Well, it’s Friday, thank goodness. I don’t think I can come up with five things. But maybe two? First, this was making the rounds yesterday on Twitter:
Basically, a person who is running for some office or other, announced to the wide world that the heartbeat that many people see on their ultrasounds is only a manufactured trick to make those people want to keep their offspring, rather than get rid of them. A sort of nefarious ploy, if you will, to scare people into…not committing murder.
So that’s fun. There were a lot of great responses on Twitter which I cannot possibly begin to aggregate here. My favorite ones were doctors explaining, most helpfully, that it’s not “electricity.” My goodness. I love how great all the “ScienceTM” is right now. I wonder what all the people in the room thought, though. Or were they not really paying attention? Or did they just not think it worth the bother to disagree?
Almost all of my children have had the pleasure of reading Tiner’s History of Medicine in their very good middle school science class on Memoria Press and every time I go through it again I enjoy myself so much. Right now, the fifth child is reading about how a clever doctor invented a salve to treat gunshot wounds, instead of the usual way of pouring hot oil or whatever into the wound because why wouldn’t you. The salve-advocating doctor had to fight hard against the establishment to get anyone to care. And so it goes on through the book. There was that poor sap who wanted the nurses in his hospital to wash their hands, who couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working, but then discovered all those clever ladies pouring his solution down the drain because they didn’t believe in it. Such great times.
Second, as lovely hopeful critique of the dystopia above, I quite like this (inappropriate and bad language alert–that’s not the part I like…). This isn’t a politician, but some famous celebrity I had never heard of, who is at least friends with Hilary Duff, who I had. She made the “news” by talking openly about the arrangements of her loos in her new house. She wanted two in one bathroom, you see, and this was very brave of her. No discussion of that sort of thing should ever be off the table because of the bravery and so on.
What I love about this is that the writer so cleverly lets us in on what the young mothers these days are saying about motherhood, which must somehow be downstream from what the politicians are saying about abortion. Or is it upstream? I can never remember which goes first, culture or politics, or isn’t it rather more of a devouring circle, the dragon trying to eat its own tale? I have just to pull a couple of quotes out of the piece because it’s so fascinating. This is pretty great:
On this late summer day, Trainor is curled up in the corner of a very enormous, very squishy sectional that dominates her bright and airy open-concept living room. While there are undeniable rock-star vibes here — like the wall of glass overlooking what will one day be a grotto-style swimming pool — the space is also dotted with the toys, baby gates, and cabinet locks you’ll find in any living room with a 19-month-old nearby. We watch as Riley, with his shock of red hair, pads around us, happily removing his Fisher Price farm animals from their barn and then patiently putting them back in their exact same spot. When I joke that Riley has the hand-eye coordination of a brain surgeon, Trainor mentions she’s worried he’s not babbling enough yet; even pop stardom cannot insulate you from the same basic concerns that every new mom has: Is my kid on track? Should I Google this? I assure her that his babbling sounds exactly like my two boys did at that age, and she looks relieved. Motherhood, she says, can be fraught with worry — but she also never imagined she’d love it so damn much. “I get to be a pop star during the day and then give my kid a bath at night? It’s like, pinch me.”
That’s what I say every day—Pinch Me. I mean, my children are big now, and I always hated bath time with the deep, fiery hatred of a thousand burning suns, and always tried to get out of it. But I’m not a pop star. So maybe that’s the difference. Anyway, this clever young person plans to homeschool:
While she’s a firm believer in education, that experience already has her convinced that she wants to homeschool her kids — for preschool, at the very least. She and Sabara have already turned their attic into an enormous school room for Riley and his future siblings. (Trainor says she’s going to start trying for baby No. 2 later this fall, and eventually wants at least three, if not four. “I would love twins,” she says. “A two-for-one deal.”) “I want to hire a preschool teacher that will be able to teach emotions,” she says. “How to handle it when you want to freak out and scream, because they don’t usually do that.” She adds, “And not to get dark here, but [in regular schools, you have to worry about] guns and all that stuff. I don’t really want to send my kids somewhere where I’m just like, ‘Hope to see you later!’ It’s horrible. Horrible. There’s all those victims’ parents thinking, ‘I never thought it would happen to me’ until it fucking does. Everyone tells me, ‘You can’t keep your kid in a bubble,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, but I can.’”
As you know, most people who educate their children at home, unlike those who send them to school, don’t care about education at all, and really only do it so they can keep their kids in a bubble. And all of us love to hire preschool teachers to come in and teach our kids about how to handle their emotions.
All that aside, motherly instinct still seems to be alive in the young, and for that, I am immensely grateful.
Oh crud, I can’t get up to five things. I’ve gotta go yell at my kids because that’s what mothers do. Here’s a nice video of what my whole life feels like: