At 37, I was a little late to the whole mothering gig. During my first ultrasound, the OB, whilst checking my lady credentials, used the term elderly primagravida. “Did he say ‘elderly’? What exactly is going on down there?” I wondered. Was my uterus sprouting chin hairs? Did my vagina mail him $5 for Christmas? Then the OB gently explained that “elderly primigravida” refers to a pregnant woman over the age of 34. Great, so my crotchal region is one chip short of “BINGO!”
Needless to say, I’ve had strong feelings about what I call “mom lingo” ever since. Here’s a short list of motherhood terms and phrases that need to go to hell and die:
1. Baby Bump. I’m not really sure what was wrong with “belly” or “stomach,” but someone somewhere decided that pregnancy didn’t sound close enough to a to a jungle disease. “Aww, look at your baby bump! You should probably treat that with a little benzoyl peroxide or something.” or “Her baby bump is totes the cutest.” Please. Just. Stop it.
2. Pump and Dump. I am actually guilty of using this phrase, but I was strongly influenced by a fishbowl-sized mojito. Look, I get that this term isn’t just cutesy; it’s also accurate. Had a few drinks? Pump your breast milk and then toss that White Russian down the drain. The problem is that every time I hear “pump and dump,” I imagine some poor mom hooked up to a breast pump as she squats on a toilet. And now you do too. Let’s come up with some other phrase, shall we? Maybe “saving the baby’s liver” or “absolving myself of guilt about drinking a fishbowl-sized mojito”?
3. Push Present. Okay, first, when did this become a thing? A gift for having a baby? I agree that labor and delivery are, well, laborious, but it’s not like moms are doing dads a favor. Once pregnant, that baby’s gotta come out. True fact, ladies.
But beyond my beef with the very idea of giving a woman a necklace or a fancy handbag to say, “Thanks for birthing,” I take issue with the term. Like “pump and dump,” a very particular image comes to mind when I hear “push present.”
Picture it: A woman in stirrups, seized by contractions. She howls. She grunts. She bears down. “I can see it!” shouts the doctor. A cheery burst of confetti shoots from the woman’s hooha. And then, joy of joys, out pops a neatly wrapped box containing a blouse from Ann Taylor LOFT and a comfy pair of linen capris. Congratulations! It’s a new outfit. Sorry, no returns.
This is so stupid that I can’t even . . .
4. DD, DS and DH. Are you kidding me with this? Dear son, dear daughter, and dear husband? How about “son,” “daughter,” and “husband”? Too many letters? How about “kids” and “spouse”? How about “family”? How about we not make our loved ones sound like government agencies? How about you don’t force me to refer to my family members as “dear”? I always love my family. However, I do not always like my family. In all fairness, my family does not always like me. Sure, sometimes I’m my husband’s DW, but a lot of the time I’m his “OMGWR?” (Oh my god, woman, really?) or even just his long, defeated sigh, which kind of defies an acronym.
No more. This is dumb.
5. Mucus Plug. Not slang, I know. But this is just way, way, way too accurate. I’m actually lobbying to come up with some euphemism to replace this one. “Baby stopper” has a certain appeal. “Stork cork” maybe? I’m open to suggestions.
6. Effaced. Again, this is not slang, but this term is misleading. Effacement is when your cervix thins or “ripens” before delivery. Until I took an actual birthing class, I thought being effaced meant that the baby was, well, see the picture below? Then you get the idea.
I’m not sure why we can’t just say “thinning” instead of “effacement.” When you’re 9 months pregnant, it would be really nice to hear that something is getting thinner, even if that something is a delicate little pad of skin that’s about to be massacred by your precious miracle.
7. Fur Baby. Look, folks, I know you love your pets. I love my pet too. She’s a member of our family. We feed her better than we feed ourselves. We let her musk up all the couches and beds. We make peace with the tumbleweed-sized fur balls blowing through our home. But a “fur baby” she is not.
First of all, unlike my actual baby, the dog has the decency to crap outside in the grass. And unlike my actual baby, the dog is content to sleep most of the day and night. And unlike my actual baby, the dog did not suckle from my bosom and thus turn that bosom into a deflated heap of chest flesh. However, both my son and my dog do enjoy chewing on a good stick. But really, the similarities end there. Unless you’re nursing an Ewok, no more “fur baby,”
And that’s it. That’s my list. If you’ve used one of the above terms, I’ve thought less of you.
(But, for what it’s worth, I just ate a slice of American cheese and a handful of Tostitos for breakfast.)
Related post: 13 Things Non-Parents Should Never Say to Parents
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