January 9, 2012

Push Presents?

My Sister-In-Law gave birth to her first child last Friday.  This would be my wife's brother and his wife as the parents, just to get the familial relationship straight.  Anna Prange is the first grandchild for my In-Laws and something like the 100th grandchild for my Sister-In-Laws mother.

No, I don't plan on posting a picture.  She's not my kid and generally all newborns are ugly as all get-out.  I'll admit that Anna is better than most, but I don't want anyone accusing me of bias here.  Until I spent way too much time around women (ie started dating) I always thought that "cute" was a euphemism for butt-ugly.  Think about it....what are the first words uttered when faced with an ugly baby or ugly dog?  They should be, "You hold it down...I'll round up the townsfolk with pitchforks and torches.", but it generally comes out as "What a cute (insert noun here)"

I have yet to see one of these....hint...hint
We haven't seen the baby yet.  In general I feel no overwhelming compulsion to crowd the new family in the hospital and congratulate them on successfully breeding.  They have doting parents to smother them enough as it is.  Now that the first Grandchild is here I can expect to have the In-Laws slowly forget my name.  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.....but it isn't a good thing either.  I can tell you my own flesh-and-blood parents have actually forgotten about me once their Grandchildren (or specific Grandchildren) were born.  It's just the way it is.  My writing style probably makes me sound bitter and that isn't really the case.

I have no qualms regarding Anna's parents and I'm certain they'll do fine by her.  We've just decided that we'll wait to visit with them when they get home, get settled, and let us know they are ready for visitors.  From what I've read and been told, this was how they used to do things.  You did not drop everything and rush the newborn.  You waited respectfully until informed you could visit.  Of course my cultural background comes from a society where you formally informed a person that you were now friendly enough to use a more informal term of address.  As a side note, you can all call me "Mr. Stogdill" until told otherwise.  If we've spent the night at each other's place before, gotten inebriated together, or swapped bodily fluids, then by all means call me whatever you like.

....anyway......I assume this more formal visitation process was due to higher infant mortality rates and the sheer distances and complications of travel.  When it was prudent to wait a week to make sure the baby survived and it took half a day to ride your wagon to town, you should give the newborn some time.  Thankfully we live in a modern society that don't generally have these two concerns.

Instead, now we have "Push Presents".  I had no idea that this existed and I feel our society has taken a turn for the worst with this modern invention.  If you were fortunate enough to not know of Push Presents before, I deeply apologize for informing you now.  Since the spoiler has been made I should explain what a Push Present is.  A Push Present is an expected gift from the father to the mother of a newborn to thank her for carrying the child to term.  You can read the Wikipedia entry for more info.

Tiffany Celebration Rings
When starting this blog entry I did a Google image search for "Push Present" and was presented (pun intended) with a page full of huge diamond jewelry.  There were a couple of simpler presents and one distasteful gift.  My first reaction was, "WTF...seriously?!"  Is the new child not a gift unto itself? I can see if it was some kind of bonus for a good job....if you were using a surrogate mother.  Even then, the gift wouldn't really be expected.  I'd assume the mother was either gladly doing someone a favor and/or there was a financial transaction involved.

I could see a Push Present as sort of a bribe for future sexual relations.  "Hey honey....I know you aren't even remotely interested in sex right now....but here is an $18,000 diamond ring.  Wear it for a while and you can thank me later....."

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