Friday, January 16, 2009

Hey, Darwin, little help?

I am an unwavering believer in evolution. I mean, I feel stupid even saying I believe in evolution, it's like saying I believe in oxygen or blood or something. I just don't doubt it. However, there have been times in my life when I have really wondered HOW something is an evolutionary advantage, and if not an advantage, how it's managed to survive the parsing of undesirable traits. Many of those times have come in the last six weeks.

Here's the thing: human reproduction is like a sick joke. The postpartum phase is the sickest of them all. I mean, let me get this straight: after nine months of discomfort in one form or another, you spend a varying number of hours squeezing a full-sized human out of your body, after which time your hormones rapidly go apeshit on you, and instead of giving you a few weeks to, you know, get over that, you're left with a squalling, entirely vulnerable little bundle to care for. It cannot care for itself at all, nor can it cannot seek out its own care, beyond shrieking in a very undesirable way. Your efforts to care for said bundle are not met with smiles, eye contact, or really any positive feedback of any kind.

Yeah. Makes sense.

Add to that the fact that some of those bundles squall an inordinate amount. I don't like to name names or anything...

But seriously, how does this make any sense?

Because here's the thing: you hang in there. It gets better. They stop screaming interminably, they start to occasionally sleep, your endocrine system stops acting like a total jackass and the weeping and panic attacks subside a little bit, and then the baby starts cooing and smiling and looking less squooshed and puffy, and life gets a little, teeny bit easier. Well, no, not easier, but there's some fun associated with all the tough stuff. Up until then, though? I don't get it.

Wise Donna pointed out that our fussy babies (the Graces and Brendans of the world) are probably an evolutionary advantage because they scream bloody murder when the woolly mammoth approaches, while the quiet babies just lie there silently getting munched to bits. ok. I'll take that explanation. The rest, though? Nope. it's all a cruel joke.

1 comment:

Laura said...


1) I'm so glad to have your blog on my radar now!

2) After reading a few of your recent entries - it's official - you're hilarious. Like, the kind of funny that makes me actually laugh out loud.

3) I totally admire your ability to look at the hardships and find the humor in them - even if you don't feel like laughing at all. You're so strong, keep it up.