Friday, November 12, 2010

If Only (Or: Least Helpful Ever)

Parenthood and bench science both seem to inspire people to the notion that you, the person dealing with the problem, must be a total idiot.

"Did you switch your tubes?"
"He must need a shorter nap."
"Maybe your primers are bad."
"He must need a longer nap."
"Have you tried adding more enzyme?"
"Maybe he should get outside more!"

OH! If only I had tried that! No, wait, I already did. And these comments are even more irritating when about children. Experiments should, at least, be reproducible; however, I do not possess that mythical creature, the "Control Toddler" -- much less the "Responds Consistently To Variables Toddler".

I hope I don't do this too much (though I'm sure I do sometimes) and I hope I didn't do it when I worked in a lab. I tried to say things like, "I found this paper very helpful in troubleshooting" or "I can give you a protocol that works for me if you would like." I try to say things like "Bug likes pureed tofu and corn in his pancakes; maybe C. would like it too" or "It's okay, he does the same thing."

However, I will smack the next person who tells me to wean my kid. Are they your boobs? No. When one of us is damn well ready.


  1. Anonymous3:34 PM

    Amen to that.
    --Neighbor Lady

  2. I think there was a science blogger who referred to one of their twin kids as "control experiment", but I don't remember who it was...

  3. Simply out of curiosity, how old is your kid now and when do you plan to wean him?

  4. EGF: Er. Any day now. Really, kid, you can be done whenever. He nurses first thing in the morning, before nap, and at night... we're probably going to cut out either morning or night soon. He gave up the morning boooooob while we were at my parents' house, but renewed the clamor for MA MUK MA MUK MA MUK once we got home. On the other hand, night would mean I could go out... but it's so easy to get him to go to sleep.. basically I'm just lazy. Probably at some point in the next year, i.e. before Progeny 2.0 (future project, not yet begun) arrives, I'll wean him.

  5. P.S. Well, if it's good enough for Blossom ;) -- here's Mayim Bialik on nursing her two-and-a-half-year-old:

    Including: "Most everyone in my family thinks this party should have been shut down yesterday. My Ph.D. in Neuroscience as well as my recent certification as a Lactation Educator/Counselor has quieted many of their attempts to reason with me, since I have a lot of research, support, and education on my side, and most of what they have – with all due respect- is uninformed hunches, personal uncomfortableness with nursing, and just plan old “I didn’t do that, so why are you?” reasoning. Most of my close friends in our community nursed their kids into the toddler years."


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