STFU Parents: Keep Your Baby’s Umbilical Cord To Yourself
Most people know what an umbilical cord is whether they have kids or not, especially since at one time, we were all attached to one. It connected us to the placenta and in many ways sustained us. Fundamentally, I have no problem discussing this physiological necessity for development. But just because I used to have one, and my future child will have one, does not mean I’m interested in knowing about my friends’ babies’ umbilical cords via Facebook. Photo or not, if you’re posting about an umbilical cord on Facebook, it probably contains something that I didn’t want to see or read about. Otherwise, what made it Facebook status-worthy?
I think many parents believe that posting about something as harmless and fleeting as an umbilical cord isn’t even in the same realm as posting about a diaper explosion or projectile vomit. But those parents are wrong. All it takes is one word – like “stump” – to enter TMI territory from where I’m sitting. To prove my point, here are some examples of why you should consider keeping your baby’s umbilical cord to yourself.
1. The Smell
You know what I don’t want to think about? The smell of your baby’s umbilical cord stump. And you know what I didn’t need to know? That it finally fell off. S. and M. are quite the tag team of unnecessary information. Yuk yuk yuk.
2. The Dog Ate It
Listen, we all know dogs are crazy bastards who will eat just about anything. But that doesn’t mean it’s OK to announce on Facebook that you just watched your pet eat your kid’s umbilical cord stump. Nor does that announcement warrant a comment from mommy friends who think it’s perfectly normal to rifle through a dog’s turd to find a half-digested umbilical cord to tape into a baby book. GROSS. This leads me to example #3…
3. Your Friends Are Predictable
Give people a reason to make a crude joke, and someone will take you up on the offer. Even if Cory didn’t mean to encourage any jokes about “belly button thing soup,” he inadvertently did. And while that may be amusing to some, that joke is pretty nasty to others. (Like me.) Don’t give your friends excuses to reference eating body parts, temporary as they may be. This leads me to example #4…
4. Unfunny Umbilical Cord Jokes
While I appreciate Aaron’s extensive knowledge of what’s considered “edible” and what isn’t, there’s really no justification for posting this picture on Facebook just to make a lame Ebay joke. Also, “jalfrezi is a type of curry in which marinated pieces of meat or vegetables are fried in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce.” Thanks for that image, Craig. Seems that you and “Ryan delicious soup” from above have a lot in common.
5. Umbilical Cord Preservation
Umbilical cord preservation is a big trend right now, especially the art of fashioning cords into hearts. I understand that for some parents, the above picture is a beautiful thing that they’ll cherish forever. But to the rest of us who get squicked out just hearing the words “lotus birth,” this photo looks like a gooey, bloody mess that should be kept private. Don’t assume everyone wants to see your sentimental “masterpiece.” (That goes for all you placenta print enthusiasts, too!) If I want to look at your baby book because we’re close enough for me to care, I’ll be sure to let you know in person.