February 17, 2008

CAN'T THEY JUST KEEP THE KID IN A DISPLAY CASE (via pchuck):

Parent Shock: Children Are Not Décor (JULIE SCELFO, 2/14/08, NY Times)

WHEN Jacqueline Brown and her husband, Gavin Friedman, were in their early 30s, they lived in a condominium in Santa Monica, Calif., with a black leather Ikea couch Mr. Friedman had bought for law school, a few modest pieces from Pier 1 Imports and assorted hand-me-down furnishings. Within a few years, though, having acquired professional and financial stability — both were litigation associates at prominent law firms — they bought a house in Cheviot Hills, an affluent neighborhood in West Los Angeles, and began remodeling and decorating.

During two renovations, each costing more than $100,000, they built a two-sided fireplace to separate the living and dining rooms, put in a wine cellar and installed a sleek maple and granite kitchen. They bought molded-wood chairs in the Arne Jacobsen style, Murano glass pendant lamps and a custom walnut entertainment unit. Ms. Brown, who had become obsessed with interior design in law school, poured heart and soul into the projects.

But just as Ms. Brown and Mr. Friedman were establishing their first truly grown-up residence — she was 38, he 37 — Ms. Brown gave birth to their first child, Harrison, a boy who turned out as bouncing as most.

Suddenly they were confronted with a question that had never before occurred to them: given the way baby gear and toys take over households, the uncivilized habits of toddlers and the dangers posed by sharp-edged contemporary furniture, could Ms. Brown and Mr. Friedman continue to live their high-design dream? [...]

“Going from being a couple to becoming a parent, your whole world changes,” said Robin Gorman Newman, who four years ago started a support group called Motherhood Later ... Than Sooner in New York (it now has chapters across the country), after becoming a first-time mother at 42, 10 years into her marriage. “Once you become a parent, your home is not your own,” she added. “I think you mourn your previous life, at least for a while. You’re never going to have what you had.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 17, 2008 5:59 PM
Comments

Oy.

Posted by: erp at February 17, 2008 7:24 PM
Suddenly they were confronted with a question that had never before occurred to them: given the way baby gear and toys take over households [...] could Ms. Brown and Mr. Friedman continue to live their high-design dream?

Absolutely hilarious, and right after a sentence about how they are now responsible for another human being!

Oh, our high-design dream is in such dreadful peril!

That has to be one of the most unwittingly funny sentences I've ever read in the New York Times, right up there with the bit about higher prison populations and lower crime being strangely connected.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at February 17, 2008 8:51 PM

Oh dear, the NYT.

Is it me, or are all its stories, particularly on weekends, geared towards the sort of insanely wealthy people who not only buy homes in posh LA neighborhoods, but who remodel them at the cost the cost of 100s of 1,000s of $s, and then have their one friggin designer kid, whom they'll send to Brentwood and then to the Ivies.

And then, no tongue, no cheek, the NYT, our betters, will tell us to vote Democrat, the party of the people, w/o understanding why people in Kansas, cops, firemen, et al., want the NYT to go eff itself, along with the democrat party?

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at February 17, 2008 10:10 PM

Makes you feel sorry for he kid. Because, in the age of the Internet, he's going to find this article one day, read it, and learn that his parents actually were torn between his existence and a designer coffee table.

Posted by: Qiao Yang at February 17, 2008 10:25 PM

Mr. Yang: No reason to feel too sorry for him, because he'll be able to euthanize them whenever he gets tired of them. Their 40-year-old selves will applaud, but who knows what their 80-year-old selves will think?

Posted by: b at February 18, 2008 2:18 PM
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