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happy new baby and applied physics - helen-louise
happy new baby and applied physics
Today I went shopping for a birthday card for my Mum, and found the best Congratulations to the New Parents From A Childfree Person card ever. It manages to combine the messages of "Congratulations on successfully achieving a baby" with "(Though I'm not sure why you wanted one. Good luck anyway!)" without offending either group of people's sensibilities. This is quite impressive.

I suffer from extreme greeting card dilemma in general, because I can only send cards with words that I actually mean, and I don't have enough time in my life to make my own. Normally the problem is limited to trying to find appropriate cards for my partners that don't say "To the One I Love", which seems like a ridiculous sentiment even for most people with only one romantic partner. Most human beings love more than one other person, like their best friends or parent/s or children or pets. I'd be lonely if I only loved one other person in the whole world!

But the difficulty gets doubled or tripled when it comes to New Baby, because I can't manage to send cards about 10 ickle cutesy toesies without wanting to vomit. While the standard "Wow! It's a Boy!" blue card or "Awesome, You Achieved A Girl!" pink cards bother my queer feminist brain with thoughts like "Why the hell does the biological sex of a newborn matter anyway?" and "Who knows which of the many genders the child will grow up to be?". So finding a card that is non-nauseating and will amuse both Richard and me and the new parents is a very cool thing. So cool, that I did in fact buy three of them. Then realised I actually know four pregnant women. Oops.

I have also been both experiencing and suffering from Newton's Third Law today. I spent several hours helping my mum load heavy boxes onto a trolley that had no brakes, and she kept moaning about it running away as we put the loads on. I tried to explain why it happened, but to no avail. Then, coming home, I tried to take the step stool down from the trike, and one of my bungie cords flew up and hit me in the nose. I know those things are a) vicious and b) can store a lot of elastic potential energy, but honestly! It hurt like mad and I now have a visible and scary-looking bruise. And it had to be one of the long 1m cables that has never tried to attack me before rather than the shorter 60cm one that bites me all the time (to the point where I expect it and am prepared for it). Bah.

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Current Mood: okay okay but headachy (from physics)

16 comments or Leave a comment
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: 14th August 2008 19:44 (UTC) (Link)
Soooo, is there actually a market for me to design and make some cards that say, in essence "Gosh, you had a baby! Cool!" with gender-neutral yellow/green colouring and the like? :) Possibly I should get on that...
baratron From: baratron Date: 14th August 2008 20:00 (UTC) (Link)
Notice how many of the recent Bisexual Babies have been given nice, gender-neutral names that they can keep regardless of their gender or sexual orientation when older? ;)
taimatsu From: taimatsu Date: 14th August 2008 20:08 (UTC) (Link)
Yes :) Well, I think I only know one of said babies, but still...
geminigirl From: geminigirl Date: 14th August 2008 20:03 (UTC) (Link)
Yes. As a new parent, and one who has had to shop a lot for new baby cards lately, I'd love to be able to have a stash of nice ones in the house and not have to worry about gender.

Plus, I got so sick of pink things when she was born...
nmg From: nmg Date: 14th August 2008 20:09 (UTC) (Link)
First, you can get gender-neutral New Baby cards. They're not as common as the pink/blue variety, but they are out there. So yes, there is a market.

Secondly, there's no law that says that it has to be a New Baby card that you give to new parents. There are enough message-less cards out there to choose from.
thekumquat From: thekumquat Date: 14th August 2008 21:24 (UTC) (Link)
It's clearly not a huge market as I couldn't find one anywhere in Victoria Station as R was being born. Fortunately I found a nice blank card with a fluffy panda and baby panda cub, which worked well.

I was actually impressed to be sent a yellow 'New Baby' card from work, as I hadn't seen any generic sex cards at all. It had a giraffe on - giraffes seem to be the in animal for baby cards and clothes and toys at the moment.
baratron From: baratron Date: 14th August 2008 20:56 (UTC) (Link)
Thinking about it, I would especially like greetings cards for New Baby with more than two parents. Can think of several triads/trios and more complicated arrangements.

I also want Happy Anniversary cards with three or four people on. I thought about setting up an online company to do this myself once, but argh organisation! plus my brain really prefers to do chemistry.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 15th August 2008 20:51 (UTC) (Link)
Or, for that matter, fewer than two parents. There aren't many of those either.
ailbhe From: ailbhe Date: 15th August 2008 20:50 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, there is. One which neither says "You had a baby! No more bikinis or sleep for you!" or "Now you can devote your life to the most important thing in the world because who gives a shit about war or whatever?"
nmg From: nmg Date: 14th August 2008 20:07 (UTC) (Link)
You have to buy, scan and post that card...
baratron From: baratron Date: 14th August 2008 20:52 (UTC) (Link)
I already did buy three of them. But I can't post a scan until the last of the babies has arrived, otherwise it'll spoil the surprise. (All of the people concerned read my journal.)
nessbutterfly From: nessbutterfly Date: 15th August 2008 10:53 (UTC) (Link)
I wonder if I'm the only one wondering if I was the one that was forgotten... and whether January is the latest people will be made to wait to see them...
baratron From: baratron Date: 15th August 2008 18:22 (UTC) (Link)
No, you, the_kumquat and inquis were the ones I remembered. rivka was the one I forgot.
nessbutterfly From: nessbutterfly Date: 15th August 2008 21:43 (UTC) (Link)
After I posted I wondered if there would be an "oh crap! there's 5!".

I'm slowly recovering from the nauseating pastels encountered in a wander around the baby section of a department store yesterday. Gender neutral clothing seems to be as hard to find as gender neutral baby cards.
haggis From: haggis Date: 14th August 2008 21:19 (UTC) (Link)
I remember discovering this when trying to find a Valentine's card for Jen. Cards were either too soppy or said "To the one I love", which wasn't appropriate for us. The funny ones were very gender-stereotyped and heteronormative. Really annoying.
redbird From: redbird Date: 14th August 2008 23:49 (UTC) (Link)
I just get cards with pretty pictures and no text, and write something like "Dear $name(s), Congratulations on the baby!/Happy birthday!/Get well soon/etc." I was utterly delighted by the get well card I got a few months ago: it was a large postcard, with a picture from Madison, Wisconsin, and the signatures of a bunch of my friends. I doubt an intended-as-a-get-well-card card could have matched that.

It may not be an ideal solution, but it's a reasonable one, and saves me a lot of hassle and annoyance: instead, I get to just go through my collection and think "Hm, why not send Adrian a picture of an egret?" or such.
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