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The Baby Channel & Baby Knits

Did you ever hear "Starting From Scratch," that episode of This American Life where the reporter's father tries to launch a TV channel that's all puppies, all the time? The Puppy Channel's theme song goes, well, it goes... "Puppiespuppiespuppiespuppies, puppiespuppiespuppiespuppies... Puppieeeeeeees!" [listen here] Lately I've had that song in my head, except instead of puppies, or rather interspersed with puppies, it's about babies. "Babiesbabiesbabiesbabies, babiesbabiesbabiesbabies... Babieeeees!"

Chase those suspicions about my plans for babies from your mind - talk to me after I get back to zero from my current -$100K net worth. My dear but distant friend Jill, whom I met when I was a teacher in Houston, had a baby boy, Dickson, last week! (Also, gnitter extraordinaire James has launched a hilarious and sweet blog about being knocked up, called What About Bob?). The first great-grandkid was just born into Chris' family (though we've been scolded for referring to him as "the kid"), and I suspect one or two of the recently hitched in my life will start trying sooner rather than later.

And God knows Britney will pop out a little pimp or ho' before you can say "Mrs. Federline."

I appear to be entering the phase of life when one's friends start to reproduce. There was Angela two years ago, but she's almost 35. Also, being from Indiana, two high school friends started early right after college. Now Jody and Liz, not that you're reading, there's nothing wrong with that. It's just that when they had kids, everyone thought it was kinda out of the ordinary. Nothing extraordinary about this second wave, though. We're all now the age when, as a little girl, I thought, well, maybe I'll have a baby when I'm 27.

None of my New York friends number among the pregnant. None of them are even married. What makes this whole rash of parenthood striking is that when I consider our friends and family in "the middle," I can see myself in their positions and think it might be cool to be a young family. But when I compare C. and myself to our mostly-single friends here at home, I feel settled and a little old despite being unmarried and childless. At home in the city I feel older than I probably should, and elsewhere, more immature.

Clearly C. and I have chosen life paths (an academic and a lawyer) that mean, as a family, we will beat to our own drummer. That neither the lord nor the government has sanctified our satisfying seven-year relationship fits that characterization. The rest of our life together, including if and when and how we decide to have children, will probably be mildly unorthodox too. Seeing those close to us buying houses, getting hitched, and becoming parents while other friends still live with roomates into their thirties reminds me sometimes that, for good or ill, we're a little different.

But enough navel-gazing. For now we'll stick to The Puppy Channel.

All these babies do mean one thing: baby knits! I've been eager to knit for babies, since impatient knitters like moi love small projects. I can't reveal too many plans here, but do you all have any advice for nice baby gift patterns you've seen? Last-Minute Knitted Gifts has a few nice ones, but I'd like to cast a wider net. My impulse is to stay away from clothes (despite the super-cute sweater in LMKG) since they will be grown out of quickly. Also, those of you with children, what handmade things did you really love getting? What did you wish you'd received?

Posted by jess at January 2, 2005 9:05 PM
Comments

hi, sweetie, just want you and "C" to know, none of this is a big surprise to me. i've always known you had much too long of an agenda, both of you, and are much too independent, which is also what i love about you both, to be doing what others are doing. that drummer has a good beat and i enjoy listening to it in your lives (and mine!). love you both, mom

Posted by: sandi at January 3, 2005 10:31 AM

I have no children, but discovered baby hats are very popular. Ann Norling has a pattern for baby fruit hats that everyone loves, and they're really easy to make. I also like a book of baby knitted patterns by Erika Knight--can't remember the name, something like Simple knits for Baby.

Oh, and everyone seems to give babies blankets, so I don't make those anymore.

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