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Making Babies

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  • Making Babies

    In a locked thread that dare not speak its name, Berry wrote:

    My son was a "pill baby". He got through despite the contraceptives. We were married for 10 years and weren't planning to have a child. Someone told me I was selfish, but I disagree. I think I must have felt a lot like the way you describe your feelings. And in my mind there's nothing wrong with not pro-creating, though I reccommend lots of practice.
    :)

    Y'know I used to be quite hardline anti-babies, believing that having a bay was one of the single most "selfish" things a person could do. But that was when I was a little happy with my place in the universe, and considered life to be something of an imposition. I think I'm softening as I get older and I learn to appreciate some of the benefits the world has to offer, and perhaps I'd like to share those benefits with a new life someday? I'm still fairly immature, so please forgive any obnoxiousness that creeps in when I discuss subjects about which I know zip. I still don't have any real world friends who've started making babies, but all of the parents who visit this forum seem very decent people, and I have absolutely no wish to insult any of them.

    But I don't consider my son to be an accident. I mean, are apples accidents?
    Another good point. Although I have a hard time in my own mind drawing a line between "accidents" and "obscure design", being quite superstitious by nature, I'm starting to lean more towards the "there are no accidents" camp. Not that I can back that up with evidence or even a logical argument, it's just something I feel. Thinking it all over, I came to the conclusion that if I was in a stable relationship, and we had enough money to live on, and a baby came along... I'd probably want to keep it. I dread to think what sort of parent I'd make, but I'd do my best. If nothing else it would finally allow me to buy Powerpuff Girls videos without feeling so ashamed.

    Also, I'd like to have a pushchair so that I can take revenge on the people who bashed me in the ankles when they had pushchairs. Some people are vicious with those things. It always worries me when people run across a busy road with the chairs, their baby in front of them just sitting there waiting to get hit by traffic. Wait for the lights to turn red!!! Don't use your child as a human shield!!!

    Regarding people who explain their motivations for having children; I suspect it's such a huge "thing" in their minds, they are incapable of explaining their true feelings. The lame excuses they give the press are just their human inadequate responses to something as miraculous as budding an apple.
    Very true. I hadn't really thought of it that way.

    I hope you don't mind me cutting and pasting your comments into a new thread, but I thought your post deserved salvaging. As I've said, I don't have a lot of hard experience in a lot of the areas I comment on, so if my opinions seem inconsistent, I'm sorry.
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

  • #2
    Imagine this thread is a saloon in one of those old westerns. The barkeep has looked up from polishing his glasses and seen The Adlerian enter through the swinging doors. He's heard about trouble down the trail, and looks nervous. "We don't want no trouble here, mister."

    No offence...
    "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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    • #3
      I'd say the best reason I've heard for having a baby was one
      that came from a woman...

      Bearing children is the biggest test in life for a woman.
      It is what gives being a woman meaning-- to bear a
      child and raise it (= him or her)-- to nurture it, to protect it, to teach it, to love it.

      That makes sense to me. That is the biological explanation of the female right? To lay eggs and protect them, or to have the biological constructs (womb, birth canal, etc...) to develop the embryo and give birth, and care for the baby. Can't argue with that. Only in some species the male plays a role in parenting.

      She felt that her life was incomplete without being a mother.

      Now she is married and last that I heard she had a daughter.
      _______________
      whether those are "selfish reasons" or not, I;m not sure... it's arguable.


      _____________
      So I guess it's possible for me to say, "Don't be angry with me, girl! It's a biologically sound strategy for me to spread my seed as far and wide as possible. That's the best way for me to ensure that my genes will be transmitted in the most viable manner to successive generations. It's in the nature of men to by 'playas' like me!"
      \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
      Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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      • #4
        I think it is a great heap of mumbo-jumbo that women are only complete as women if they bear a child. That is a trap that obviously still thousands are conditioned to walk into. I suspect this idea was instilled in this particular woman, and certainly in many others. I wouldn't for a second see women as less "valuable" if they don't have children. Unfortunately one very often witnesses women suddenly feeling they may occupy a space and "invade other people's attention" because they finally prove their "value" this way. Women have been kept insecure for many a reason, mainly to dominate them. There's also this birth-giving chauvinism on the march again.
        Why, I respected and admired my wife long before it occurred to us to have a child, and later a second. Maybe we did have them then out of selfishness to some degree, maybe not. She certainly didn't suddenly find herself more meaningful in life than she already was, crap.
        Today, as parents we think more in terms of continuity, "feel" more our own fineteness, and I guess we want to pass on (not impose on them, mind you!) values and ideas, and these things. I started writing a diary again ..., maybe to enable them to understand better what and how I felt at certain times, thoughts and ideas I don't want to bother them with now.

        Today an Austrian woman, Elfriede Jellinek, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and I suppose nobody asks if she has given birth to children.
        Google ergo sum

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        • #5
          Yes! Good post.

          Women shouldn't necessarily have such beliefs.
          We are humans. We should be more complex than
          searching for the mate, mate, make offspring, success!
          We are intelligent beings, we ought to act like it more.

          I do think people have been indoctrinated to believe the
          " I must marry and have a family" idea.
          (I hope that was the right word I used!)
          There's nothing wrong with not marrying, making babies,
          and not having a family.
          \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
          Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LEtranger
            I think it is a great heap of mumbo-jumbo that women are only complete as women if they bear a child. That is a trap that obviously still thousands are conditioned to walk into.
            I recall reading an interview with an actress (possibly Ludivine Sagnier) where she described making babies as a "woman's biological destiny". I was a little disappointed when I read this for some reason, although it doesn't mean that she didn't feel other "destinies" awaited her in other spheres. It is perfectly possible to live a fulfilling and useful life without children, just as it is possible to live a fulfilling and useful life despite or because of children. (How's that for some nimble fence-sitting?)

            I recently read that Audrey Hepburn left William Holden (with whom she starred in Sabrina) because he couldn't have babies. Whether that's true or not in their case, it suggests that there can also be a certain amount of pressure on men to fulfill their "biological destiny"... and I don't think it takes a seance with Freud for us to see how Man's insecurity about impotency and virility has manifested itself in the world.

            Originally posted by LEtranger
            Today, as parents we think more in terms of continuity, "feel" more our own fineteness, and I guess we want to pass on (not impose on them, mind you!) values and ideas, and these things. I started writing a diary again ..., maybe to enable them to understand better what and how I felt at certain times, thoughts and ideas I don't want to bother them with now.
            Hmmm... if I ever had a child, I doubt I'd want them reading my journals until... well, do we know when Hell is scheduled to freeze over?
            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks for clipping this in. Good form always to divert a damaged thread to a more enlightened beginning.

              So, my son just happened. So I'm spending my life, much as I did before, but different too. I never would have imagined the raw stimulation a child would bring to my life. Observing an emotionally attached child suffering through common illness was not on the flowchart. Observing the development of a child (and all the little dependent systems) is fascinating to behold, when you can stay concious for it. I am riddled with all these little urges and fears that I never had before. The changes in my life have been drastic and unplanned for. But we, as three, have found a way to go forward (where else would we go?) and be people. And that's the thing. The context of US having a BABY makes the whole thing amazing and miraculous. Outside of this trio, we are almost nothing. At least we are human. :lol:

              I wouldn't expect anyone to really learn much about becoming a parent, or not, from me.
              The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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              • #8
                Ive been Married 2 years this past tuesday, and have yet to have children. I dont PLAN on having any just yet. However if my wife got pregnant i would be happy and not begrudge her for it. Seeing as it was my half my fault i guess i couldnt right... :lol:

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                  I am riddled with all these little urges and fears that I never had before. The changes in my life have been drastic and unplanned for. But we, as three, have found a way to go forward (where else would we go?) and be people.
                  Yes, it must be strange... the transition from private citizen to Parent. I've never even lived that closely with someone my own age, let alone had to worry about "child proofing" a room. I hope that I'm capable of assuming that sort of responsibility, but I'm not sure... still the risk of my child choking would be quite a good incentive for me to start picking up after myself. I have pens all over the place at the moment... and a craft knife... I'm something of a death trap. I would also keep getting flashbacks to this one time, at the supermarket, when I trapped a child's head in a turnstyle... but that's not a story we need to air in public.

                  Still, Berry, you manage to make it seem a not-entirely-hideous prospect.

                  McT: Happy anniversary... but yes, if you break the eggs you have to buy the omelette (um, I was trying for a conception analogy there, but it didn't really come off).

                  Oh, I was watching American Pie again this afternoon. Jim's dad is the best. He may have a nasty habit of walking in at the wrong moment, but his heart is in the right place. If I were ever to become a father, he would be my role model. Not that I have the eyebrows for it, of course.

                  Gibbering again. Click "submit".
                  "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                    I would also keep getting flashbacks to this one time, at the supermarket, when I trapped a child's head in a turnstyle... but that's not a story we need to air in public.
                    This reminds me of a friend who had a "Hot Tub Incident". She went to fetch a fizzy drink and when she came back, the baby had fallen into the hot tub. Don't worry, the baby lived. But my friend's awareness for her child around water is, shall we say, heightened. In America, the largest number of children deaths are thanks to toilets and 5 gallon buckets filled to the depth of a least a child's head, or so I've been told. So, truthfully, I have paid in inordinate amount of attention to our bathroom.

                    The worst thing that happened was that our son opened the dishwasher, pulled out a big knife and sat on the door fondling the blade. That while we were serving our friends for Christmas dinner. :roll: So, safeproofing is totally hackable. It's your attention the child needs, not a sterile environment, though those safeties are undoubtedly helpful when your attention span wavers (read, you've fallen asleep on the couch).

                    I spent the first year fearful that he would just stop breathing. Eventually, the fear went away. I realised it was something in me, not something about him. As I relaxed, his independence expanded. Weaning a child is strange too. Breast to bottle to sippy cup to real cup. Heh, one of the things we struggled to learn was that him drinking milk curtails his appetite for hard foods. Weaning him was, again, about my wife and I synching up, not about him (well, he was in there somewhere).

                    But, if you can be flexible enough to deal with new behaviours, but rigid enough to provide structure (kids flourish when they can make solid predictions) a lot of enjoyable stuff happens. One of the things we enjoy is when he is using words he knows, and we introduce a new world, idea or complexity and he pauses, blinks his eyes as if he's registering the new information, and then continues. Later he'll use this new idea and spread it to other things. It's just great to see him learn.

                    As a child I was bullied a great deal as was my wife. We have made an investment into daycare where he is learning to socialize much sooner than I did. I spent a great deal of time isolated with my mom and brother in suburbia. Back in the 70's my mom didn't have a car (dad had it at work) and Mc Donalds still had ash trays (read, not family friendly). I feel that he'll integrate better if he's in groups from the start, rather than being tossed in at the school age. At daycare the children do get ornery (he's had more that a few bruises installed by his classmates). When a conflict arises, the teacher stops the action and tries to induce some sort of discussion. More importantly, two kids outside of the teacher's attention who get into a scrap, usually has one of the kids running to the teacher. When this happens, instead of taking sides, the teacher instructs the "tattleteller" to "Put your hand out and say in a loud voice 'Don't hit me!'". This works great. It's a non-violent assertion of self that works well. I caught a television program that was analyzing bullying. Generally, when a fight is in progress, bullies win the day and perpetrate their violence with impunity, except in the case when one person, any person, insists that the fight come to an end. When we go to the playland at the shopping center, he gets into arguments of the puffy telescope in the puffy lighthouse and on the slide. Sometimes he's a little dramatic about the scuffle. I use the daycare thing and things go well from there. When he's agressive, which does happen, after all he's observed others use it with some success (not all children adopt the stop-hitting-me mechanism), it's timeout time.

                    The best thing we ever did was that we, my wife and I, agreed to develop non-violent methods for influencing our son. At 3 and 1/2 years old, they seem to be working. I don't know what the future holds, but as long as he's not a violent and problemed child, I think prospects for the future are optimistic. Other parents shouldn't read this and infer that I'm saying they should use my methods to raise their children, but the first thing I asked myself after the kid popped out was, "When do I start beating you?" and his reply was a milky burp up.
                    The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

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                    • #11
                      I meant to say that we child proofed our flat but he hacked it anyway. That's and the weak link as usual is the human not the technology. I'm referring to the dishwasher.

                      At it's worst, having a child is like being imprisoned with your best friend. At it's best it's like having a reallygood time with your best friend.
                      The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dee, what follows is a description of a typical experience with my son. By typical I mean something that I have experienced more than once, but without being able to predict when or how it happens, or what the details will be. The frequency of this type of experience is low, but occurs most often when he's tired or sick.

                        If you haven't figured it out yet, I love Reggae music. My son and I have spent a lot of time listening to it together.

                        It's Saturday morning cartoons (have you heard that album? great compilation (Johnny Quest theme song cooks)) and we've both had our fill of Spongebob and Rugrats. 10 am and I say, hey, let's go to the bookstore. He's up for it, because we've shut the tv off and he knows there is a Thomas the Tank Engine play table there with all the cars and engines.

                        On the way, we tune into the Saturday Morning Reggae show on a radio station, and a woman is singing a Reggae love ballad. The boy starts sining along from behind me and then breaks into an improtu rendition of Get Up Stand Up. "Get up, get up, get up, get up and don't do the fight." or some similiar variation. I was stunned and proud. What a moment that was!

                        While in the store, he breaks away from the table and heads to the bookshelf and grabs 3 Thomas books and sits with two little girls as they all three read together and chat with one another. The woman in charge of the area comes up to the dais and says, "It's story time." So I ask my son to come join me on the bench in front of the storyteller, because he's sitting behind where she'll stand. So I coach him to come down, but he's not having it. So I move to discipline mode with the "big voice" and count to three. Still not having it.

                        This defiance is where parenting gets unpleasant. I have seen many different ways of handling this situation. Some people pound their kids, many parents just let it go and others make a huge scene adding to the child's reaction. None of those seem like good alternatives.

                        I generally move away from the problem (in this case I take the books away and shelve them), physically walking to the other side of the store away from the context. He follows, screaming or crying, this time shouting loudly that he wants to read the Thomas books. Now on the other side of the area, I kneel and get face to face and say, "You've got three choices, listen to the storyteller, play with the train table or go home." (I could have suggested to him that we read the Thomas books elsewhere, but I've already started predicting he's tired or not feeling well) The reply: Read Thomas! "I'm sorry, we have to go home now." and I carry him outside, he's screaming all the way...

                        ...and screams 15 minutes on the way home. The method I am using is that he can choose to calm down and get something we've compromised on, or we do it my way. It goes both ways every time. Sometimes he can't be satified and sometimes he gets it and we both strengthen our relationship. None of his behaviours are linked to violence perpetrated by his mother or I. And so, most often he negotiates. Factors like illness and fatigue (fatigue is something we may have unsuccessfully managed) degrade his ability to negotiate successfully. That's why we head home. When I'm fatigued or sick, I'm not as successful ensuring positive negotiations.

                        So we're sitting in the drive through at Burger King and I order a meal for myself and ask him if he wants a hamburger and he calms down and says yes. At the windows he tells the girl, "No Krabby Patty I want a hamburger."

                        On the way home he tells me I'm not his friend. At the table he pulls the fries away from me and shouts at me while I'm trying to eat my share of the pile.

                        As he goes down for his nap I get a hug and kiss and he tells me how he feels about the trains and I don't really get what he's saying, but I'm relieved he wants to talk.

                        Before I post this article, I realize that my half cup of coffee and the Conan the Cimmerian book I was finally going to buy was left behind on a bookshelf near the train table.
                        The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I may have mentioned this before, but I once considered going into teaching, but since I'd never really been around young children before I had absolutely no idea how to maintain any sort of discipline... since they weren't my children, I certainly didn't want to hurt them or make them cry, so I just ended up... well, being turned down for the course, to cut a long story short. Also, as a very timid and authority-whipped child I've grown up with a weird admiration for kids who cause trouble. Also, I still find rude words very funny!

                          Of course, I've seen parents with their kids in shops, and they always come to my attention when they're pulling the, "Okay, well, we're leaving you behind then. Bye!" thing... and they walk out of the door, assuming their child will lose interest in the toys/DVD they were screaming for and follow them. I've always sort of hoped there was a better way to deal with the situation than repeatedly threatening to abandon the child in the middle of a scary public place.

                          Having said that, I remember causing my fair share of scenes as a child. I particularly remember a Matchbox train set (that's a brand name, rather than an indication of size, if they don't have Matchbox in the States). My Mum was quite reasonably telling me I could have it, but I'd have to wait until Christmas... but I want it NOW!!! End result is, of course, that I never got that train set. It's still the coolest toy I remember from my childhood, perhaps because it's "the one that got away"!

                          I also remember getting especially annoyed when my Mum would tell me that I was causing a scene because I was "tired". I would think to myself "I'm not tired, I'm just really, really annoyed". Obviously I was just tired and "cranky", but you never buy that as an excuse when you're a child do you?

                          I remember being smacked by a teacher once too, and I'll never forgive her for that (especially since it really wasn't my fault), but discipline isn't an area that I can really judge too harshly on. I've no idea what I'd do if I was responsible for a child... of course, that really isn't something I have to get a solid grasp on at this point, but it doesn't hurt to think ahead I suppose? Obviously I'd prefer to go the non-violent way, because I'm a pacifist, but who can say? I'm generally quite a calm chap, so I'm not too worried about lashing out as such...

                          Still, at the back of my mind, there's always the secen from Buffy where a man about to meet his wife at the altar is shown a vision of his possible future by a vindictive demon. He sees his miserable wife, his resentful kids, his total failure to "put food on the table"... scares the crap out of me far worse than any of the rubber-faced monsters they've had to face.

                          My own father is not... well, he's not the most active or emotionally engaged memeber of the family. I still remember the time when I was 10, and had just been dropped off by the coach after my first ever school trip away from home (to Lodon, most hated of cities). I was offered a lift home by a couple of parents who lived in our street, but I knew my Dad was picking me up so I politely declined. After about half an hour of standing there completely alone with my little suitcase, I finally saw him drive up. Where had he been all of that time? Sitting outside a completely different school, apparently. Okay, that obviously doesn't make him the worst father on the face of the planet, but it didn't exactly make me feel warm and fuzzy inside either.

                          Obviously there are worse father stories out there, and I hate to feel like I'm whining. I'm really not, because I had a pretty idyllic childhood by most people's standards... but I worry that I'll become like my Dad, and that is not much of an incentive to want to be a father. then again, if I'd had a great Dad, I might be worried about living up to his example.

                          Ah, the joys of the human brain!!!
                          "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                            Of course, I've seen parents with their kids in shops, and they always come to my attention when they're pulling the, "Okay, well, we're leaving you behind then. Bye!" thing... and they walk out of the door, assuming their child will lose interest in the toys/DVD they were screaming for and follow them. I've always sort of hoped there was a better way to deal with the situation than repeatedly threatening to abandon the child in the middle of a scary public place.
                            I struggled with that. The key is to be consistent. Also, a store isn't a scary place, especially if you've been there before. But I can't deny there is a bad behaviour = abondonment paradigm there. Certainly better than a bad behavior = violent beating paradigm. Since violence has a tendency to on-ramp to a cycle, I decided to see if a different way works. My experience has been that children don't want to get left behind. I've only had to do it 4 or 5 times.

                            Originally posted by DeeCrowSeer
                            I also remember getting especially annoyed when my Mum would tell me that I was causing a scene because I was "tired". I would think to myself "I'm not tired, I'm just really, really annoyed". Obviously I was just tired and "cranky", but you never buy that as an excuse when you're a child do you?
                            It's really useless information. I almost never use any of the following phrases:

                            * You are a bad boy.
                            * You are getting on my nerves.
                            * I wish you'd stop that.
                            * How many times have I told you?
                            * What did I tell you?
                            * How many times do I have to tell you?
                            * What'd ya do that for?
                            * <insert traditional worthless nothing remark here>

                            Basically, I never try to embarrass him. I never call him bad names, and I do my best to never use pet name for him, though I catch myself calling him "Tiger" from time to time. After all, the sweetest word in any language is your name.
                            The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Berry Sizemore
                              I struggled with that. The key is to be consistent. Also, a store isn't a scary place, especially if you've been there before.
                              Come to think of it, I probably find shops far scarier now than I did when I was a child... how peculiar. Good point there, Tiger. :)
                              "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

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