Last week, as I sat munching the remains of a soccer ball-shaped cake made in honour of my daughter’s 10th birthday, I wondered if I had failed as a father.
When she entered the world a decade ago, her arrival and the events leading up to it were met with virtually zero fanfare. Unlike Bill and Giuliana Rancic, I did not let a camera crew film our obstetrician conducting the first ultrasound. Unlike Jessica Simpson, my wife did not pose nude for a magazine during her final trimester. Unlike Beyonce and Jay-Z, I did not announce our child’s birth via a rap verse. And unlike Hillary Duff, I did not share exclusive details about our first “date night” after our child was born. For the record, Duff and her husband attended a Coldplay concert. I think my wife and I went to Taco Bell.
How could I have been so selfish?
I have no doubt that my little girl was every bit as cute, special, precious and amazing as Beyonce and Jay-Z’s little girl. For a while, I actually felt sorry for their daughter because she didn’t appear to have a last name. She was simply “Blue Ivy”. Eventually I learned her surname was Carter but by that time I had taken to calling her Blue Ivy Z.
The fact is, babies born to non-celebrity parents like me get the shaft. Paparazzi yawn, Twitter doesn’t crash and the only people on the Internet who will leave a comment or share the news are members of our immediate families. Yet, when Simpson gave birth to daughter Maxwell Drew Johnson on May 1, US Magazine called it BREAKING NEWS! More than 10,000 readers “liked” the article on their Facebook walls. Nearly 1,500 tweeted about it including Simpson herself, who also found time to post a birth announcement on her website. I do admire her stamina; when my kids were born, updating a website was the last thing on my wife’s mind. First, she would have had to create a website and trust me, there wasn’t enough room in the delivery room for my wife, myself, an obstetrics team and a web designer.
Why can’t celebrities just quietly have their kids and then shut up about it? Why can’t media outlets lump the arrival of a famous son or daughter in with all the other birth announcements? Imagine seeing Blue Ivy’s name and photo with a quick blurb about her parents (he’s a world-renowned music mogul, she’s a world-renowned music mogul) right after the couple from Rockaway, N.J., (he’s an insurance salesman, she’s a bank teller) announcing the birth of their fourth child.
If the media aren’t willing to tone down baby news, and if celebrity parents continue to grant interviews about colic, naps and poop, then I feel every baby should be given the star treatment. I have taken the liberty of creating a press release, normally reserved for famous mommies and daddies, and am making it available to all parents. Simply fill in the blanks and send it to every media outlet you can think of.
(Name of mother) and (name of father, boyfriend or sperm donor) proudly welcome (Name of baby. NOTE: Use back of form and be prepared to explain if baby has an uncommon name. Coldplay singer Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow needed two pages to state that yes, their daughter is really named “Apple”). (Baby name) entered the world on (date) after (explicit story about fertility treatments or where conception occurred), weighing in at (weight in pounds and ounces. NOTE: Large babies typically result in hurtful comments via the Internet. Proceed with caution).
(Name of baby) will reside in (Insert hometown. Insert two towns if parents have already split). For further information contact (name of nanny).
Incidentally, I just read that Snooki from “Jersey Shore” is expecting. While I have my fingers crossed that she will carry, deliver and raise her child in silence, that seems doubtful considering the headline that appeared in a recent New York news-paper:
“PREGO SNOOKI: NO BOOZE AND LESS TANNING FOR ME!”
Greg Schwem is a stand-up comedian and author of Text Me If You’re Breathing: Observations, Frustrations and Life Lessons From a Low-Tech Dad
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