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Is That A Son In Your Pocket?
I just posted another Advice Goddess column. You know, you need a license to cut hair. A pity you only need working ovaries to have a child. Here's a letter from a guy with a baby on the way, and an excerpt from my reply:

One night, six months ago, my best friend and I lowered our inhibitions and got in bed together. Lo and behold, in three months, I’ll be a father. I’ve been clear about not wanting a relationship with her, but I get the feeling she thinks the baby will equal magical love between us. I’m living with her until the dust settles from the baby, but tensions between us are growing daily. If I even spend time with female friends, she gets jealous and stops talking to me for days. How can I get our friendship back to normal? And how do I handle it if I meet girls I want to date?

--Reality Ankle Bites

Bummer, baby’s on the way. How are you supposed to mack on girls?

As heavily as your future dating life must be weighing on your mind, when you have a moment, you might consider how you’ll handle the little things, like when your kid looks up at you and asks where he came from. Then again, maybe your partner in inhibition relaxation will be handling that one all by herself: “Mommy had a one-night stand with a man who used to be her friend. You don't know him, but the government makes him send checks to pay for your therapists and defense attorneys.” Aww, how heartwarming.

For future reference, babies do not generate dust. Babies generate bills. Moreover, while condoms are not 100 percent effective as birth control, they still beat hope hands down. Unfortunately, the abstinence education crusaders seem to have missed out on human nature education, an important element in preventing unwanted pregnancies. There they are, telling kids to abstain from sex, which is fun, when they could be telling kids to abstain from debt, which is the opposite of fun: “Let’s see, boys and girls, you could put that $500 you earned into a new stereo system for your car…or a breast pump, diaper bins, and a stroller.” Hellooo, latex!

Yeah, yeah, so the little strip turned pink, what’s the big deal? Well, here’s a big, warm thanks a lot from the rest of us, who’ll probably be getting mugged at gunpoint by your 10-year-old. What could go wrong now? What couldn’t? For starters, emotional stress on the mother during pregnancy -- for example, her continuing anxiety that Daddy’s going to dash out of the delivery room and start dating -- gives the developing baby a bath in the stress hormone cortisol. Numerous studies link this prenatal stress to serious cognitive, emotional and behavioral problems, possibly long-term, especially in boys. Marriage and family researchers Alyson Shapiro and John Gottman noted that after the baby is born, destructive conflict between the parents can cause the kid to suffer “depression, withdrawal, poor social competence, and conduct-related disorders.”

The rest is at this link.

Posted by aalkon at January 20, 2006 8:58 AM

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Comments

Lordy, lordy. Don't people ever learn? Please know I'm not absolving Mr. Fertile from responsibility in this situation, but I smell a woman desperate to have a baby. How convenient - she and this "best friend" got it on one night and now, oops! She's pregnant.

You know, it's ironic that many people who choose to take on such an adult responsibility act like children in the process of obtaining it.

Posted by: Sheila at January 20, 2006 6:44 AM

Lordy, that's a sensitive pair of nostrils to sniff out so many unambiguous details, Sheila:)

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at January 20, 2006 11:22 AM

Jaw. On. Floor. As I read this, I was mentally picking this shmuck apart for all his idiocy - still living with this woman? Actually believes she'll be "cool" with him dating around? Concerned that having a baby with her might give her the wrong idea? Amy could have written 5 columns lambasting this guy. Thankfully, she let the low-hanging fruit remain untouched and took the high road in advising him on his impenidng parenting duties. I wouldn't have been as kind.

Posted by: snakeman99 at January 20, 2006 11:51 AM

Lordy, that's a sensitive pair of nostrils to sniff out so many unambiguous details, Sheila:)

Fair enough. I'll admit that age and experience have made me a tad cynical.

Posted by: Sheila at January 20, 2006 12:51 PM

So, Jody, do women have any responsibility for birth control? Remember that they are the ones who get pregnant.

Posted by: Gary Steiger at January 20, 2006 1:25 PM

They most certainly do, Gary.

Posted by: Jody Tresidder at January 20, 2006 1:33 PM

I believe Amy quoted the author of a book in a previous column, saying it's odd how men who help create unwanted children are lambasted for abandoning them, but the women who knowingly bring them into the world are held up as martyrs and saints. Yeah this guy is an idiot, but women should be responsible for the contents of their own uteruses. I'm with our more skeptical posters - I think the chick probably lied about being on birth control because she was desperate to have a kid. Why isn't the dummy getting an abortion, for crying out loud?

Posted by: Pirate Jo at January 20, 2006 2:20 PM

Yeah this guy is an idiot, but women should be responsible for the contents of their own uteruses. I'm with our more skeptical posters - I think the chick probably lied about being on birth control because she was desperate to have a kid. Why isn't the dummy getting an abortion, for crying out loud?

I would go further and suggest she got pregnant in order to "trap" her man. If it was only about having a baby his presence isn't necessary. He needs to be out of there yesterday. Her controlling behaviour is a forerunner to years of abuse.

Posted by: greg at January 23, 2006 12:43 AM

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