So a bunch of other Catholic blogs have a weekly thing called “Seven Quick Takes”, started by Jennifer Fulwiler’s Conversion Diary blog, which they post on Fridays. Larry D. from Acts of the Apostacy came up with “3 1/2 Time Outs Tuesday: Just like Conversion Diary’s 7 Quick-Takes Friday, but only half as long, and nearly half as good.” I figure it’d be nice to participate in something short and recurring like this, so I will post more often.
This is a list of some things that have to do with pregnancy, birth, and parenting which I think are weird.
1. Using the term “little one” when referring to a baby or child.
Saying something like “With four little ones running around, I don’t know how she manages to walk through the house without falling down” isn’t too strange. I was at a pregnant-and-new-moms group one night. Before it started, one mom asked another, “How old is your little one?” I think it’s an awkward phrase. Then again, I associate the phrase with Deanna Troi’s mother, Lwaxana, calling her “Little One” all the time on Star Trek: The Next Generation so to me it’s more of a nickname than a generic modified noun. Baby, child, newborn, kid, infant, son, or daughter all sound better to me. It also has this air of “otherness” like offspring, progeny, or youngling.
2. Calling two or more kids getting together a “playdate”.
It sounds too formal and structured, as though the kid has a secretary who needs to schedule it into her Blackberry calendar, and does not allow for spontaneity. It makes me think of corporate offices and artificial ficus plants, with all the parents involved wearing business suits. Why did we ever stop calling it “going over to [name]’s house to visit”? Was there ever a single word for this event before “playdate” came around? What do you call it if it’s spur of the moment and not a “date, on which day at this certain time in the not-today future Child X and Child Y will associate with each other in person, with or without other children present as well”? It sounds contrived and commercial, and kind of yuppie-ish.
3. Touching a pregnant woman’s stomach without her permission. Double if you’re not close family or a close friend. No upper limit if you’re a stranger.
What makes people think they can do this??? Just because I have a baby growing in my uterus does NOT mean my body is public property! Is it suddenly “Inappropriate Touching Season” and I didn’t get the memo? Can I pat your belly in return? Besides, if someone touches me on the “top shelf” part of my distended midsection, that person’s patting or rubbing my digestive system. OHHHHHHH WHO’S A HAPPY BOUNCY LITTLE SMALL INTESTINE? In order to be anywhere near the baby, someone would have to touch the underside of my belly, between my belly button and my pubic bone. … AWKWARD.
That’s all applicable to pregnant women in general. On top of that I have an extremely negative reaction to the perceived threat of being tickled. I am also very ticklish. Even if I do let you touch me, that rolling, quivering vibration you feel when you touch my midsection is not a cute kicking, hiccuping, or swimming baby; it is my skin trying to run away from you.
3 1/2. Asking “What is it?” when you want to know what the baby’s sex is. Questions like, “Is your baby a boy or girl?”, “Have you found out the sex/gender of the baby yet?” or even “So should I drown you in pink stuff or powder-blue stuff?” make more sense firstly, and second, don’t make me reply, “Well we’re hoping for a human but you know it could always be a