The Story About The Baby
February 21, 2003 10:46 AM   Subscribe

"The Story About The Baby" - this consistently funny and entertaining website is well suited to anyone who has ever thought about having kids, has kids or anyone else. An endearing yet fantastically cynical take on the first year of raising a child has just wrapped up and in its completion is a great antidote to the overbearing cutesy-wootsy baby web pages that proliferate the internet. With entry titles such as: The Unbearable Grossness of Being, Dawn of the Neglectomatic and The Use Of Skinnerian Conditioning To Mold My Child's Brain, well how could you go wrong?
posted by BrodieShadeTree (34 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
"Boil the baby!" "Put the baby in the dishwasher!" Oh, how I love "The Story About the Baby".
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:59 AM on February 21, 2003

The Awe-Inspiring Justification My Normally Responsible Wife Gave For Feeding 10 Month Old Cordelia Ice Cream For Dinner:

“Well it’s just like yogurt, only without the bacteria"

I don't know how this site escaped my attention for so long but I am very beholden to you, BrodieShadeTree. It's today's breath of fresh air (unless you're in the room when they're changing Cordelia's diapers, then not so much). I'm thoroughly enjoying this.
posted by iconomy at 11:07 AM on February 21, 2003

this is great. I'm expecting number 2 in a few months.
Hoping it will be a girl so it can be "Daddy's little angel of death".
nothing like a goth baby.
posted by Dillenger69 at 11:11 AM on February 21, 2003

Speaking as someone who caught spitup in her hand this morning*, this is good stuff.

*on purpose
posted by padraigin at 11:15 AM on February 21, 2003

There are no good reasons to have children. Actually, that's not quite right. I can think of a bad reason to have children. You shouldn't have a child in order to dry it out and sell it as an aphrodisiac for Asian businessmen. Short of that, though, it doesn't matter much either way.

Funniest thing I've read all week. Many thanks, BrodieShadeTree.
posted by Johnny Assay at 11:25 AM on February 21, 2003

Can this be somehow ti4ed into the Middle East so I caqn make remarks?
posted by Postroad at 11:26 AM on February 21, 2003

From what I hear, people of middle-eastern descent have offspring too, though I can not prove it using American media sources. I think its a conspiracy.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 11:30 AM on February 21, 2003

hmmm. are any female mefi readers here so old that they have children that are now fully functioning middle-aged adults? if so, and you feel like taking on the role of universal spokesperson and/or free shrink, please email me (click username below for info) - i've had my parents visiting for the last 6 weeks (i emigrated) and if i can't find someone who can explain my mother's attitude then i think i'm going to have to shoot her...
posted by andrew cooke at 12:00 PM on February 21, 2003

Good Lord. My first is due anyday now, and the "Poo Bomb" picture (scroll down to second shot) is making me rethink the wiseness of procreation.

Would a kind parent/reader please reassure me that this in NOT the norm? Or at least refrain from teasing me too much? Thanks.
posted by smcniven at 12:14 PM on February 21, 2003

My critter is nearing his tenth month, smcniven, and he does make the occasional poo bomb. We just found out he has an egg allergy and the poo from that day was the most vile thing I have ever experienced in my entire life. I can't wait till i start him on chili.

But the wierd thing about being a parent is, none of that matters. It's all worth it.

Anyway, the puke and drool are much worse than the poop.
posted by bondcliff at 12:25 PM on February 21, 2003

Overall, I see the stories as yet another attempt of a male writer to distance himself through irony from the harsh realities of nature. In this sense, his original drive is a lot deeper than he probably assumes.
It's also lovely because he gives in and accepts the burden of fatherhood with a certain clumsy, what-do-I-do-now charm.
posted by 111 at 12:56 PM on February 21, 2003

Anyway, the puke and drool are much worse than the poop.

Wow, check this out: I can literally feel my reproductive instinct slithering out of my body and onto the floor!

That is my reproductive instinct, isn't it?
posted by ook at 12:57 PM on February 21, 2003

Actually, in short order, they all (puke, drool, poo) become minor nuisances. I used to have a real problem with all of the above. Now I just wipe it off and move along smartly. If it's particularly bad, I go shower and put on clean clothes.
posted by Irontom at 1:06 PM on February 21, 2003

Speaking as the father of a 22-month-old girl and a 6-month-old girl, that poo bomb is merely a harbinger of things to come. Just wait until next year's diary, after Cordeila eats spaghetti. Oh boy.
posted by phong3d at 1:10 PM on February 21, 2003

Overall, I see the stories as yet another attempt of a male writer to distance himself through irony from the harsh realities of nature.

Perhaps that's because males were not meant to rear children?
posted by eas98 at 1:16 PM on February 21, 2003

Thanks for the link. After reading only a few parts of this article, I am considering never having hetero sex again.

I am 32, married and have no plans to have kids. I like to read things about kids just to see if some drive or instinct will kick in that will change my mind about reproduction. I am open to the possibility that I will change. But so far, no dice.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 1:21 PM on February 21, 2003

Would a kind parent/reader please reassure me that this in NOT the norm?

Some close friends had their first child in December. When I went to visit their newborn daughter in the hospital, the first thing I saw was a giant volleyball-sized tar bubble emerging from her butt. I didn't stay long. (My secret nickname for her: Tar Baby.)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:23 PM on February 21, 2003

I prefered my babies' drool to either their poop or their puke. I, well, um. I thought their drool smelt kind of nice. Er.

Nope, having kids makes you crazy. Otherwise you'd look at it objectively and see it for the deep dark pit it is. Fortunately for the species, the craziness turns out to be kind of fun. (Sounds like maybe our Irony Central guy kept too close a hold on his sanity, and is seeing through the happy delusion.)
posted by lumpley at 1:37 PM on February 21, 2003

Perhaps that's because males were not meant to rear children?

Perhaps. We certainly seem not to be wired (or educated) to do so; I remember someone saying that, during the child's first month, from the baby's point of view the father's just "the guy who goes out to buy diapers". That is, apparently the child couldn't care less for the non-lactating, awkward adult she sees once in a while.
Still, while I think the mother is much more important in every single sense, the male parent also plays a very important role in the baby's development.
Shrugging off responsibilities as a father because one lacks the finesse of upbringing is not an alternative at all. It's like be there and do your best; but be there.
posted by 111 at 1:48 PM on February 21, 2003

Poo bombs? Oh yeah. Believe me, you will soon find yourself wrist deep in shit, and, amazingly, reasonably calm about the whole thing. As long as they're breastfeeding, it's pretty innocuous; the real problem comes with solid foods. And the astonishing straight up fountain-like projectile vomiting? That too. Well, you wipe it up. You give up wearing anything other than clothes that resemble boiler suits; you go from anarcho/punk fashionability to sweat pants and three day old T shirts accessorized with baby blort and diaper pins in no time flat. Forget sleeping for a couple of years, as well. Oh, the exhaustion... but there's also the giddy hormonal wave that carries you through, and an absorbed fascination with your baby, the falling in love that must be necessary for the survival of the species... I have long thought it a tribute to the female gender as a whole that more babies aren't simply thrown through windows. But there's also lots and lots of good stuff, too. Even when your baby is all of a sudden sixteen years old, and bursts into the room to tell you about his awesome new discovery: Metallica. Cue Enter Sandman, and annoyed neighbours. Sometimes the diaper days are even nostalgic.
posted by jokeefe at 1:56 PM on February 21, 2003

I'm going to send this URL to my fiance. Like I keep saying, we can just go with Plan B and adopt some retired racing greyhounds....
posted by clever sheep at 2:25 PM on February 21, 2003

Would a kind parent/reader please reassure me that this in NOT the norm? Or at least refrain from teasing me too much? Thanks.

bwa. Bwaha. Bwahahahahahaha.


You might as well just assume it's even worse, and be pleased if your mileage varies.

As for the daddy-nature thing, I'm the mommy, and I feel pretty much what he's feeling. My husband is actually much more mushy about it all than I am. So, you know, whatever. But it's loads of fun, and I'll do it again, even. I'm all about the naming and dressing, and the molding little blank slates part is pretty fun too.

I loved that he took his daughter to a sci-fi convention--we took ours to MacWorld at seven weeks. She was quite the hit.
posted by padraigin at 2:25 PM on February 21, 2003

Mr. Vogel has been a regular in the talk.bizarre Usenet newsgroup for as far back as I can remember (1991), so anyone who'd like to read more of his stuff should visit Google Groups and do a search on him.

My wife and I visited his house a few years ago during a talk.bizarre gathering. We sat around, drank beer, and admired his ancient Osbourne personal computer.
posted by MrBaliHai at 2:50 PM on February 21, 2003

Our first is due any day now. I have to say I must be cut out for parenting because, while everyone else here is going into histrionics at the idea of (gasp) bodily fluids I couldn't care less.

Perhaps having three indoor dogs with various up-and-down health conditions has calloused me (I've seen some truly remarkably terrible things). Or perhaps -- well -- it's just poo, you know? What the big freakin' deal? You think you shit lavender bath salts?

A lot of this is very funny, but I have to admit I go dead whenever male comedy plays up the Porn-Loving Oaf persona; it's just too easy and it's a pretty dead cliche.
posted by argybarg at 3:41 PM on February 21, 2003


I refer you to my above comment re: catching puke in my hand.

And I would characterize today as "good".
posted by padraigin at 4:03 PM on February 21, 2003


I'll see your puke-catching and raise you the administration of one enema on our Labrador retriever. (And there's worse.)

Anyway, as that famous Roman playwright said, I am a human and judge nothing human to be alien to me. I'll try to memorize the Latin on my long nights without sleep.

(I will admit, though, that one of the author's offhand comments about changing his parents' diapers did stop me in my tracks.)
posted by argybarg at 4:24 PM on February 21, 2003

Oh my goodness! I laughed so hard I cried.

And oh yes, much of this is typical parenting stuff. That's what makes it more or less universally funny to parental types.
posted by ilsa at 4:29 PM on February 21, 2003

I go dead whenever male comedy plays up the Porn-Loving Oaf persona

Yeah, but Jeff *is* a porn-loving oaf.

Did I forget to mention that he's also El Presidente-for-Life of the Scorched Earth Party?
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:07 PM on February 21, 2003

I have to admit that most of my friends now have children just starting to leave home, get married etc. Just yesterday after listening to the story my sister was telling me about the things her now 19 yr old son is doing, I exclaimed out loud "Thank God I never had children!"
posted by SweetIceT at 5:24 PM on February 21, 2003

My daughter is 20, and most of our friends are just up to 4 and 5 year olds.

They waited, like sensible people, until they were established and mature people before having their kids.

My wife and I just laugh and laugh at the sheer cluelessness of the statement "we think we are ready for kids".

Why yes, we are prepared for the tornado, tsunami, and subsequent earthquake and firestorm, why do you ask?
posted by dglynn at 6:46 PM on February 21, 2003

I have caught another person's child's puke in my hand.
posted by eilatan at 7:48 PM on February 21, 2003

My friends' kids don't puke, shit, drool or fart. They are the cutest little things.

I absolutely love kids, when I can, I watch their every expression and clumsy move. They are simply amazing.

What's also explainable yet still amazing (to me), is that parents don't share the same glee of other's children as I am able to, as the forever-bachelor that I am(it would seem sometimes). Often, when I hang out with my friends that have children I'm left to sometimes play the adoration role with other kids, because I can't see any sense in feeling so strongly for a particular couple of kids just because I know their parents and then pretend as though all the other kids are background props. That's what annoys me about playgrounds where the parents all sit around the perimeter watching only one child. Theirs. I feel myself becoming a proxy parent when I go out with them to the zoo etc. I keep my eye intently on my friends' children even though they are well on the job. Adoring them etc.

Evolution baby. I understand that. For instance, my parents used to say, "I don't care what Kurt's parents said Kurt could do."
posted by crasspastor at 8:54 PM on February 21, 2003

Oh yeah. Congrats to all you kid makers!
posted by crasspastor at 8:56 PM on February 21, 2003

I have been told that the poop of your own child is infinitely better than the poop of any other child. When I was substitute teaching last year, I had to change a few poopy pants for some pre-schoolers and a DD 6 year old. I couldn't handle it without gagging uncontrollably.

I hope what I have been told is true, otherwise I'm going to be in for a rough ride if I ever have kids.
posted by kayjay at 9:52 PM on February 23, 2003

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