Perfection, Breast Milk, and Velociraptor Nests

“From the beginning, this had been the core belief of the planners.  The animals, however exotic, would fundamentally behave like animals in zoos anywhere.  They would learn the regularities of their care, and they would respond.”  – Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park)


The whole premise by which Jurassic Park was built, had to do with the assumption that things would go a certain way… A remote island was purchased…  Bioengineers were hired… Blueprints with an extensive security system were outlined… And a lot of people signed confidentiality agreements before a single Brontisaurus was hatched.  The planners took great care to create a paradise of sorts, whereby nothing at all could go wrong… What fools they were to think they could control nature in this way.  And in the end… The park ended up REALLY SUCKING.


Such is the case with JURASSIC PARENTS… when you have a child in your thirties or forties, there is generally quite a bit of planning that has gone into it.  Hours are spent perusing places like Pottery Barn… Z Gallery… Restoration Hardware… These places will be the blueprint where your tiny T-Rex will roam.  Will you buy your Lovely a tiny recliner?  Why not?  You’re old enough and can afford one!

Baby Smarty-Pants will need a top-of-the-line teething ring.  Nothing with plastic!  Only glass bottles…  This kid was planned years in the making.  This child will wear one hundred percent cotton… And ride perfect ergonomic tricycles built in Germany.

Will your little Ray of Sunshine eat all organic foods, you ask yourself?  The answer is obvious and you buy a Nuk Freshfoods Steam-N-Mix Baby Food Maker and start collecting recipes.  You certainly can’t have him gulping down hormone-filled dyed milk from some unknown dairy farm like YOU did growing up… So you read all about Almond Milk… And Coconut Milk… Goat Milk… And Rice Milk… You could talk about all the different milks for hours… And you do…

You will definitely breastfeed, you tell yourself after reading ten books on the subject… Breast Milk is the best!  You never knew that until now… that the single best thing a human being can consume is the milk from ANOTHER human being… You take a class in breastfeeding…  There’s classes for everything now!  Eureka!

You have smart ass friends that will look at you sideways when you tell them you signed up for a breastfeeding class, and they will say smart ass things like… “You don’t need a class for that.  Class is in session right now, momma…”  But you ignore these idiots… Show up early for class and learn all sorts of things ensuring your baby gets the most milk possible out of your body…

You learn that there are even special positions to hold a person while breastfeeding them…The Cradle Hold… The Cross-Over…  The Football Position.  You never played football or had any interest in it… Did men come up with the names for breastfeeding positions?

And I haven’t even mentioned the creation of the actual baby… Maybe you went at it the natural way… Or maybe you spent years exploring different fertility methods… Perhaps “making” the baby wasn’t enough for you.. You wanted to choose the gender of your baby… So you read a hundred books and mapped out your Ovulation Chart like a Cotton Farmer during planting season… Drinking tons of orange juice and having goofy upside down sex promised you a GIRL… Chugging a keg of beer and going at it during March Madness ensured you a BOY.

You did everything scientific and right to secure the exact perfect creation that would be born at the exact perfect time, in the exact perfect location…

This is the blueprint of Jurassic Mommies… To Be Perfect Planners creating the perfect atmosphere for a child to be born into… But in the end, life finds a way…  Or life finds its own way…

In the end… You try to engineer a girl.. You get a boy…

You buy a crib at pottery barn, it’s too big for the room…

You hate the pain of breastfeeding, so you switch to formula in less than three weeks…

You secretly use Huggies because they make things easier for you but worse on the environment.  You let your child sleep in your bed because you suck at sleep training.

You let her watch TV. First, it’s only Sesame Street and anything “educational” like Word Girl or Doc McStuffins… Time passes and without realizing it… You’re letting her watch those trashy Disney shows with the sassy dialogue  written by 30- year- olds and being spewed out by 10- year- olds.  You’ve got to stop this, you tell yourself… Sure, these Disney Actors are innocent now but the day will come when they are drunk and pantyless. This is who your daughter will mold her entire life after…

Come Spring,O you innocently let your child go on an Easter Egg Hunt, where she eats her first candy and she takes to it like a vampire to blood.  “It’s only once” you promise yourself. Never again. You buy the organic gross fruit sticks and tell her it’s the same thing.  She spits it out. At school someone gives her an oreo.  She eats it.  A bag of them appears in your house.  You give her one and eat the rest yourself.    Eventually, you let your child dump sugar on the kitchen floor and roll in it, while she licks it off herself so you can read one of your trashy celebrity magazines.

Do you see what happened? While you were planning… The velociraptors built a nest in the park and they are rolling around in the sugar getting a food addiction that will one day cause them to have bad concentration and poor nutrition habits while you’re busy trying to figure out if organic cow milk is ok or should you stick with goat milk.

It doesn’t matter what you planned… And it doesn’t matter how old you are… At the end of the day, your baby is exhausting and you feel just as lost as a seventeen-year-old girl on the Pep Squad who got pregnant in the backseat of a Ford Focus after a home game in Decatur.

This is my point… And this is my advice for you… Which I’m sure that you want to hear… As I am very qualified to give parenting advice… having spent most of my life as an out-of-work writer who once wrote restaurant menus to pay rent…

There is a deep peace in knowing things can never be perfect… accept that the T-Rex is going to get loose. It’s going to make a mess, and it’s going to destroy some stuff.  Probably expensive stuff.  Take comfort that there is a helicopter waiting for you and just like those final moments when Dr. Grant and the gang are flying away from Jurassic Park broken, beaten, and exhausted, with the prehistoric jungle in flames behind them… There is a deep relief having escaped all of that perfection.

Perfection is exhausting.

So is being a mother.

Now, eat an Oreo and go read US Weekly.  You can milk the goat later.





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