Know What
I'm Sayin'??
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
One thing about the whole pregnancy and deliery process that's been nagging me and that I've been itching to write about is the confluence of the traditional and the new, the superstitous and the scientific, LONG-believed and trusted methods and new medical methods.

It's really amazing to me that human beings have been having babies for thousands of years, but there is so much speculation and intuition to the whole process.

Also, in the hospital I experience the battling concepts of "Good" and "Bad" babies. Apparently, a baby who cries often is a "Bad" baby, and a baby that is generally quiet and agreeable is "Good". How can you label a newborn infant as bad, though? How? At least come up with a better term for that, huh?

I mean, the technological advancements are positively astounding:
  • Ultrasounds
  • 3D Ultrasounds (the new hotness)
  • Sensors that detect the occurance and duration of contractions
  • Infrared heaters
  • New drugs
  • New ways of performing cesearian sections

But the superstitions:
  • If you raise your hands over your head during pregnancy then the cord will wrap around the baby's neck.
  • If you have heartburn, then the baby will be born with a lot of hair.
  • Babies sitting high or low or to the left or right in the belly indicating sex.

I'm not sure there's a huge point to all of this. I just found it all very interesting and slightly offputting.

The confluence.


Sunday, May 04, 2008
Be Encouraged.
I was talking with a friend of mine this weekend - about babies.

He expressed a sentiment that I'm certainly no stranger to. That being that it's a scary time to be bringing children into the world. Global warming. Droughts. Disease. Death. Destruction. War. Economics. Politics. Food recalls. All of a sudden even plastic is bad for you.

This is what I told him. (Not in these exact words, but you'll get the gist.)

Yes. Its scary. BUT looking down on a baby. A newborn baby. A new life, you can't help but to be encouraged. The sheer fact that you see these scary things in the world gives your new son or daughter an advantage because you can prepare him (or her) for what's out there.

I look down at my son, and I can't help but to wonder not just what he's going to be, but WHO he's going to be. WHAT he's going to do.

Everybody who has ever walked the earth, started out just like my little son. Can't speak. Can't understand what everyone is saying. Peeping. Pooping on himself. Crying for no reason at all. George Washington Carver. W.E.B. Dubois. Barack. The garbage man. The police officer. The local butcher. The people in your neighborhood. The best and worst of society. All of them started out exactly the same way.

A new baby is unmeasurable potential. The potential for what is up to us.

Know What I'm Sayin'??
Quaker vs. Aunt Jemima: It's a Draw!
So, I was in the grocery store yesterday, and remembered we needed some grits. I head towards the grits aisle, and I reach for the Quaker Quick Grits. The same grits I always buy. The one with the white man on the front. Cool? Cool.

But wait. Right next to the Quaker Quick Grits are the Aunt Jemima Quick Grits. I notice - perhaps for the first time - that the packages are virtually identical. The only differences are that the packaging changes from blue to red, and the picture changes from the white man, to the black woman. Everything else stays the same. Even the picture of the food itself.

Me being me, I asked myself: What's the difference?

I compared ingredients. Exactly the same.

Price. The same.

Then I tried to think of any other situation where a manufacturer has two identical products in such similar yet different packaging, right next to each other. And could come up with none.

You know what this is?

It's an ole-fashioned "We got a bunch of people who were raised on this one, and a bunch of people who were raised on that one, and we don't want to lose any of 'em to Jim Dandy or somesuch so we best just leave it the way it's always been..." Situation. What clearly started out as a racial decision is now...What? A dated holdover at best. At worst, a stubborn refusal to evolve.

Some things change. Some stay the same.