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Ice cream, co-sleeping, and man-bashing

By Alice Bradley

Good news! Science has finally discovered the hidden benefits of ice cream. Eating high fat dairy products, scientists say, can boost your fertility. The health link is to full-fat dairy in general, not specifically to ice cream, but apparently it’s the most attention-grabbing choice of the high-fat dairy options, because every media outlet’s going with the ice cream headline. I guess no one wanted “A Wedge of Blue Cheese Will Get Your Lady Parts to Working.”
My favorite thing about this article—beyond the unsurprising idea that fat isn’t just there to kill you—is how afraid the experts are of this finding. Afraid that women, with their well-known absence of self-control around all things ice-creamy, will lose their minds and cram quarts of Haagen Dazs down their gullets until they expire. Or worse: get fat.
Here’s a sampling of the nervous quotes in the article:
“Even modest servings have this effect.”
Which means that immodest servings have an even BETTER effect. Yeah!
“If you’re going to do this, try to eliminate other high-saturated-fat foods from your diet.”
Nuh-uh. I’ll have a jumbo fries with that.
“This should not signal women to get buckets and buckets of ice cream.”
I’m gonna anyway. And it’s your fault.
“Fertility expert Celia Dominguez, MD… warns overweight women against gorging on ice cream.”
Too late, doctor-lady.
“Nobody needs to run off to eat Haagen-Dazs to get pregnant.”
We’ve been waiting for an excuse, ladies, have we not? And now we have it. Thanks, frightened experts!
And now, more breaking news from the Times: sometimes parents share beds with their kids!
This article concerns desperate, sleep-deprived parents who have given up fighting when their kid climbs into bed with them in the middle of the night. This doesn’t happen to me, but it sounds positively dreadful. I do not wish to judge the fatigue-addled adults who are doing the best they can under the circumstances; more than anything, what I want is peace and quiet and lovely sleep for all. I know that ever y kid is different, and you do what you can. We couldn’t co-sleep with my son because within minutes, he’d flip around and stick his big toe in my nostril. Sometimes I wish we could all curl up together. All of us except for that toe.
But it seems, at least from the article, that the subjects have explored every possible solution except sucking it up and putting the kid back in his bed. They’re consulting experts, they’re moving mattresses around, they’re curling up in toddler beds while their kid snoozes on their king-sized mattress, but they’re not willing to piss off their own kids. I had to laugh at what, according to this story, most of these parents consider an”extreme measure”: closing the kid’s bedroom door. (The experts recommend allowing the door to stay open if your child can stay in bed, but simply closing the door if he or she keeps popping into your room.)
Is, uh, closing the door cruel? Because my son never goes to sleep with his door open. This is partly because his bedroom is next to our ancient and decaying stairs, which let off shotgun-blast-like creaks as you walk up and down them. But also, I want it to be quiet and dark and for him to be asleeeeep. Because I am a heartless taskmaster who hates my child. I never stop learning about me!
In our last bit of news this week: men are angry. Angry that they’ve been belittled by advertisers. According to columnist and talk-show host Glenn Sacks, dads are invariably portrayed in commercials as “idiots.” While moms are all smart and stuff.
I have noted in the past that dads in commercials are portrayed as bumbling morons who have to research the Internet to figure out that their kid needs a glass of water. There’s no doubt that there’s some truth to this. And yet still I feel compelled to answer Glenn Sacks’ pity party with this: awww, izza widdle baby not wiking the mean ole commercials? Aw. Wuzza wuzza.
Cry me a river, Glenn Sacks. Yes, dads are sometimes portrayed as idiots, but join the idiot club. Women have a long, illustrious history of being dismissed and objectified by the media. The one arena we’re allowed any measure of competence in is motherhood, and that’s because advertisters know moms do the shopping. Before we become Doctor Moms, with our sensible haircuts and helpless families, we can usually be found cavorting around in bikinis or using our cleavage to get free drinks.Let us have this moment in the advertising sun, Glenn Sacks, then you can go back to being portrayed as Masters of the Universe while we fade into commercial oblivion after age 40—unless we’re selling arthritis medication or we’re Betty White. Deal?

Published March 2, 2007. Last updated May 10, 2010.
Alice Bradley
About the Author

Alice Bradley

Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.


Alice Bradley was a regular contributor to Alpha Mom, writing about current events as they related to parenting. You can read about her daily life at her personal blog, Finslippy.

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