Single Mother By Choice: The Baby Book
By Evie Peck
When I was 9 months pregnant, I walked into a major chain baby store and I saw something I really wanted: a BABY BOOK – the kind where you write down everything that happens- first bath, first smile, first solid poop… It had a hard cover, thick pages and places to add photos… I started scrolling through:
Page 1: Baby’s birth statistics.
Page 2: About mom
Page 3: About dad
I was a single mom to be. I did have a dad in the picture; my best friend of twenty years was my sperm donor. Though we wouldn’t be co-parenting, I would put him in the “ABOUT DAD” page.
Page 4: Mom and Dad’s wedding
Well first of all, my best friend was gay, so we weren’t getting married! And what about the same sex parents who can’t marry! I was livid. I was hot and sweaty and HUGE and outraged.
“EXCUSE ME!” I yelled to an employee; she was maybe nineteen and this was most likely her first job.
“Yes?” she came over with a bright smile, “How may I help you?”
“Um ,” I looked at her name tag. Carrie. I gave a sarcastic laugh, “Well, Carrie, you can tell me where the baby books for alternative families are, THANK YOU!” I shot her an iron glare, knowing she would NOT be able to deliver.
“Yes! Our baby books are right here. I see you are holding one.” She was so naive.
“This is the only baby book you have?” I was gonna get her; I was like Johnnie Cochran with the small glove.
“Yes,” she said as innocent as a kitten.
I opened the book to the incriminating evidence. “Do you see that this book asks not only for the information for both parents specifically as MOM and DAD, but also asks for information about a WEDDING?!”
The salesgirl blinked. Clueless.
“Do you understand the problem here, Carrie? What if you are a single mom, like me? Do you just rip the dad page out? If you do, you miss out on the grandparents’ info on the back. And what if you are a gay couple? You can’t legally get married in most states, can you?” I was yelling at this poor girl, who was turning red.
There was silence and then a nervous laugh. “Ummm…. we must be out of them.”
“Out of them, huh!? But you said this was the only one.”
“Ummmm. We must have run out of the other kind.”
I was going to make her show me the other kind on the computer… I took a deep breath. I looked at the poor girl. I was having a hormonal rage and I was yelling at someone who was completely innocent. “I’m sorry, Carrie,” I said. “This isn’t your fault.”
“That’s OK,” she said happily, probably because she could tell I was leaving. Then she added, “There really should be a book that all families can use.”
I left the store feeling hopeful… and entrepreneurial. Maybe I’ll make that book.