 31 and would be horrified to find out I was pregnant.




....Am I seriously the only person who realized this was satire?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:04 PM on June 3, 2011 [86 favorites]


MeTa.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:04 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


... so I've always figured I'd have kids in my mid-30s, and that having kids in your mid-30s is the "right" way to do it.

We just had our first child at ages 38 and 39 ... in many ways, it was best to wait, but you'll never miss the stamina you had at 25 more than when you're trying to keep up with an infant.

If we could do it over, I'd split the difference and aim for 30-31.
posted by ryanshepard at 1:04 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think there's something here I'm not quite getting. Is this one of those "You have to be an upper-income, single careerist to understand" things?

I think so.
posted by zombieApoc at 1:04 PM on June 3, 2011


phunniemee, I'm 34 and I'm still reacting that way.
posted by something something at 1:05 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this one of those "You have to be an upper-income, single careerist to understand" things?

I think it's one of those "wow, kids are a lot of work and would absolutely change my life and my priorities and I'm totally not ready for that and since I'm totally not ready for that I naturally assume that no one my age or younger is ready for that either" things. Also, being the variety of human who actually has to grow and squeeze out a baby might help change your perspective on the issue.
posted by phunniemee at 1:05 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think there's something here I'm not quite getting.

It's a satirical short story contrasting the "woes" of a professional woman who finds herself pregnant to the media depictions of teen pregnancy.
posted by muddgirl at 1:05 PM on June 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


This is fantastic.

How was I going to raise a kid at my age? I was practically a kid myself!

*Shifts nervously in seat*
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:05 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


My wife and I had our child in our late 20s and for our friends we were definitely the canaries in the coal mine -- our friends were watching us to see whether our lives ended with the addition of a baby. When it was ascertained that immediate and certain doom did not in fact befall us (and that we maintained social interaction with the people we liked), the progenation began in earnest.

On the other hand we didn't see having a child as a disruption to our lives, either; it was part of the whole "we're married and having a life together" plan of things. You don't have to have children as part of that plan, but it's not entirely a surprise when they happen, either.

EmpressCallipygos:

I think most people recognize it is satire. But it's not that many degrees off of many people's reality.
posted by jscalzi at 1:05 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'm embarrassed for the author. This is so elitist.

I read it as poking fun at privileged middle/upper class professionals who think pregnancy and child-rearing are an overwhelming prospect at 30, when many people at that age manage to just take it in stride and in fact embrace parenthood as a happy state.

[on preview: what EmpressCallipygos and jscalzi said]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:06 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd guess if you didn't know that the McSweeney's website specialized in short humor pieces and that there's a popular show on MTV called 16 and Pregnant, this would read as the most horrifying thing in the world.
posted by turaho at 1:07 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I think there's something here I'm not quite getting. Is this one of those "You have to be an upper-income, single careerist to understand" things?

Maybe? To me, it's a pitch-perfect satire of the attitude you hear in some circles in New York (and elsewhere, I'm sure) that having a baby "too young" can RUIN YOUR LIFE!!!11!!! - and "too young" is anything under 35.

On preview, hurdy gurdy girl nails it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:07 PM on June 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm embarrassed for the author. This is so elitist. FAIL.
--
/r/FirstWorldProblems
--
Can I quote the whole thing for truth? I'm 31 and would be horrified to find out I was pregnant.



....Am I seriously the only person who realized this was satire?




Is it???

I've known people who act like this, so I really don't know.
posted by zombieApoc at 1:07 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


As a 30-something professional woman still on the fence with this kind of stuff, this article made me cringe.

"I thought you were waiting until 35," he said. "That's what good girls do."

WHAT.

"You completely ruined my figure, not to mention my marriage."

WHAT.

How was I going to raise a kid at my age? I was practically a kid myself!

SHE IS 31. I had grey hairs at 27 and nephews past drinking age - I know I am not a kid!

On preview - This is satire? THANK GOODNESS. (And how sad am I that I can actually believe people saying this stuff?)
posted by jillithd at 1:08 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


The prequel to Mommy Dearest.....
posted by caddis at 1:08 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just because something is satirical doesn't mean it's funny.
posted by mosk at 1:09 PM on June 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


For a long time Barack Obama’s mother was little more than the “white woman from Wichita” mentioned in an early Los Angeles Times profile of the future president. She was the pale Kansan silhouette against whom Obama drew the vivid Kenyan figure of his absent Dad in his Bildungsroman of discovered black identity, “Dreams from My Father.”

"What are you going to do?" her friend Kate whispered across the square table at Le Pain Quotidian. She squeezed her hand.

"I have no idea," she said. She could feel tears collecting in the corner of her eyes. She would not cry in public. She would not. This is all a bad dream, she tried to tell myself.

There were several people to break the news to, first and foremost her husband. They'd only been married for four years, practically newlyweds! This wasn't part of the plan.

That may seem a far-fetched description of a woman who was not good with money, had no fixed abode and did not see life through ambition’s narrow prism. It was the journey not the destination that mattered to Dunham. She was, in her daughter Maya Soetoro-Ng’s words, “fascinated with life’s gorgeous minutiae.” To her son the president, “idealism and naïveté” were “embedded” in her.

"You're... pregnant?" he said when she told him over pasta primavera that evening. "Are you sure?" He eyed her warily. "Is it mine?"

"Of course it's yours!" she cried. What a cretin. He was all sweet talk during their monthly "dates" and here he was in the sober light of day throwing around accusations.

Unbound by convention, Dunham the anthropologist was nonetheless the anti-hippie with her cache of can-do Kansan wisdom: “You’re not okay, I’m not okay, and I know how to fix it.”

"How did this happen?" he said. She couldn't believe he didn't know. "We were so careful." She sighed heavily, twirling a piece of spaghetti around her fork, feeling overwhelmed that now she would officially have to come down on one side of the cloth versus disposable diapers debate. "Well, of course I'll do my part," he announced in what she assumed he thought was a chivalrous tone. "I'll step up to the plate." He reached for his iPhone. "I can't promise that we'll be able to get into a decent pre-K this late in the game, but my colleague's wife is a teacher at the 92nd Street Y. It's worth a shot." He exchanged some pleasantries with the man on the other end of the line then mouthed to her: "How far along are you?" He nodded efficiently and scribbled her response on a scrap of paper next to a list of the city's most prestigious schools that he had begun compiling.

The fixing was not quick. Dunham knew that. “Well, life is what it is,” she would say: As in getting pregnant at 17 by the first African student to enroll at the University of Hawaii, the brilliant Barack Hussein Obama Sr., who loved her and left her — for Harvard. Adulthood was thrust on her early. One colleague recalls her saying: “Don’t conclude before you understand. After you understand, don’t judge.”
posted by swift at 1:09 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can I quote the whole thing for truth? I'm 31 and would be horrified to find out I was pregnant.

I'm 34, and I would be horrified to find out I'm pregnant. To be fair, that's mostly because I'm male.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:09 PM on June 3, 2011 [41 favorites]


How was I going to raise a kid at my age? I was practically a kid myself!

I'm 32, and I would be horrified to find out I'm pregnant. To be fair, that's mostly because I'm a selfish woman that likes to sleep in and have private-alone-time.
posted by Windigo at 1:10 PM on June 3, 2011 [22 favorites]


Oh, for Christ's sake, eat sushi when you're pregnant. Just don't eat the kind laden with mercury and keep eating at the places that haven't been giving you horrific parasites.

There are many, many horrific things about being pregnant, but avoiding sushi doesn't have to be one of them.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:11 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


jscalzi: "I think most people recognize it is satire. But it's not that many degrees off of many people's reality."

Alas, I know at least one woman who blames mothers for their own lower position on the pay ladder. "You want equal pay? Don't pop a baby out! Simple as that!"
posted by mkb at 1:12 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was still renting while (my wife was) pregnant. I have lived this nightmare. It's tragic. So tragic I've hired a chorus of greeks to follow me around and comment on my life.
posted by GuyZero at 1:12 PM on June 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wash that sushi down with a nice bottle of Chardonnay for best effect.
posted by caddis at 1:13 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wash that sushi down with a nice bottle of Chardonnay for best effect.

Well, at least have a glass -- it isn't going to hurt you OR the baby.
posted by hermitosis at 1:15 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


So tragic I've hired a chorus of geeks to follow me around and comment on my life.

Welcome to MetaFilter!
posted by Floydd at 1:16 PM on June 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: It's all geeks to me.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


...keep eating at the places that haven't been giving you horrific parasites.


Perhaps this is how the author got pregnant in the first place?
posted by stormpooper at 1:20 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wash that sushi down with a nice bottle of Chardonnay for best effect.

Frankly, that's just irresponsible. Maybe you're joking or something, but I'm disgusted all the same.

I mean, everybody knows that beer or sake go much better with sushi than wine does. If you really insist on wine, champagne would make a much better pairing.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 1:20 PM on June 3, 2011 [37 favorites]


....Am I seriously the only person who realized this was satire?

I DID realize it was satire. But some person's satire is another person's truth.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:21 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm 32 and would be horrified to find out you're pregnant.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:23 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It depends a lot on your location. If you live in Bumfuck Kansas and aren't pregnant by 15 you're considered barren. If you're in Williamsburg Brooklyn and considering having a kid at 40, people wonder why when there's a few good years of binge drinking left in you.

I am generalizing, of course.
posted by fungible at 1:25 PM on June 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm 32 and horrified to find out I'm actually living still inside someone's womb.
posted by phaedon at 1:26 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I loled.

As a 30-year old pregnant person, I have definitely had the "maybe I'm too young for this" feeling.

Also, giving up sushi wasn't that hard for me. Avocado rolls have always been my favorite, and no one minds if you eat those. Plus, if a little real sushi slips past now and then it's really not the end of the world. same goes for wine.
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:27 PM on June 3, 2011


If we could do it over, I'd split the difference and aim for 30-31.

We did it at that age, and while we're happy at our financial security right now, we're kinda wishing for the "stay up all night and go to work the next day" stamina that we had at 22.
posted by antifuse at 1:28 PM on June 3, 2011


This is probably the only piece of satire I've actually laughed at AND seen myself and my wife reflected in. Eerily accurate and hilarious all at once!
posted by renderthis at 1:30 PM on June 3, 2011


thirteenkiller: Whoa, congratulations! Another MeFi baby on the way.
posted by grouse at 1:31 PM on June 3, 2011


My friends were of course extremely concerned for me. How was I going to raise a kid at my age? I was practically a kid myself! It wasn't going to be easy, that much I knew. I'd seen the reality shows: Mid-Career and Pregnant, Still Renting and Pregnant, An Undiversified Portfolio and Pregnant

Seriously, some of you are going to claim it's not obvious this is satire?
posted by phearlez at 1:33 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Sometimes Metafilter can be so effing obnoxious. This is one of those times.
posted by oddman at 1:33 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


....Am I seriously the only person who realized this was satire?

Heh. No. But I know a LOT of people who would freak the fuck out at the idea of being pregnant at 30 because they're "just kids" themselves. All I can do is roll my eyes at them.

I'm 40. I, too, would be horrified to find myself pregnant at this stage in my life...because ElderMonster graduates from high school next Saturday, YoungerMonster will follow in three years, and I've had a great time being able to keep up with them.
posted by MissySedai at 1:36 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's interesting how times have changed. My parents waited until they were 30 and 31 to have me, their first child. This was the 1970s, and they were considered incredibly OLD to be new parents. Nowadays no one would blink an eye.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:38 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think most people recognize it is satire. But it's not that many degrees off of many people's reality.

See...I've far too many "clueless rich urbanite" stories that track along with this one to be able to see it that clearly as satire. I mean, where was the line about "How can I afford a baby on only $300,000 a year?!?!?"
posted by Thorzdad at 1:39 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


hal_c_on: "I would be horrified to find out mefites breed."

As was my son.
posted by Splunge at 1:43 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


My mom had me when she was 23. I think back to what a complete fucking idiot I was at 23 and I'm very thankful that I can't get pregnant.
posted by desjardins at 1:43 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Ye best start believin' in McSweeney's stories Miss Turner...you're in one!
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 1:45 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


So, as I'm typing this I'm sitting in the nap closet at work* next to my sleeping 3 month old baby. Also, I am 30.

I thought that this essay was pretty funny. Maybe it's a reflection of where I am in my life right now.

It's interesting to see a few Mefites freak out about being pregnant. I probably would have been in the same frame of mind a few years ago. And when I got pregnant (on purpose, even) my husband and I acted like the world was ending or we were dying of a terminal disease. We'd go to the movies like it was the last time we would ever see a movie again; we'd savor nice dinners as we resigned ourselves to nothing but fast food and hastily cooked dinners for at least a decade; I wore a bikini all last summer because I was preparing myself to say goodbye to my body permanently.

Still, if I had to say anything about parenthood I'd say that it's not that bad. Pregnancy? Not that bad. Even birth? Not that bad. Maybe I'm a freak or I'm riding the high of some sweet, sweet brainwashing courtesy of mother nature, but I have no regrets. Plus, I've managed to keep my mental faculties and not get fired.

(*Ladies and gentlemen, software engineering is awesome.)
posted by Alison at 1:47 PM on June 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've always (quietly, personally) categorized fatherhood in with terminal illness, floods, boils, Windows Vista, and the like.
posted by everichon at 1:50 PM on June 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


So are we just stress-testing the Metafilter Moderation System here, or what?
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:52 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


My partner and I have recently decided that a baby would make a wonderful accessory*, so this piece hot quite close to home.

*well, either a baby or another cat. Anyone know which is cheaper?
posted by item at 1:58 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


This seems a lot like those things where people complain about how "kids these days" aren't settling down and having babies when they're 19. It's satirizing the idea that one might hold these fears when considering having a child, but realistically, so many of us do, but just not to this extreme. It also seems to trivialize the choices made by child-free couples/people.

So... what exactly is the point this is making? Because it seems to me that the point is: "kids these days" aren't having babies when they're 19, and that's bad.
posted by !Jim at 1:59 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


1) I love McSweeney's
2) I love that I had my kid at 24 so that in my mid thirties I can do all that sleeping-in and vacationing that people seem to fear kids ripping from them
3) I love having a kid old enough to babysit the kids of all my friends who are just starting to have kids now
4) I wonder if HTML 11 could have a [SATIRE] tag to make sure McSweeney's and The Onion are taken "the right" way?
posted by Gucky at 2:01 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I've always (quietly, personally) categorized fatherhood in with terminal illness, floods, boils, Windows Vista, and the like.

I simultaneously like my friends' kids and am pleased that they're happy and have this completely contradictory "OMG having kids will mess up your life so why are you doing it!!!" feeling every time I see a pregnant stranger. I attribute this second reaction to my own personal fear of intimacy, trust problems and messed-up childhood rather than to any actual facts about pregnancy. No matter how many happy partnerships I see I tend to assume that if you have kids your partner will leave you for a younger woman.
posted by Frowner at 2:03 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


At 38, and expecting twins this fall, i find it super weird to see people I knew from high school who's kids are graduating high school, and especially a couple of them who are already grandparents. uber weird.
posted by jbelshaw at 2:03 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


True story: Two friends of mine got married at age 24 or 25, while they were still in grad school. The dude's parents, with a straight face, said, "We'd really recommend that you wait until your at least 30 before you get married - it's much safer than tying the knot at such a young age."

It also seems to trivialize the choices made by child-free couples/people.

I don't understand how this essay has anything to do with child-free people. If the woman in the story were child-free by choice, she would (IME) take care of it either pre-conception or after.

So... what exactly is the point this is making?

That it's kind of ridiculous for women like me - who admit that they eventually want children, have a steady well-paying job with a steady, well-paid husband in a great neighborhood with family support - to say that they "can't have kids yet." Because we absolutely could, if we prioritized it. Why do we imagine that raising a child is such a momentous endeavor, requiring the resources of a NASA shuttle launch?
posted by muddgirl at 2:06 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


the young rope-rider : "Oh, for Christ's sake, eat sushi when you're pregnant. Just don't eat the kind laden with mercury and keep eating at the places that haven't been giving you horrific parasites. "

A year and a half ago, a friend of ours had a large sushi dinner at a favorite restaurant one night. She was 28 weeks along. She came down with a case of severe food poisoning, developed preeclampsia and dehydration after a night of vomiting, had an emergency c-section and her twins were born prematurely. Neither infant survived.

I really don't like speaking of such things to pregnant women. Too many people did that to my wife and I when she was pregnant. But what applies to one pregnancy doesn't necessarily apply to another, and telling people to eat what they want when you don't know their situation seems foolhardy at best.

the young rope-rider : " There are many, many horrific things about being pregnant, but avoiding sushi doesn't have to be one of them."

No, it doesn't. But it seems irresponsible to give advice on the topic when you're neither a medical expert, privy to someone's medical history or know if their pregnancy is high risk or not.
posted by zarq at 2:07 PM on June 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


So... what exactly is the point this is making?

There is a show on TV about how kids at 16 deal with getting pregnant and having kids. In addition to the burdens (and joys) of raising a child, they have to figure out how to live the life of a sixteen year-old: dates for the prom, crappy minimum wage jobs, living at home with their parents, curfews, things like that.

Meanwhile, there are people in their 30s who are contemplating having children, but also have to figure out how to live the life of someone in their mid-thirties: going out to brunch, maternity leave, renting an apartment vs. buying a home, getting enough sleep, things like that.

Wouldn't it be funny to tell a story of the latter using the tropes of the former?
posted by turaho at 2:07 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


McSweeney's is satire, right?

feeling overwhelmed that now I would officially have to come down on one side of the cloth versus disposable diapers debate.

The answer is both, depending on time of day, your babies diet, general mood, and location.
posted by madajb at 2:15 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


this story is making fun of ME, personally.
posted by daisystomper at 2:17 PM on June 3, 2011


We just had our first child at ages 38 and 39 ... in many ways, it was best to wait, but you'll never miss the stamina you had at 25 more than when you're trying to keep up with an infant.

You're not kidding. I never realized the floor was so far away until I was up and down from it 50 times a day.
posted by madajb at 2:18 PM on June 3, 2011


Why do we imagine that raising a child is such a momentous endeavor, requiring the resources of a NASA shuttle launch?

I've often wondered this myself. I suppose I can be a bit more cheerful about it, since I'm creeping up on Done With Things here, but even when we were stretched thin financially, I never felt like it was something I couldn't handle.

Kids DO grow up, after all. The hard parts pass pretty quickly, the easy parts even more so, and before you know it, they're playing Pomp and Circumstance and you're left wondering where the hell the time all went.
posted by MissySedai at 2:18 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's funny to me to remember how some of my friends reacted to the idea of pregnancy and babies in precisely this way, right before I broke the news that my wife and I were expecting. Babies seem to be seen as some grand personal project, on the same level as building a career or getting a good education. It's as though people believe you need to reach a certain 'stage' in life before you are qualified to have a child. They look down on people who have kids without having thought rationally through the costs and the risks, and that you need to time having children so that you can invest time and money most effectively. I think that's a silly way to look at it.

Kids aren't an investment to be maximized, they're people to live life with.
posted by mariokrat at 2:21 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I really don't like speaking of such things to pregnant women.

But you did, so thanks for that! I know most pregnant women really appreciate stories about babies dying. It's pretty much why I go on the internet.

In summary, fine, don't eat sushi. Jesus.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:21 PM on June 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


Why do we imagine that raising a child is such a momentous endeavor, requiring the resources of a NASA shuttle launch?

Because that's what good parents do. In general, the folks who don't see raising children as being one of, if not the most important things they'll ever do with their life are the ones who are neglectful and abusive (and let me be clear: those things happen regardless of your social class or income level, so I'm making no commentary there).

Just because having kids may not in fact be a momentous endeavor that requires NASA-like resources doesn't mean it's wrong for wanting things to be the best they can be before bringing another child into the world.
posted by phunniemee at 2:23 PM on June 3, 2011


In general, the folks who don't see raising children as being one of, if not the most important things they'll ever do with their life are the ones who are neglectful and abusive

Really? If I don't see having kids as my primary function in life, I'll be a terrible parent?
posted by muddgirl at 2:33 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


doesn't mean it's wrong for wanting things to be the best they can be

But I think, at least in my case, it leads to a sort of aspirational parenthood. If I wait to be "ready" for kids then I will simply never have them. I will never be rich enough or settled enough or successful enough. And it's that sort of "Fantasy of Being Ready" that the OP is speaking to.
posted by muddgirl at 2:34 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


So phunniemee, you first say that's what people do, imply disagreement is an indication of neglect/abuse tendancies... then say no, actually NASA resources aren't really needed.

Which is it? And while you figure it out, maybe you could be less disdainful?
posted by phearlez at 2:36 PM on June 3, 2011


I know it's satire, but it still makes me want to bludgeon people to death with a socket wrench.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:37 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm 32 and would be HORRIFIED to find out I was pregnant. I'm not financially secure, haven't finished my educational goals, and I'm not a woman.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:41 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


What the hell did I just read?
posted by CarlRossi at 2:43 PM on June 3, 2011


So phunniemee, you first say that's what people do, imply disagreement is an indication of neglect/abuse tendancies... then say no, actually NASA resources aren't really needed.

Precisely. I can't think of a single good parent I know who goes into parenthood striving to be a mediocre parent. People want to do right by their kids. Just because you don't need a lot to be a good parent doesn't mean that you shouldn't want to be the best parent you can possibly be. That's all I'm saying.
posted by phunniemee at 2:45 PM on June 3, 2011


Really? If I don't see having kids as my primary function in life, I'll be a terrible parent?

Christ, I hope not.

I'd like to think that the Monsters appreciated that I kept my own hobbies and interests and didn't turn into one of the Mommier Than Thou crowd. I'd like to think that continuing to think of myself as more than just "Mom" made me a better parent.
posted by MissySedai at 2:47 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just because you don't need a lot to be a good parent doesn't mean that you shouldn't want to be the best parent you can possibly be.

I don't think that's how most people would interpret your original, inflammatory statement.
posted by muddgirl at 2:52 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's all I'm saying.

So you're arguing by asserting disagreement where you don't actually disagree and not making a countering point. Gotcha.
posted by phearlez at 2:56 PM on June 3, 2011


I thought it was a brilliantly executed piece of satire. Good satire always has elements of undeniable truth, and most 30-something mothers will be all too familiar with the sentiments expressed in the article. It is still very sadly true that having a baby means sacrificing your career to some extent. It is also true that many 30 year olds have no idea how to take care of a baby, mainly because modern families tend not to grow up in close proximity to their extended relatives. And yes, there is a fair amount of disdain for "breeding" among stereotypical urban hipsters. It really puts a damper on that fabulous downtown lifestyle.

So all in all, very true. Very funny. I laughed.
posted by Go Banana at 3:03 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am not a fan of pregnancy hysteria. No offense to zarq and his friend's tragic experience, but it's stuff like this: "...it seems irresponsible to give advice on the topic when you're neither a medical expert, privy to someone's medical history or know if their pregnancy is high risk or not" that sets my teeth absolutely on edge. And, please—should we shut down all of AskMe because the answers there aren't contributed by medical experts?

This is the internet. The "advice" given by the young rope-rider was a throwaway remark. Anyone who treats it as permission in the face of conflicting advice from an OB is an idiot, frankly. It's a bit hand-wavey to chide her like she just started dispensing tabs of mifepristone.

I highly recommend that everyone who holds any opinion about How To Behave When You're Expecting ought read this piece in full: Chicken of the Sea, an NYT op-ed by an expert on Asian cuisine.
...But rational analysis doesn’t hold sway with the pregnancy police.

“Why take any risk?” they ask. The medical establishment and the culture at large have twisted logic around to the point where any risk, no matter how infinitesimal, is too much. So powerful is this Puritanical impulse that, once a health objection is raised, however irrational the recommended behavior, it’s considered irresponsible to behave any other way.

There’s a temptation to say there’s no harm in this type of thinking. Women should simply not eat sushi for nine months; surely that’s no big deal.

But there are problems with this approach. For one thing, between the warnings about parasites in sushi and about mercury in certain species of fish, pregnant women are being scared off fish altogether. And that’s bad news, since the fatty acids in fish are the ideal nourishment for a developing baby.

For another thing, the sushi ban is insulting to Japanese culture. It speaks of ignorance and prejudice to reject one of that culture’s basic foods based on unfounded health claims. And perhaps most important, pregnancy should be a time of joy, not stress. The result of an over-regulated pregnancy is fear and negativity. Perhaps the best antidote would be to relax with a salmon roll and a nice sake.
Indeed, Mr. Shaw.
posted by pineapple at 3:06 PM on June 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


pineapple: "And, please—should we shut down all of AskMe because the answers there aren't contributed by medical experts?"

I know firsthand that there is a real risk with eating sushi -- at least for some small percentage of pregnancies -- and I felt the story needed to be told to counter what I felt was an irresponsible comment.

And yes, I'd have said the same thing if someone brought it up in AskMe. There are questions where "Ask Your Doctor" is going to be the best, most appropriate answer, and inexpert speculation should be discouraged.
posted by zarq at 3:14 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


hal_c_on: "I would be horrified to find out mefites breed."

As was my son.
posted by Splunge at 3:43 PM on June 3 [1 favorite +] [!] No other comments.


When my sister was pregnant with her second child, my nephew started asking the inevitable questions about where babies come from. His parents sat him down and carefully explained the details. He was momentarily struck dumb by the unthinkable act his parents had engaged in to produce him. The wheels silently turning, thinking over the idea that his mother was now pregnant with another child, he suddenly burst out in horror, "Oh my God, you guys did it TWICE!".
posted by marsha56 at 3:18 PM on June 3, 2011 [22 favorites]


I would be so relieved to find out that I was pregnant and not just fat. Some of those maternity clothes are so cute.
posted by Halloween Jack at 3:25 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was wickedly funny.
posted by DWRoelands at 3:32 PM on June 3, 2011


My parents and others would say 30 is young. I fell for it hook and line.
posted by uni verse at 3:35 PM on June 3, 2011


I'm 47. I'd be horrified to... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz snork! What? Was that me?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:37 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


And yes, I'd have said the same thing if someone brought it up in AskMe.

You would've provided a horrifying anecdote and absolutely no hard data about the actual risks? Because that's a terrifying (and not actually informative) thing to say to someone who is pregnant.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:38 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


>> I felt the story needed to be told to counter what I felt was an irresponsible comment.

That's fine. *I* felt you are being hand-wavey and over-reactive in the face of an innocent remark in a discussion about a satire piece online.

>> There are questions where "Ask Your Doctor" is going to be the best, most appropriate answer, and inexpert speculation should be discouraged.

I agree. In AskMe. This isn't AskMe, there wasn't a "question", rope-rider didn't give an "answer", and "expertise" is moot here.
posted by pineapple at 3:40 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm interested in how food poisoning or dehydration causes preeclampsia, since that's not attested on the Googles.
posted by thirteenkiller at 3:47 PM on June 3, 2011


pineapple, you're the one who brought up AskMe, seemingly as part of a straw man argument. It seems a little unfair for you to then act as if AskMe is totally irrelevant to the situation here.

If people make comments that others see as irresponsible, or just false, there's no reason why the others shouldn't feel free to correct these comments, even if the original remarks were "innocent" or "throwaway."
posted by grouse at 3:52 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


desjardins: "My mom had me when she was 23. I think back to what a complete fucking idiot I was at 23 and I'm very thankful that I can't get pregnant."

I wish I could favorite this 1000000 times. Exact same thing here - I could barely take care of myself (and in fact, had moved back in with my parents) at 23, much less a baby. Waiting until I was 32 - and 35 and 39 - gave everyone involved a fighting chance at survival.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 3:53 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


For those that are unclear, the article is satire. That means the author is mocking something, in this case, people that decide to wait to have babies until some criteria is met.

Also, it is funny. Some people may not be able to relate to the themes, but trust me, it's funny.

Oh yes, I'm on Metafilter. I need to punch up my post with some snark, hyperbole, and self-righteousness.

Have a good weekend!
posted by Argyle at 3:53 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a bit hand-wavey to chide her like she just started dispensing tabs of mifepristone.

You misspelled "mefipristone."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:54 PM on June 3, 2011


I fathered a child when I was forty years old. My kid turned 5 when I was 45. I was nine times older than her. When she is ten, I'll be fifty, only five times older than her. In another ten years, she'll be 20 and I'll be 60, a mere three times older than my daughter.

That's why you don't have a kid too early. They'll catch up with you sooner.
posted by perhapses at 3:59 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was still renting while (my wife was) pregnant. I have lived this nightmare. It's tragic. So tragic I've hired a chorus of greeks to follow me around and comment on my life.

One of the few remaining employers for Greeks; bravo, sir!
posted by ersatz at 4:00 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


everichon: "I've always (quietly, personally) categorized fatherhood in with terminal illness, floods, boils, Windows Vista, and the like."

So how would you categorize Windows ME? Armageddon?

So would I.
posted by Splunge at 4:01 PM on June 3, 2011


I can't even keep a cactus alive.

So, please dear God, don't gift me a child. I will forget to water it.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:03 PM on June 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


All that said, I could only find two relevant articles in PubMed from a search for [pregnancy sushi]. One was a survey of obstetrician-gynecologists, of whom 82% said sushi wasn't safe to eat in pregnancy. The other article, concludes "raw fish (eg, sushi and sashimi) can be consumed in moderation, although women should still choose low mercury fish, such as salmon and shrimp, over higher mercury varieties, such as fresh tuna."

There isn't much high-quality evidence for either hypothesis.
posted by grouse at 4:04 PM on June 3, 2011


30? That's nothing.
posted by Artw at 4:06 PM on June 3, 2011


"Do you know how much Pilates you're going to have to do after all this"

Today I learned how hard it is to punch the wall while vomiting.
posted by Decani at 4:09 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


pineapple: " I agree. In AskMe. This isn't AskMe, there wasn't a "question", rope-rider didn't give an "answer", and "expertise" is moot here."

Oh, give me a break. If you bring up askme as an example, you don't get to subsequently dismiss it when I answer your question.
posted by zarq at 4:13 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


the young rope-rider : " You would've provided a horrifying anecdote and absolutely no hard data about the actual risks? Because that's a terrifying (and not actually informative) thing to say to someone who is pregnant."

Well, I'm sorry I horrified you with a true story.
posted by zarq at 4:16 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wait, are we talking about how hilarious this piece is or debating prenatal health issues?
posted by boghead at 4:18 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is fiction, right? I'm serious. Her husband and father's reactions are not believable.
posted by Dasein at 4:24 PM on June 3, 2011


Wait, are we talking about how hilarious this piece is or debating prenatal health issues?

Is there a reason we can't do both?
posted by nooneyouknow at 4:24 PM on June 3, 2011


Ah, it is fiction. I guess I should have known that. Okay, so it's just not really credible fiction.
posted by Dasein at 4:25 PM on June 3, 2011


This is fiction, right? I'm serious. Her husband and father's reactions are not believable.

I am honestly astonished by the fact that many people can't discern that McSweeney's is an online publisher for satirical or humorous short-form fiction.

I've been talking about writing a guide to evaluating online sources... maybe it's time to make a Kickstarter project for it.
posted by muddgirl at 4:29 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Is it???

I've known people who act like this, so I really don't know.


Making fun of things that actually exist is sort of how satire works.
posted by The World Famous at 4:31 PM on June 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


I've been informed by a lot of really smart people that McSweeney's is a satirical site. Most of us were too stupid to understand that. But now we know.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:32 PM on June 3, 2011


nooneyouknow: " Is there a reason we can't do both?"

Well, apparently it offends people.

I'm out. Enjoy the thread, folks.
posted by zarq at 4:34 PM on June 3, 2011


Her husband and father's reactions are not believable.

I don't know...I was at a baby shower recently, and the parents-to-be lamented the fact that they had not yet researched preschools when one of the other guest/moms there mentioned that she had just received confirmation that her five month old had been accepted somewhere--for preschool--another couple years down the line.

The piece is funny because it's juuuust true enough to make you remember all the obsessive baby-related things that people you know do.
posted by phunniemee at 4:35 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus, sorry I brought up the sushi thing!
posted by Specklet at 4:42 PM on June 3, 2011


Well, I'm sorry I horrified you with a true story.

Oh, please don't worry about it. I'm sure there's absolutely no other way you could have conveyed the same "information" without a graphic and detailed anecdote.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:44 PM on June 3, 2011


Jesus, sorry I brought up the sushi thing!

Sorry I ran with it and helped derail the thread.

I have to say I had no clue that this article would garner such an intense response. I thought it would be niche and no one would give a shit. Huh.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:49 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're a sweetheart.
posted by Dumsnill at 4:49 PM on June 3, 2011


I thought it said "3D and pregnant". Because that would be something I'd put on those glasses for. (Glasses might be a good idea anyway.)
posted by sneebler at 4:52 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I honestly changed my mind about having kids about two years ago when I read this on Ursula Le Guin's website:
How do you feel about your life now? What would you change or wish had been different?

I love living almost as well as I love writing.
It was tough trying to keep writing while bringing up three kids, but my husband was totally in it with me, and so it worked out fine. Le Guins' Rule: One person cannot do two fulltime jobs, but two persons can do three fulltime jobs — if they honestly share the work.
The idea that you need an ivory tower to write in, that if you have babies you can't have books, that artists are somehow exempt from the dirty work of life — rubbish.
Everything else I'd ever seen presented kids and a creative career as an either/or proposition.

Still planning on waiting til I have my first book deal, though. Just because I think deadlines about these things (books, babies) are a good motivator.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:03 PM on June 3, 2011 [12 favorites]


....Am I seriously the only person who realized this was satire?

Is it???


I know the point's already been made, but just to highlight this from the article: "An Undiversified Portfolio and Pregnant." The article overall may have been pretty subtle, but no one would write that as anything other than satire.
posted by John Cohen at 5:08 PM on June 3, 2011


Everything else I'd ever seen presented kids and a creative career as an either/or proposition.

Absolutely not! In fact, I have been at my most productive during the last three or four years (with a 7 year old, 3 year old and 1 year old). Their energy and vitality does something to inspire the creative juices (YMMV, of course).

And the kids, in their own way, understand that you're "telling stories," and respect it and want to be a part of it. Many a trip to legoland has been spent pitching my son my latest project.

The best part? He told his first grade class that he wants to be a "scriptwriter."
posted by cjets at 5:15 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


What's horrific for me is the honest evaluation by various folks that they know people who would act almost exactly like the article. Life, meet art, art, life.

Not that I would frequently call the smug satire of the Sweeneyverse high art.
posted by cavalier at 5:16 PM on June 3, 2011


True story: Two friends of mine got married at age 24 or 25, while they were still in grad school. The dude's parents, with a straight face, said, "We'd really recommend that you wait until your at least 30 before you get married - it's much safer than tying the knot at such a young age."

I can totally relate to this. Early-to-mid-twenties people seem like teenagers to me. I'm always vaguely horrified when I hear about people under about 28 getting married and having kids.

Incidentally, I did not feel that way as a young person. Believing myself as mature and wise as any adult I knew, I got married for the first time at 16*, the second time at 21, and the third time at 34. Guess which one worked out?

I would love to be a grandmother eventually, but I really hope my daughter waits until she's at least in her late twenties before getting married and starting a family.

*in my defense, my parents got married at ages 17 & 20, and most of their married friends weren't a whole lot older, so it didn't seem all that young to me.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:19 PM on June 3, 2011


Is it safe if I eat sushi with disaffected irony?
posted by found missing at 5:36 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Disposable all the way.

But then again, we Meger men tend to be full of shit anyways.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:40 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm 27. My parents were 23 and 26 when they had me, which freaks me out a bit because I am nowhere near the having-a-kid stage of my life. And my high school's tenth reunion was a few weeks ago - I didn't to - but apparently *nobody* in a class of 85 or so has kids.
posted by madcaptenor at 5:57 PM on June 3, 2011


(or perhaps anybody in my high school class that has kids is ashamed enough of this that nobody else knows. Which tells you something about my high school.)
posted by madcaptenor at 6:02 PM on June 3, 2011


Why do I suddenly want to get pregnant, drop out of law school, and have a baby girl named Sushi?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:14 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Why do I suddenly want to get pregnant, drop out of law school, and have a baby girl named Sushi?

You've had what alcoholics refer to as a "moment of clarity."
posted by The World Famous at 6:16 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm a 47 year-old grandfather of 4. I don't think "clarity" has anything to do with it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:19 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not sure clarity had anything to do with Jules' plan to be a bum, either.
posted by The World Famous at 6:21 PM on June 3, 2011


OMG! I know what was in the briefcase! It was
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:23 PM on June 3, 2011


Most of us were too stupid to understand that.

Did anyone say "stupid" or anything of the sort? There's no reason to point out stuff to stupid people, because they won't understand anyway.

It must be hard, going through the world, ignorant about most things (as we all are), and believing that everyone thinks you are stupid for it.
posted by muddgirl at 6:24 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Luckily, I'm too ignorant to notice when people think I'm ignorant.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:30 PM on June 3, 2011


It also seems to trivialize the choices made by child-free couples/people.

I don't understand how this essay has anything to do with child-free people. If the woman in the story were child-free by choice, she would (IME) take care of it either pre-conception or after.

So... what exactly is the point this is making?

That it's kind of ridiculous for women like me - who admit that they eventually want children, have a steady well-paying job with a steady, well-paid husband in a great neighborhood with family support - to say that they "can't have kids yet." Because we absolutely could, if we prioritized it. Why do we imagine that raising a child is such a momentous endeavor, requiring the resources of a NASA shuttle launch?
posted by muddgirl at 5:06 PM on June 3 [6 favorites +] [!]
Oh, I see. The way I interpreted it was that it was mocking the notion that child-birth is hard, or calling those who focus on other things (career, etc.) selfish or immature. I see now that there's a lot of stuff in it about privilege, which suggests that your interpretation makes more sense.
posted by !Jim at 6:31 PM on June 3, 2011


Just make sure you never go to Utah. The word "ignorant" means something completely different there.
posted by The World Famous at 6:31 PM on June 3, 2011


I thought the first 3 minutes of "Idiocracy" did a better job with the same sort of joke.
posted by tfmm at 6:32 PM on June 3, 2011


Tina Fey's book Bossypants is great on combining a creative career with parenthood. The "How do you juggle it all?" peice in the New Yorker was basically an excerpt from it.
posted by Artw at 6:32 PM on June 3, 2011


Just one note on The Sushi Topic.

It isn't the raw fish that is dangerous to pregnant women per se: the problem is that listeria (which is a problem for pregnant women) is often found in cold, pre-prepared food. The folks who say "don't eat sushi" to pregnant folks also say "don't eat salad from a cafe" and "don't eat deli-sandwiches". Translated into sensible english, what this means is: "don't eat the sushi that's been sitting under lights for eight hours", "don't eat salad from the salad bar in the food court", and "maybe say no to that egg sandwich that's been sitting on the cafe counter since this morning". In short, say yes to food that is less likely to be a creche for bacteria. For example, I don't think there was anything wrong with my eating some hawaiian poke from a roadside eskie at 7am the morning it was made, but by 2pm on a hot day that would become a less sensible idea... FOR ANYONE.

Sorry to contribute to the derail, but my inner scientist (hell, who am I kidding - my outer scientist too) couldn't handle the misinformation.

NOW, back to the satire... The article made me smile a little, but on the whole I thought it felt like an early draft. It tried to satirise EVERY pregnancy cliche, which I thought diffused the humour - really it seemed like a torrent of catchphrases. Perhaps if it there had been a more coherent theme I would have liked it better?
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 7:09 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


"My parents had me in their mid 30s, so I've always figured I'd have kids in my mid-30s, and that having kids in your mid-30s is the "right" way to do it."

I take my toddler to this open gym thing where toddlers race around and periodically smash into each other, since they're all little balls of selfishness who view the other moving children as temporary inconveniences. There is this pair of moms, who are 26 and 27, who have FOUR KIDS EACH (it's not the four that shocks me, it's the four by 26 and 27, good Lord ... I guess you DO have a lot more energy in your 20s, they must have had them all so close together and I think that would literally KILL me) who seriously talk like every week about how the worst thing in the ENTIRE UNIVERSE would be to be an "old mom" -- one over 30. Like they seriously think it's worse than earthquakes destroying cities. They can imagine nothing more horrifying than being an "old mom." I had no idea I was an "old mom" until these two started in ... I thought I was a pretty young mom! Early 30s is young these days for kids! I feel young! They can't even IMAGINE being over the age of 30 AT ALL, because it will be so awful to be old!, but they definitely can't imagine being SELFISH enough to have CHILDREN once one is over the age of 30!

I'm sitting seriously right there, I have no idea how old they think I am.

I've gotten to listen in on a lot of their conversations now, because they're pretty sure they're the only two people in the room, and it makes me face-punchingly aggravated that I'll probably have to see them at PTA meetings for the next 18 years. They also spend a lot of time trading stories about resisting their husbands' efforts to get them to go back to work now that "the kids aren't babies and I can relax a little," and bragging about how much more house they bought than they can afford, "but it has so much closet space!" And these are not wealthy men's wives. These are middle managers' wives on fairly limited salaries. One of them talks a lot about her efforts to help her third-grade daughter become more popular by buying her expensive clothes and teaching her how to more effectively put down the other girls. I SO WISH I WERE KIDDING. But no, she and the other mom sit there and brainstorm put-downs for 8-year-olds to teach the daughter ... and plot about who the daughter should and shouldn't invite to her party, and how to make sure people know they were left out, to maximize its social potential. In short, the worst people in the universe go to toddler gym with me and I have yet to have an opportunity to punch them.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:14 PM on June 3, 2011 [36 favorites]


Alice, most of the sushi/pregnancy warnings I hear talk about parasites, not listeria.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:25 PM on June 3, 2011


Eyebrows McGee, if you want my wife to go down there and beat the crap out of them with you, I'm pretty sure she'd be up for it.
posted by The World Famous at 7:26 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sitting seriously right there, I have no idea how old they think I am.

Honestly, if this were me I'd just walk straight up to them and be all "I'M 33, BITCHAZ! WOOO!" (Or however old you are.) And then I might stick my tongue out and wag my butt in their faces.

I'm not really a "making friends" kind of person, though, so YMMV.
posted by phunniemee at 7:31 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Hey Thirteenkiller, really the only parasite that pregnant women need to steer clear of is toxoplasmosis (which can be found in soft cheeses and cat scats). If you acquire this (normally harmless to humans) parasite during pregnancy, it can cause serious harm to the foetus.

Solution: catch your toxoplasmosis EARLY! It rarely causes harm to humans and a huge percentage of the population has it (we are not the parasite's target host, so they really don't tend to do any harm). Any parasites that you might acquire via eating raw fish are not going to be more dangerous to a pregnant woman than anyone else. In any case, fish like tuna doesn't tend to have parasites and commercially sourced fish is flash frozen to kill any parasites. Listeria is a legitimate problem and there seems to be a great deal of misinformation out there.

Basically, I don't know where the sushi + parasite + pregnancy risk thing came from, but my understanding of it is that it is a non-issue.
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace at 7:52 PM on June 3, 2011


"I thought it would be niche and no one would give a shit."

Then why the hell post it?
posted by oddman at 7:57 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


At this point I'm so fascinated by them I can't quit studying them, like I'm the anthropologist of their lives or something. They've decided I'm an unimportant non-entity because I don't dress up or wear make-up for toddler gym (based on some things they've said). I fantasize about the nasty retorts I might throw at them if I weren't so fascinated by their trainwrecky awfulness. They've tossed off a few nasty comments about some of the other moms there whom I know slightly; they're just so self-assured in their own awesomeness and can judge everyone in the room as their inferiors in a matter of moments.

(Seriously, who puts on make-up for toddler gym?)

Probably one day when they're complaining about getting old and how awful it is to be almost 30, I'll just say something like, "I know, I'm so glad I've kept my youth! It must be very difficult to already be slowing down at 27, you DO look tired ..."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:57 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, I totally agree it's a non-issue, especially in US sushi which should have been previously frozen. I'm just saying it's often given as a reason to not eat sushi. I do see listeria mentioned sometimes with regards to sushi, but not as much as deli meat and "soft cheese". I guess my point is that a lot of people who perpetuate these dietary recommendations for pregnancy don't really know why they exist or if they're reasonable.

That said, I have eaten very little fish sushi as a pregnant lady. IMHO why take the (very small) risk?
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:59 PM on June 3, 2011


Eyebrows McGee: One of the things that kinda amazes me about becoming a parent is joining a whole new peer group. For the longest time my group was just other kids my age, people in my class at school, then people around my age at college. That's pretty much how it still is. In a few months, though, I'll be joining a new peer group which will include people of a much wider range of ages, from the IVF'ed 45 year old single woman to the 16 year old who posts in all caps and with no spellcheck on my pregnancy forum that SHE MIGHT BE PRAGNENT, and soon enough after that we'll be at PTA meetings together or arranging birthday parties or running bake sales or whatever else parents do together. WOW!

I still plan to hang with the 20-something alcohol enthusiasts when I can, though!
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:04 PM on June 3, 2011


well, this is how it works, folks

you NEVER think you're ready to have kids - NEVER

and yet, once you have them, you realize that you're doing all right with them

trust me
posted by pyramid termite at 8:36 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would have shit my pants if my wife wound up pregnant at 30. We already had 4 kids.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:44 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


The worst thing about this story was that they were eating pasta primavera. This isn't the mid 90s. It's all about the details, damnit.

And I am glad some are trying their hardest to redress metafilter's reputation as a place of considerable over cognition.
posted by oxford blue at 9:37 PM on June 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Funny how starting a family used to be the safe, conventional choice and now it's risky and irresponsible. Wasn't the whole point of breaking with tradition was so that you could take risks?

Sorry, but if you're scandalized by the prospect of taking a risk and maybe disrupting your carefully planned life, you might want to check to make sure you've not gone stagnant.
posted by AlsoMike at 9:41 PM on June 3, 2011


item: "well, either a baby or another cat. Anyone know which is cheaper?"

It depends. Is the cat declawed? Is the baby?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 9:43 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's funny, so much as it is indicative of a cultural shift toward different values.

It's all very normative: if you have a plan you are either in control or stagnant and if you don't you are either irresponsible or alive.
posted by oxford blue at 9:44 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


you NEVER think you're ready to have kids - NEVER

and yet, once you have them, you realize that you're doing all right with them

trust me


Yay! hope so...I'm 29, due in November...and a candidate for that other reality show, "Unfinished Dissertation and Pregnant".
posted by daisystomper at 9:49 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh you foolish mortals. The longer you wait to have kids the less time you get to spend with them.
posted by humanfont at 9:50 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


30 and pregnant?

There's an app for that.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 10:12 PM on June 3, 2011


The longer you wait to have kids the less time you get are forced to spend with them.
posted by thirteenkiller at 10:15 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


How to know you've waited too long to have kids: you post pictures of restaurant food on facebook.
posted by readyfreddy at 10:30 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


I Hope Her Baby Doesn't Come Out All Fucked Up and Shit.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:41 PM on June 3, 2011


I was 27 when my son was born. Should I have the chance to do it all over again, I would have had kids when I was 20 or 21, and I'm completely serious. I would have been just as capable a mother, and would likely have accomplished more out of simple necessity. I might have missed a few punk gigs, and a misguided love affair or two, but in the end I could have lived without them anyway.
posted by jokeefe at 10:41 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had my kid at 23, and I found this piece hilarious, because it reminded me of how most of the people in my life reacted to my (unplanned) pregnancy at the time. Some friends absolutely treated me as if I were an irresponsible teenager making a Terrible Mistake (despite my actually being a college-educated, employed adult in a committed relationship). Others were clearly terrified that my unfortunate condition might somehow be contagious, and spent every moment they found themselves in my presence unconsciously physically edging away from me and going on about how frightened they would be if they were in my shoes.

Now that I'm older and wiser I know: there is never a good time to have a baby. This parenting thing is even harder than you think it will be, but most people will be better at it than they imagine they can be.

You're never ready to be a parent, until you are one, and then love makes you rise to the occasion.
posted by BlueJae at 10:44 PM on June 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


While it would be nice to have someone to make tea for me, by they time I have a child and whelp it and so forth, and then send it to school and what not, it'll be cheaper just to keep on a decent housekeeper.

The real shame in the whole modern issue of pregnancy is that there are enough babies already—people should adopt before adding another mouth to feed. And I think adopting, if you don't get them when still wet around the gills, will probably lessen the time you'll have to wait before they make a good cup of assam.
posted by oxford blue at 10:54 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Seriously, who puts on make-up for toddler gym?"

Seriously, who thinks toddlers need to go to the gym?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:02 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


People who think toddlers have really let themselves go?
posted by oxford blue at 11:04 PM on June 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


Seriously, who thinks toddlers need to go to the gym?

No-one thinks they need to. Sometimes people do crazy shit like letting toddlers do things they enjoy though.

I mean, jumping into giant foam pits is fun at any age, right?

(Just me..?)
posted by pseudonymph at 11:15 PM on June 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


people should adopt before adding another mouth to feed.

Right, adopting is a cakewalk, a super-easy thing with no outrageous expenses or ethical implications whatsoever. It's like picking up a bottle of wine! Just go out and get yourself a kid!

Myself, I'm 36, and I would be horrified to discover that I was pregnant. Because my second child is only seven months old, and I can NOT do two under two.
posted by KathrynT at 11:18 PM on June 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right, adopting is a cakewalk, a super-easy thing with no outrageous expenses or ethical implications whatsoever. It's like picking up a bottle of wine! Just go out and get yourself a kid!


Yes, a nice French wine from a trusted local importer. I find 'commercial' stores just don't offer enough variety.

I forget the rule about how you should always narrowly construe every metafilter posting.
posted by oxford blue at 11:34 PM on June 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm overly touchy. It took a lot of work to achieve my two kids, and I got told by a lot of people that I should "just" adopt, like there's anything "just" about it. Sorry I got peeve on you.
posted by KathrynT at 12:21 AM on June 4, 2011


"Seriously, who thinks toddlers need to go to the gym?

No-one thinks they need to. Sometimes people do crazy shit like letting toddlers do things they enjoy though."


I just found it ironic that Eyebrows McGee was ragging on the other mothers at toddler gym for being vapid, petty, and overly invested in their childrens' competitiveness, because, well, what kind of mothers did you expect to find at a "toddler gym"?

If you're hauling your two-year-old around to programmed activities (especially if you don't even enjoy socializing with the other moms there) then it's clear that you're lost all sense of perspective. At that point, whether or not you bother to wear makeup is just a difference of degree, not kind.

"In short, the worst people in the universe go to toddler gym with me and I have yet to have an opportunity to punch them."

I also fail to see the qualitative moral difference between saying judgmental crap about other mothers in a face-to-face conversation that one thought was private vs. eavesdropping on said conversation then posting judgmental crap about its participants on a widely read website. In fact, I'd have to say the latter is probably worse, if one were competing for "worst people in the universe" points...
posted by Jacqueline at 12:22 AM on June 4, 2011


I'm sorry, did you guys say something? I couldn't hear you over these rich, delectable mouthfuls of raw fatty fish and crack rocks and moonshine.
posted by evidenceofabsence at 12:55 AM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


We made the decision about when to have kids based on this: when did we want the kids to have to deal with our eventual deaths.

Go ahead, have your kid later and later - push your kid closer to 18 when you have your first heart attack. Fail to live to their first wedding. Meet your grand kids in your 70s after your kid repeats the trend of waiting longer and longer to have a kid.

My grandfather, my Son's great-grandfather has lived so far to 91 and is in great health. He's beat cancer twice, and still plays golf every day, baseball twice a week, and basketball 2-3 times a week. So far 4 of his 5 grand kids have had children, and assuming things continue much the same, he will live at least through the year, seeing all five of his grand kids have kids, and have at least seven great grand kids (and meeting them all). He has outlived my grandmother (and subsequently remarried back in his early 60s) and one of his children already.

Family history (pre-dating him) indicates I'll live longer than most, but even still - I'll settle for the chance to meet and know my own grand kids.
posted by Nanukthedog at 12:59 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


good for you, breeders.

good for fuckin' you.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:19 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline - Nah, I do get where you're coming from, don't get me wrong. I just have a feeling you're misconstruing what 'toddler gym' might be.

I have buddies with a 2 and a half year old daughter and they take her to a gym class on the weekends. It is, and this is no exaggeration at all, the highlight of her week. I have been privy to many a 'When gymnattics, Mum? Mum? MUM! WHEN GYMNATTICS MUM MUMMMMMMMM!' conversation between her and her parents.

I haven't been along with her, but i'm given to understand it's stuff like jumping in the foam pit (WOOHOO!), ditto on the trampolines, starjumps to music, things like that. Kid seems to love it, parents took her because they thought she might have fun, that seems to be the extent of it.

Having said that - i'm in Australia, and perhaps there's more of a Crazy Competitive Parenting vibe where you guys are?
posted by pseudonymph at 1:25 AM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also: I fuckin' hate the term 'breeders'. I always hear it used contemptuously.

Which makes sense I guess, since the context i hear it used in is usually to nastily reduce people down to their procreational ability.
posted by pseudonymph at 1:30 AM on June 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


Agreed. Sort of like how calling a woman "cunt" is used to nastily reduce a person down to her genitals.

"Having said that - i'm in Australia, and perhaps there's more of a Crazy Competitive Parenting vibe where you guys are?"

Yes. It's even called the "mommy wars."
posted by Jacqueline at 2:23 AM on June 4, 2011


Wow. I guess I should have been more clear about what toddler gym is. It's literally a big gymnasium, otherwise used for basketball, at a community recreation building, where several days a week, for $1, you can go take your toddler and let them run around in the dead of winter when it's difficult for them to play outside. They put out a bunch of balls and scooters and stuff like that, but mostly it's running and screaming. It's not, by any stretch, an organized activity; it's just a place to get out of the house where they can run when it's cold out. I don't really know what else to call it, since they're toddlers in a gym. :)

(That said, we do take him to two organized activities a week, because with so few at-home parents and, consequently, such a small neighborhood network of parents anymore, how else do you meet other kids and parents? We do something rather like Gymboree (music and movement), and the Red Cross toddler "water readiness" sequence because he loves the water. And, yes, both are HUGE highlights of his week. "Swimmie diaper? Swimmie diaper? Swimmie diaper?" We have to HIDE the "swimmie" diapers or he pulls them all out and starts trying to get them on because, in his cargo-cult mind, that is apparently what triggers swim class, and then cries when it doesn't work.)

"I also fail to see the qualitative moral difference between saying judgmental crap about other mothers in a face-to-face conversation that one thought was private vs. eavesdropping on said conversation then posting judgmental crap about its participants on a widely read website."

They CLEARLY don't think it's private. They have the conversation at the tops of their lungs -- you could not avoid "eavesdropping" if you tried -- and periodically are quite careful to make sure that particular mothers they dislike overhear their carefully nasty comments.

I like the other mothers and caregivers I run into there, but these two are a real piece of work. If relating their appallingness makes me the worst person in the universe, so be it. It struck me as amusing in the context of "what is the right age to have children?" Since I had no idea there was a WRONG age, assuming you had some means of financial support, until I started listening to these two. But I refuse to believe that mocking full-grown adults behaving like Mean Girls makes me worse than full-grown adults who actually train 8-year-olds to be bullies and Mean Girls.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 2:55 AM on June 4, 2011 [17 favorites]


To circumcise or not to circumcise, that is the question.....because you know all this breeding leads to the next dilemma.
posted by caddis at 4:33 AM on June 4, 2011


when did we want the kids to have to deal with our eventual deaths.

Wow.

In the scheme of things, I always assumed death was sort of out of my control - heck, as the lady who will in all probability will be bearing the kid, there's a distinct probability that I will die when the baby is less than one day old - but now I see that every possible eventuality should be planned for.

I think the kids should have to deal with my death during their honeymoon. That way I get to live long enough to experience their wedding, and then troll them right afterward! Like when my landlord called and told me they wouldn't be renewing my lease while I was at the Pearl Harbor Museum!
posted by muddgirl at 5:20 AM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


That was pretty funny.

Also, who uses the term breeder unironically. (That's not a word?) You are doing it wrong.
posted by chunking express at 5:22 AM on June 4, 2011


If you're hauling your two-year-old around to programmed activities (especially if you don't even enjoy socializing with the other moms there) then it's clear that you're lost all sense of perspective. At that point, whether or not you bother to wear makeup is just a difference of degree, not kind.

nah, toddler gym isn't programmed, so much. It's just a way for the kids to play in a new environment. And if they are with a parent at home, a chance to get some socializing in. Also for the parents, too. At home with kids can be a bit crazy-making so it's good to get out and talk to some other adults.
posted by gaspode at 5:28 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Go ahead, have your kid later and later - push your kid closer to 18 when you have your first heart attack. Fail to live to their first wedding. Meet your grand kids in your 70s after your kid repeats the trend of waiting longer and longer to have a kid.

Shit, I've been going about it all wrong. Here I was waiting until my chronic health issues were stabilized, rather than put a screwy system under that much more pressure. I've been told dying makes it hard to carry your pregnancy to term. And now I'm all in my thirties and not a parent yet.

Oh wait...you were just ranting without considering what other people's lives are actually like and making assumptions about an incredibly diverse group of adults whose lives and circumstances you know nothing about, so you could express smugness about your own decisions. Be secure in your choices because they were the ones that were right for you, and be grateful that you and your partner were fortunate enough to have those choices work out as planned.

I am friends with people who've been first-time parents any time from seventeen (that one was unplanned) through their forties. I've been friends with many couples who've lost wanted pregnancies or who couldn't conceive, even at ages when they were "supposed" to be able to have children easily. All of them have been making what they believed were the best decisions they could with the circumstances and information they had at the time.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 5:29 AM on June 4, 2011 [11 favorites]


Note: I did not explicitly state that some of these couples are same-sex, and some of the parents are single mothers or fathers, or were at the time they became parents.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 5:34 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just found it ironic that Eyebrows McGee was ragging on the other mothers at toddler gym for being vapid, petty, and overly invested in their childrens' competitiveness, because, well, what kind of mothers did you expect to find at a "toddler gym"?

Yeah, er, just to add to the counter for this -- this is sort of a through-the-looking-glass thing regarding toddlers and activities. The "gym" nomenclature is more aptly described as "Free play with things made of rubber and other children". Especially once they're past 16 months or so, in my experience, toddlers loooooove the opportunity to run and bump into things, throw things, gab at other kids, etc, in an enviroment where there are quite few physical "no's". It's also a chance for parents to bond as well as most parents at that age of toddler are potentially bonkers from all-child no-adult stimulation. Social activity - check, physical activity - check, a chance out of the house - check.

I know the reading sounds all "pre programmed competitive activity", but it is the farthest from that except for the fact that yes someone intentionally put a bunch of safe cushiony or climby things together in a space and removed all the outlets/grappling maces/hooks from the area.
posted by cavalier at 6:47 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]




Having said that - i'm in Australia, and perhaps there's more of a Crazy Competitive Parenting vibe where you guys are?
posted by pseudonymph at 6:25 PM on June 4 [3 favorites +] [!]


I'm not sure what about of this great brown land you call home, but I think there's a strong crazy parenting vibe around here parts at least. You know, children with iCal schedules longer then their arms, the race to get them into the best schools and then into the g&t classes (what a slur they are on all the other kids). Each generation of children seems to have it worse, expectations just ratchet up.

Perhaps you're lucky, or perhaps what I allude to is a symptom of a different issue.


Also: I fuckin' hate the term 'breeders'. I always hear it used contemptuously.

I think it is vulgar certainly, but without wanting to sound too patronising, it's seems equalising that the gay community has a one-liner they can combat fag or whatever with. I mean, on a superficial level. It's interesting in a subverting the dominant paradigm sense and now that I've used that sentence I'll probably be deservedly banned from the site.
posted by oxford blue at 7:26 AM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess I should have been more clear about what toddler gym is.

Nah, the reaction was very educational.
posted by Artw at 7:43 AM on June 4, 2011


grouse, zarq: my point regarding AskMe was very different in my two references, and you're both lumping them in like one idea. The first was that we don't expect AskMe to dispense medically accurate advice for every single case all the time, ergo why should we demand it on the blue? The second point was that zarq was taking rope-rider to task here as though she weren't following AskMe rules. It's a different part of the website. She doesn't have to follow the same rules.

Sorry if I wasn't clear and it seemed like I was making one and the same point. To me, it was two different things but I can see where it might be a distinction that only exists to my read.

grouse: re "If people make comments that others see as irresponsible, or just false, there's no reason why the others shouldn't feel free to correct these comments"—Absolutely. Likewise, there's no reason why others shouldn't feel free to weigh in on those "corrections", as I did.

zarq didn't like rope-rider's remarks. I didn't like zarq's. grouse didn't like mine. The great thing is how we all have the freedom and ability to express those dislikes as we see fit.

grouse, thanks for the Pub Med search. For me personally, the sushi issue is never actually one of sushi, but of the idea that we must put pregnant women on an ever-more-stringent set of rules and fear-mongering restrictions—"just in case." "Who wants to risk it?", you know.

But of course riding in a car every single day for nine months is surely far more dangerous than eating the occasional fresh sushi from the same restaurant at which the woman has been safely eating for a decade. Yet we don't tell pregnant women not to ride in cars. In zarq's tragic cautionary tale, the friend could just have easily acquired food poisoning from tacos, or cooked fish, or some fresh vegetables in a salad (as in the deadly E. coli outbreak currently happening in Germany).

I believe that when we identify one or two Really Horrifying Demons that we can focus our energy on, it allows people to become complacent. "It's okay if I eat this chicken salad from the deli case. It's not like it's sushi." "It's fine for me to drink this Red Bull, it's not like I'm having coffee or a glass of wine."

All people, not just pregnant ones, should be encouraged to use common sense and critical thinking in every single situation... rather than be fed a litany of "health rules" which lull them into assuming that anything outside those rules must be safe. I believe the hard-and-fast rules being enforced by "the pregnancy police" (as Shaw calls them) are giving people a false sense of security.

I find this especially tragic in the case of a woman who loses a pregnancy over some random act, something that she couldn't have possibly been prepared for. All pregnancies are a risk; there is no way to live that can be guaranteed 100% certain to prevent miscarriage, dangerous delivery, or birth defect. When we present it as black and white, "As long as you do this and not that, and you will have a safe pregnancy and healthy baby", we are ignoring millenia of reality that demonstrate otherwise.

In a perfect world, where pregnant women are encouraged to use common sense and critical thinking, rather than simply adhere slavishly to every word in the Big Scary Book of Rules (because Scary Rules sell more books and Scary Stories sell more news ad spots), a reader would see rope-rider's sushi remark and think—for herself—"Hm, interesting opinion, but I'll ask my OB before I run right out and have a sashimi platter." The remark isn't "irresponsible" any longer because the pregnant reader owns the responsibility for her own health and best choices, rather than consuming website after website about The Latest Rules Which Are Guaranteed to Steer Her Safely.
posted by pineapple at 7:50 AM on June 4, 2011 [15 favorites]


The fact that the satire isn't obvious kind of shows who is being satired.
posted by gjc at 7:58 AM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm 33, she's 30 and Daniel is three days old. We'll let you know how it works out.

Our biggest concern outside of raising baby is being able to finagle as much time off work as we want without losing "seniority".
posted by davey_darling at 8:25 AM on June 4, 2011 [5 favorites]


How handsome indeed. Congratulations to both of you! I'm reliably informed the real fun starts now.
posted by oxford blue at 8:46 AM on June 4, 2011


Congrats davey!!
posted by cavalier at 9:40 AM on June 4, 2011


Little Daniel is so darling, I'm going to give him all my favorites!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:50 AM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


g&t classes

I think it is horribly irresponsible of you to be placing your children into gin and tonic classes as early as elementary school.

That said, I would be very grateful if you would direct me to the address of such classes, and/or point me to a .pdf application form.

(Daniel is pretty awesome.)
posted by evidenceofabsence at 9:56 AM on June 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


But of course riding in a car every single day for nine months is surely far more dangerous than eating the occasional fresh sushi from the same restaurant at which the woman has been safely eating for a decade. Yet we don't tell pregnant women not to ride in cars.

I agree. Although, of course, I think we should be telling pregnant women—and everyone else—not to ride in cars. And setting up a society where it's more practical not to.
posted by grouse at 9:56 AM on June 4, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Hm, interesting opinion, but I'll ask my OB before I run right out and have a sashimi platter."

This is the thing that people say that makes no sense. How does my OB know whether or not my favorite sushi joint has a listeria problem? Or does she have some kind of superpower that allows her to tell that I am magically listeria-resistant? Even if she kept a big book of the local health-inspection reports or something equally unlikely, just because my sushi place didn't have a food-safety problem last month doesn't mean it won't have one later this month, the time that I eat there. (Same for any restaurant. Or my own kitchen, for that matter.)

Terrible, random events that cause late-term loss are relatively unusual, and your doctor doesn't have any special information about whether one will happen to you.
posted by purpleclover at 1:55 PM on June 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


wait, wait, wait. so people thought this WASN'T satire... and those who realized it was satire think it's mocking women who think 30 is still too young to have children?

i give up on life.
posted by timory at 4:58 PM on June 4, 2011


I'm 21, I don't have kids, I thought the article was excellent satire (as are many of McSweeneys' pieces), and you couldn't pay me to eat sushi. Goodnight everybody.
posted by MattMangels at 6:02 PM on June 4, 2011


LOL, I loved this. Thanks for posting it. I'd feel the exact same way were I to become pregnant now, at 31. The very idea gives me the chills. Ugh!
posted by agregoli at 6:20 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


No matter what perspective I take in these discussions, even without participating, what I find somewhat charmingly sad/poignant about human decisionmaking about childrearing choices is the very assumption that life is plannable and perfectable.

By all means, do everything exactly right. Things are still going to get really fucked up from time to time. You're always making a tradeoff, even if it'll take a long time before you know what it was, or whether you ever know what it was.

Don't sweat it and don't bother someone else about it. Have a great life anyway. The kids will too.
posted by Miko at 7:16 PM on June 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Congrats to you davey_darling! Daniel is very cute.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:36 AM on June 5, 2011


I would think that cooked seafood: eel, crab, "krab", lobster, shrimp, salmon and vegetable sushi from reputable places would be ok.
posted by brujita at 7:08 AM on June 5, 2011


After months I was just getting comfortable lurking at metafilter. I thought I escaped the unavoidable splatters of cum of the reddit circlejerk. Now someone posted a picture of run of the mill baby, suddenly its beautiful and congratulation flies around. I mean, it's a milestone so easily achieved that it produces almost 7 billions of us.
posted by bluishred at 9:33 AM on June 5, 2011


LOL bluishred, I get it, satire about procreation in a thread about a satirical piece on procreation. +1
posted by pineapple at 9:44 AM on June 5, 2011


"By all means, do everything exactly right. Things are still going to get really fucked up from time to time."

Sure, there's still variance. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to make +EV choices.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:42 AM on June 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


"By all means, do everything exactly right. Things are still going to get really fucked up from time to time."
Sure, there's still variance. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't try to make +EV choices.


"Plans are worthless, but planning is everything." — Dwight D. Eisenhower
posted by grouse at 1:52 PM on June 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Question the confidence.
posted by Miko at 8:28 PM on June 5, 2011


P.S. Ask your parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents about their plans, expectations, and hopes for their own childrearing.
posted by Miko at 8:29 PM on June 5, 2011


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