To all who will be attending next week’s “baby” shower:
Please spare my infant the cutesy onesies and colorful toys that would compromise her sense of selfhood and autonomy. Instead we would prefer something my infant will actually use someday, such gifts as the works of Margaret Atwood or a copy of the DSM-V. The only picture book we will accept is Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. We will accept multiple copies.
If you haven’t noticed, Michael and I are making an active decision not to needlessly infantilize our child, and we expect you to do the same. When the child is born, please speak to her like an adult; clearly and effectively, as if arguing a case in court. We expect her to do the same. If her first words are prima facie, we will know we have done our jobs as parents.
We would also be grateful if you would refrain from ever playing got-your-nose with her. Were she to even entertain your silly, patronizing game, we would sue you for all your current and future assets.
We have no intention of fooling our child into thinking the world is a happy place filled with blankets and toys and singing, animated characters. Michael’s father is a raging alcoholic. My own mother resisted my cries for Christmas trees and birthday cupcakes. As an adult, I am grateful my childhood was not wrapped in soft, swaddling cotton. I have been dumped, cheated on, fired, betrayed by friends and mugged repeatedly. My mother didn’t infantilize me, and neither did those muggers. It was fine. Look at me; I’m still here.
Should you feel a need to include a card with your gift, the only inscription we are allowing is from the W.B. Yeats poem of your choice. She will be reading them all shortly.
Cold cuts and beverages will be served. Please leave promptly at 6 p.m. After that, cars will be towed.