Saturday, June 25, 2011

Pregnancy Humor Contract

A few months before I got pregnant, my dear friend Emily approached me with a serious concern: she was worried I was going to completely lose my sense of humor. She had a friend who used to quite enjoy things like dead-baby jokes and making fun of people who take raising their children WAY too seriously. But then they had a baby, and all of a sudden, those things were not funny anymore. Problem is, they did not inform Emily that their personalities had so drastically changed -- they just got mad at her. Not cool, Emily's friend. Not cool.

So to ensure that this wouldn't happy to me, we wrote up a small contract of things that I find funny now.

I, Mollie Hartford-Chamberland, do solemnly swear on my hoard of yarn, that I will continue to find hilarious (or at least keep an open mind about) innocuous and semi-offensive jokes involving:

  • Pregnancy
  • Babies
  • Labor
  • Infants
  • Toddlers
  • Diapers
  • Baby diseases (like a cold, not cancer)
  • Child-bearing
  • Child-rearing
  • Peanut allergies
  • Finding daycares
  • Finding preschools
  • Comparing babies to puppies
  • Comparing babies to plants
  • Comparing babies to assorted zoo animals
  • Comparing babies to inanimate objects including, but not limited to, balloon animals, footballs, et. al.
  • Funny-looking babies
  • Ugly babies
  • Bald babies
  • Fat babies with their adorable sausage legs
  • Embarrassing pregnancy symptoms
  • Embarrassing post-pregnancy symptoms
  • Wetting your pants due to baby
  • Nursing
  • Boob-leaking
  • Getting puked/vomited on by baby
  • Getting pooped on by baby
  • Watching people almost fall down with, almost drop, or almost injure their baby or themselves is funny as long as baby isn’t hurt. And it isn’t you.
  • The dead baby/dead puppy joke
  • Nanny cams
  • Background checks on babysitters
  • Baby-proofing
  • Pregnancy brain
  • Nesting
  • Using a vibrator as a soothing device (not a sex device, pervert!) to put baby to sleep a la “Sex and the City”
  • Inappropriate things written on onesies
  • Baby clothes, in general
  • Complaining about other people “mothering” you
  • Hating strangers touching your belly
  • Extra fingers and toes
  • Babies with mustaches or miscellaneous extra facial hair (Hitler mustaches made of food, whether intentionally or unintentionally, always funny)
  • Bristol Palin jokes – all
  • “Being Easy”
  • No anatomical talk at work
  • Not allowed to say “I hate being pregnant”
  • Depictions of babies doing age-inappropriate actions (smoking, playing with matches, dressing skankily, etc.)
  • Treating one’s children like parcels or groceries
  • Mocking fictional orphans (mocking real orphans just makes you a bad person)

Even if I do not laugh at said humor, due to the surge of humor-crushing hormones and potentially serious life-experience that comes with bearing and having a child, I will zestfully support forms of this humor, though the hormones may leech the humor right out of my brain and make me think this isn’t funny at all.

Should I be mortally offended by any of the above, an arbiter will decide whether I hold the right to be offended. If judged that said joke was, indeed, hilarious, I will tell the most offensive joke I can think of as punishment.

Since then, we've also added a few verbal addenda such as videos should not be more than :90 seconds long (preferably :45 seconds) without a really good payoff at the end (first smile or baby actually eats the mushed banana). I'm allowed a "gramma version" of the video, which can be as long as I want, since grammas live for that sort of thing. There was also going to be a limit to the number of photos I can upload in a day, but I'm not sure it was officially declared. Therefore I just pick the best ones to upload to Facebook, and send all of them to Flickr.

I'm happy to say that I don't think I've violated the contract. I only said "this sucks" about being pregnant twice, and I never said I hated it. (I believe this made it possible to live with myself after vomiting on the way to work EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! Vomiting in a flower pot in Times Square and a garbage can at Carnegie Hall HAD to be funny, or else it would just be sad.) I compare my baby to my dog all the time. And when Emily posts obviously offensive things to my Facebook (like little babies made of marzipan), I choose not to look at it. That's allowed.

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