Sunday, November 21, 2010


Once you become a new parent there are two pretty weird things that happen simultaneously. The first is you start pushing your child-free friends to make a baby. It starts with a fun a and light-hearted little comment within some other conversation: "oh- you guys should totally have a baby! What are you waiting for?" or something. But then you find yourself bringing it up again. "Seriously. If you guys had a baby now, your baby would be friends with OUR baby! Are you thinking about it? At all?" And then it slides into conversations with your single girlfriends. "You could TOTALLY have a baby on your own! Then they could play with MY baby! ha ha!"
You don't know why it is you're doing this. You talk about it with your mate: "So and So should have a baby soon. Wouldn't that be great?"

Which brings us the second weird thing. When your friends have this baby- (or if they already have a baby, or they are friends you made because of your baby) -you start setting them up together. It wasn't about "they could be friends!!" Oh no. It's about they could be boyfriend/girlfriends. It happens so naturally that you almost don't catch how strange it really is.

So now I have to confess. Akiva has a girlfriend named Fia. And he also has a fiancee named Loe. They don't know about each other. Loe's mom even saw the picture of Akiva surfing with another girl and asked me about it. I told her the truth: he was young! He needed to see what was out there! He was a boy! And to be fair, Akiva and his girlfriend Fia really did have some bizarre moments as babies where we'd be pushing them side by side in strollers and they'd reach out and hold hands. They'd stare into each other's eyes and Akiva talked about Fia all the time. He still does. They're still together.

But why do we do this? Why are we creating these fictitious romantic lives for our infants? Is it some weird sort of way of complimenting your friend's baby?- that they are cute enough to want to set your own baby up with? I guess it's a cute way of saying you like their baby. But it's something more than that that I've yet to put my finger on exactly. Maybe it's a way of saying you like your friends? Often within these baby set-ups are some jokes about where the wedding will be and who's paying, so maybe it's some subconscious desire to create a family with your friends? And while I'm talking about it, although I have a funny little desire that Akiva turns out to be gay, (we can shop together!) it's a statement that we assume our children are straight. I haven't yet set Akiva up with a boyfriend, although maybe I should? I wonder what kind of harm I'm doing with Akiva hearing all this girlfriend stuff if he is gay? He did say to me yesterday that "Brady" (our 4 year old next door neighbor) "is cute".

I suppose for all of those cultures that practice arranged marriage, I have to give them a little credit- I suppose there really is something deep inside of us - even in the most liberal artsy fartsy households in America, that ultimately just wants to play old fashioned offspring matchmaker. Let's hope when Akiva starts bringing home girlfriends and/or boyfriends I can refrain from mentioning that he's already engaged.


  1. Oh Annie that is sooo cute! I guess it's human nature. You want Akiva to feel the same affection and love that you and Matt feel. It's very touching. Even as a non-parent I can relate to what you are doing.

    This could help him form a bond that could turn into lifelong healthy friendship or maybe something more down the road. He could have that with boys or girls or both. It's so great to have a lifelong friendship with someone from infancy:) Whether it be with boys or girls, thing is he's growing up in a household full of love and bonding, he's going to carry that into his friendships and relationships from a very young age!

    Should be interesting how this plays out :D

  2. "artsy fartsy" - what does it mean? =)