Thursday, October 28, 2010

I dearly wish I could tell you I made this up. Wrong.

Just in time for the midterm elections, I have some news to share. It’s official: the recession is over.

Exhibit A: the placenta teddy bear.

In an amazing display that combines equal parts narcissism and queasiness, new parents can now preserve the awe-inspiring, nourishing, life-giving force from a mother’s womb as a leathery, frightening-looking teddy bear, made entirely from a placenta. It looks kind of like a bear that would lead to night terrors, if you ask me.

I don’t know about you but I have just about had it with the egocentricity of people who have a child, and then proceed to act as if they are the first parents ever on the planet. You’ve been around them, I know you have. They give themselves away by using phrases like “teachable moment.” They read things like Cookie and Brain Child, The Magazine for Thinking Mothers. They worry endlessly about stuff like high-fructose corn syrup and other poison-laden Halloween candy. And now, apparently, they make teddy bears out of a placenta.

It’s exactly what you imagine it to be; in fact, it could be even worse. Let’s take a look at this, shall we?

After delivering your genius-to-be, you lovingly and ceremoniously cut that cord, then save and prepare your placenta for what’s to come. You stretch and “cure” the membranes for a while. [Stop reading right now if you’re anticipating step-by-step instructions with a time frame, a list of curing ingredients and other details from here on out. I was too incredulous to take notes on this.] Then you stuff it with something – God knows what – and sew it up with something else – no idea - and there it is. Arms and legs; a body and a face without eyes that, sure, looks kind of like a bear. The no-eye look is kind of creepy, and that’s saying a lot since this whole thing is a world of creepy to begin with.

But sure, it's a bear I guess. The kind a prehistoric toddler may have dragged around the cave while the Neanderthal moms had playgroup together and cured meat/skins in their cave kitchen area, meat and skins not unlike the cured materials used to create the teddy bear their child never puts away in the cave toy box. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here – or behind ourselves, maybe?

I couldn’t tell from the website whether or not 21st century children actually ever play with their placenta bear or not. I suspect not since it was displayed in a glass container. It didn’t look all that sturdy to tell you the truth. Instead, it appeared to be kind of decorative, if by decorative, you mean ‘Silence-of-the-Lambs-basement’ decorative.

I blame the mother, here. I really do. Isn’t it enough that she experienced a healthy pregnancy and delivered a child? I would imagine the existence of the child is proof enough of the miracles her nourishing womb is capable of producing. But no, that’s not enough. She needs her placenta on display, albeit shaped and stuffed, to prove to the world that she and her body nursed a child to life.

I ask you: why else would someone do this? It’s the worst kind of “look at me,look at me, look at me, please” behavior because it’s not even honest. They disguise it as something ostensibly for their child. And the worst part? If this is what they do after just a few weeks or months of motherhood, what will they do after years? Oy. This is just the beginning.

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