[The final installment. Originally published Nov. 11, 2009.]
Welcome back to our third, and quite possibly, last installment in the Emmy-award winning instructional series, the Fancy Plans Guide to Childbirth. If you would like to catch up with the rest of the class, please click the following links:
This edition will deal with the decisions following the delivery (or as we call it, “afterbirth”). Please bear in mind that most of these decisions will have multiple choices, meaning there is no wrong way to proceed.*
*Except for the “do not do’s” listed below. Do not do those.
Now that all the screaming and bloodletting is over, it’s time to celebrate your ability to create life through the magical act of “getting some.”
As your partner heads back to her area for some much-needed drugs and reconstructive surgery, feel free to take a victory lap around your Contact list, letting all your friends and relatives in on the vital statistics:
- Sex (“It’s a boy!“)
- Weight (“Less than infinity.”)
- Length (“Well, keep in mind that he’s less than 4 hours old and the room was a little cold, but I’d say a little under an inch.”)
- Birth Time (“Shortly after my explanation about the “thing” I had with her sister. Well, half-sister, if you want to get technical.”)
- Visiting Hours (“I’m sure she’d be happy to see you any time! You say you’re in the lobby? Come on up! She should be back from her crotch-stitching any minute now.”)
This used to be an easy decision (“Of course!”) but recently there has been somewhat of a backlash against it.
Simple rule of thumb: make your kid’s package look like yours. In addition to it being somewhat of a bizarre bonding thing, it will also help you avoid awkward conversations with your unsnipped son in the future.
Son: “Dad, why does your [insert stupid ‘penis’ replacement word here] look different than mine?
You: “Good question. You see, my parents were raised in a different era and they made a decision based on an outmoded set of morals…”
Son: “Oh. Are you talking about why they decided not to abort you?”
You: “I think you’re spending too much time with your mom.”
Choosing a Name
As the proud owner of a brand new child (with that awesome “new child smell”), you will be tempted to saddle your offspring with an imaginative name currently in use by no one else. The potent combination of anxiety and sleeplessness will play tricks on your fragile mind, raising the possibility of cursing your child with a lifetime of humiliation (“Chad Kroeger, Jr.”) or an early death (“River Phoenix,” “Jet Travolta”).
Stick with the classics like Justin or Michael. For the girls, try Jennifer or Jessica. These are great, nearly-Biblical names that have never been associated with skanky, marginal or vapid celebrities.
Some more examples:
- Gallant – Yes; Goofus – No
- Jermaine – Yes; Tito – No
- Jessica – Yes; Ashlee – No
- Billy Ray – No; Miley – No
- George Michael – Yes; Andrew Ridgely – No
- Rozz – Yes; Valor – No
- Uma – Yes; Oprah – No
- Sunny – No; Cher – No; Chastity – No
- Philip – Yes; Yancy – No
- Fresca – Yes; Tab – No
- Jif – Yes; Nutella – No
Once you have your new arrival home with you, it’s time to start mapping out his life, starting with learning to read in multiple languages by age 3 and culminating in his Master’s degree from Harvard 20 years down the road, at which point you’ll be able to live off his earnings as a groundbreaking inventor/#1 draft pick.
You both will pick out hereditary traits you wish to encourage:
Keep – Famous wit; full head of hair
Toss – Lack of self-motivation; blogger’s insecurity
Keep – Your full head of hair
Toss – Everything else, starting with that “famous wit”
You can also speculate on some “fallback” options for your pressured child, in case you have set the bar too high.* Some other acceptable choices are fireman, cowboy, homosexual, philosophy professor, protestor-for-hire, SAG member, hitman, psychic friend.
* As if.
Then sit back and watch reality set in as you come to the realization that the TV is doing a better job raising your child than you ever did while trying to keep the saving account/bail fund full of emergency cash.