Monday, June 15, 2009
A modest proposal
So today Sarah e-mailed me a link to a baby website.

This isn't anything new. As I've mentioned before, Sarah is a font of baby information. She's a veritable cornucopia of nativity trivia.

Say that out loud. It doesn't matter if there's someone else in the room with you and you worry they'll look at you funny. It's worth it. Trust me. Say, "veritable cornucopia of nativity trivia." I put those words together just for you, and you have to say them out loud in order to appreciate them properly.

Anyway, this current site talks about how big your baby is... compared to different foods.

Now at first, this seems okay. Babies and fruit share certain characteristics. Babies are natural. Fruit is natural. They both grow. They're both tied to reproduction.

Also, fruit is a good frame of reference. We all know how big a lime is, for example.

(Week 12: Your baby is as big as a lime.)

But as you scroll through the pictures, they don't use fruit exclusively. They use other foods, too, and some of these are... odd. Personally, I find it odd to compare a baby to things like a cooked shrimp, (which strikes me as creepy) or a pineapple (which makes my imaginary womb profoundly uncomfortable).

Plus, since they have a different food every week, they start running out of familiar fruits. I mean, when you tell me my baby is as big as a Mexican jicama, that's not really informative. The purpose of the fruit is to give me a handy basis for comparison, not to send me running to wikipedia.

Part of me would like to put together a different set of photos with different size/weight references. Week 20: Your baby is the size of a can of beer. Week 27: Your baby weighs as much as the US hardcover of The Name of the Wind.

I understand they were following a theme here. But really, why would you want to compare your baby to food? It's like Anne Geddes' work: cute when you first see it, then creepier and creepier the more you think about it.

Am I alone in thinking this?


P.S. Oot is, apparently, a rutabaga now.

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posted by Pat at


Anonymous AndyB said...

"The US hardcover of The Name of the Wind"? Speaking of making your imaginary womb profoundly uncomfortable...

June 15, 2009 11:47 PM  
Blogger sparkly_jules said...

So how big is your froot?

June 16, 2009 12:07 AM  
Anonymous James Thelman said...

The comparison creeps me out. I don't eat babies. Nor do I want to peel them, grate them, or slice them up on my salad. And I certainly don't want to carve one up for Halloween, though it would be in keeping with the holiday...

June 16, 2009 12:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your 'Modest Proposal' isn't quite as contentious as Swifts. Did you visit Ireland on your tour? Eat any babies?

June 16, 2009 12:51 AM  
Blogger Guy said...

My sisters child is currently at the 'Cauliflower' stage(27weeks).

She was not thrilled to learn this.

June 16, 2009 12:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ha! This baby comparison site looks like it is the exact same site that Brandon Sanderson used... A lime one day and then a jumbo shrimp the next. Also, those Anne Geddes pictures were quite creepy.

June 16, 2009 1:25 AM  
Anonymous Nyn said...

I agree with your view on Anne Geddes's pictures. Only, I never found them cute, just creepy. From the reactions I get from other people because of this, though, you'd think it was I who's the creep. Apparantly, not finding it cute to dress up babies as cauliflowers is a sure-fire indication of defects in one's motherhood-to-be department. Oh well.

June 16, 2009 2:16 AM  
Blogger Captain Joe said...

Creepy, indeed.

Perhaps a metaphorical frame of reference in varying works of fiction is the way to go.

'Your baby just left the Shire.'
'Your baby is halfway to Mordor.'
'Your baby was in Ithilien not three days ago.'

Oddly enough, I've no trouble converting events in LotR into real time. This is an achievement.

June 16, 2009 3:52 AM  
Blogger marky said...

Pat, are you trying to say pregnancy could be part of your five a day?

June 16, 2009 4:43 AM  
Anonymous Lisa said...

I like Captain Joe's idea.

20 weeks: Your baby has just arrived in Rivendale...

I'm at 15 weeks: Your baby has just arrived at the Prancing Pony in Bree.

June 16, 2009 5:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe one should be glad that they did not get the idea to compare the fetus to worse things... Like animals. Right now, your baby has the size of the average goldfish. Or mouse. Or cockroach. What a nice thought.
Although the idea of having a living shrimp in your womb is uncomfortable enough. And the pinapple is weird as well. About Anne Geddes: thank you for making me feel normal again. Nothing as creepy as baby-potplants! Poor things!
Is there more about your European adventures coming up??

June 16, 2009 5:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so with you on this. I'm 25 weeks now and the site I was using freaked me out at first with all the dates, oranges, grapes, even an avocado. It was like having Carmen Miranda's head in my uterus!! Mercifully my site stopped the fruit comparisons before the pineapple stage, I REALLY don't like the sound of that...

June 16, 2009 5:22 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

Congratulations on your rutabaga! :) I agree, fruit and vegetables just don't do it for me. I'd much rather have a geeky frame of reference. And I've never liked Anne Gedde's pictures. They always struck me as weird.

June 16, 2009 5:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is quite stupid ans wierd, but I like it anyway. More interesting than the German website:

June 16, 2009 5:37 AM  
Blogger Cynthia said...

comparing the size of the uterus to fruit made sense to me, as I imagined my uterus to be someone round with growing baby. but comparing the baby to fruit? not so much. I actually understand 2 inches long, 6 inches long, 12 inches long, etc.
and I completely agree about anne geddes' work.

June 16, 2009 6:00 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

.......... creepy.
Are they suggesting something about what to do with the child once it's fully developed?

June 16, 2009 6:11 AM  
Blogger Cory said...

The lime made my mind go back to Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys...

"...Are you the man with the lime?"

Pat, I guess you could answer yes.

Congratulations again on the baby.

June 16, 2009 6:14 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Oh, and as far as Sarah being a "veritable cornucopia of nativity trivia," most pregnant women suddenly become such. It's a bizarre side effect.

June 16, 2009 6:18 AM  
Blogger Wysen said...

I say you design a website comparing the baby to various d20 groupings size.

"Your baby is the size of 1d20."

"Your baby is the size of 5d20."

"Your baby is the size of 13d20."

"Your baby is the size of 100d20."

June 16, 2009 7:16 AM  
Blogger jorgemg said...

baby != fetus != embryo

I'd be willing to chop up the latter two on a petri dish (or cutting board if it suits your taste), but not the other.

June 16, 2009 7:35 AM  
Blogger Kelmar said...

Jorg, that's just nasty.

My 2nd child is 13 weeks and you can see on the sonogram he/she sucking his/her thumb. It's a baby! No matter the age.

June 16, 2009 8:08 AM  
Anonymous JeffT said...

We just had our baby Pat, and my wife signed us up for the same website. But know this - the emails don't stop once the baby is born. In fact you can receive little updates on what your baby is going through etc. until they're FOUR YEARS OLD! Thankfully the fruit references have stopped, however.

June 16, 2009 8:10 AM  
OpenID preita said...

'Week 20: Your baby is the size of a can of beer. Week 27: Your baby weighs as much as the US hardcover of The Name of the Wind.'

You should totally put this in the baby book. That would be awesome.

June 16, 2009 8:20 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

I loved that site when I was pregnant, but then I had an obsession with knowing exactly how big the baby was/how much he weighed. This proved to be a valid concern when his head was measured so large they referred to it as "OOR" (out of range) and a C-section suddenly became a very attractive option.

I like Captain Joe's idea. So does birth = going to the Undying Lands?

June 16, 2009 8:41 AM  
OpenID wimbittworld said...

Rutabagas are ugly. How strange to compare your sweet beautiful baby to such an ugly item. I agree. Some stuff more familiar and less creepy is needed for comparisons!

congrats, again, btw. Wow 25 weeks. past the half-way point. These middle weeks are really good ones. Enjoy it!

June 16, 2009 8:51 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

naw.. not alone... the creepy thing with anne geddy is so true... but im sure sarah knows what shes doing (or at least wants you to think so) and all is well. congrats again and again. lol - stay away from mexican fruit

June 16, 2009 10:01 AM  
Blogger An Albino Druid said...

Dear Pat, Sara, and Oot,

I am currently wondering what fruit I would be right now, week 942 or such since conception.

That is all
I remain...

Respectfully Yours,
An Albino Druid
Supporting the World's Largest Fruits Industries Since 1992

June 16, 2009 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Steve Deas said...

I'd go for Lego. Your baby is the size of one of those tiny Lego bits with one knobble. Your baby is the size of a little lego police man. Your baby is the size of a lego fire engine. Your baby is not the size of a lego death star and you're going into surgery right now... That sort of thing.

June 16, 2009 12:44 PM  
Blogger D said...

Perhaps you've hit on something - a gestational calendar with photos of babies dressed up as jicama, cooked shrimp, and pineapples (with the real thing alongside for reference, of course).
It's brilliant! We'll be RICH.
Just start sewing the costumes now, and they'll be ready by the time oot is born to model them...

June 16, 2009 2:05 PM  
Blogger Autumn said...

I know exactly what you baby is at the Swiss Chard stage. I didn't even know what Chard was...much less the international variety. Is it different then American Chard?

June 16, 2009 2:20 PM  
Blogger Autumn said...

This post has been removed by the author.

June 16, 2009 2:21 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

I don't want to imagine giving birth to a pineapple. And after the time I spent in shared student housing, I don't want to imagine giving birth to something a lime could become. Can't we have an actual baby related comparison? As in; you know those cute little bootees? Your baby currently fits entirely in one of those!


June 16, 2009 2:49 PM  
Blogger Juli said...

A rutabaga? That's worse than saying "your baby is the size of a potato." Rutabagas come in a variety of sizes, from as small as a big lime to as large as as jicama. Not a very good comparison.

June 16, 2009 4:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have any news about your next book? I have been eagerly awaiting “Wise Man’s Fear” and am hoping that since February you have completed the revisions so that we will have the book before the end of the year is out. Any news would be good news and appreciated. Thank you.

June 16, 2009 5:24 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

For an absolutely awesome (and terrifying) food/baby linkage, check out this incredibly creepy Martha Stewart video in which she dresses your baby (like a turkey) for thanksgiving...very odd...

June 17, 2009 12:46 AM  
Blogger susan said...

wow, robert. That is truly the most scary thing I have ever seen. It's like she served them up for dinner. Iew!!!!

word verification tarporsp, also some kind of fruit that a baby can be????

June 17, 2009 1:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Concerning the topic of the Thanksgiving-babies:
The world is sick. Really sick.
Who would do such a thing? That's even worse than baby-potplants! Those childs have no other choice but to grow up and become serial killers who go hunting on thanksgiving for frilly-aproned wives with poultry shears and "dress" them...

June 17, 2009 5:53 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Great! Parasite is a pineapple this week. I think I could have gone pretty much the rest of my life without knowing that. Maybe I'll mention that fun fact to my doctor at my appointment today. Yeah, that site is weird. I think I'm going back to and look for more fun clothes for our little nerdlet instead, even though my mother really doesn't like the bib I ordered that says "Zombie Snack."

June 17, 2009 10:36 AM  
Blogger gapyeargirl123 said...

I like Joe's idea too. When my mum was pregnant with my younger brother, she called him 'Frodo'.

June 17, 2009 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat--great update. A hearty congrats to you and Sarah coming from the father of a 4 month old. We went from him being a bean, to a shrip, to a sweet potato, to a fish, to a guinea pig, to a octopus, etc. (Mind you, I'm in Peru so they sound much better in spanish--camote, cuy) I hope that you are ready for long nights. How is Sarah doing? Hopefully not having too rough of a time of it. Make sure you take good care of her or else you'll be hearing about it later! Sorrry, lost my train on though. Take care, all the best again. Josh

June 17, 2009 12:20 PM  
Blogger Tristan said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed this when we received emails from Babycenter.

The weirdest part is they often used foods I'd never even heard of! "This week, your baby is about the size of a Greek squash!"

I mean what??

June 17, 2009 2:07 PM  
Blogger Steven said...

I very much enjoy the title of this blog!

Fruit sure is delicious...

Thanks Pat, Keep it up!

June 17, 2009 2:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey how about some more info concerning book two :D your blogs are always very funny but the suspence is killin everyone

June 17, 2009 5:52 PM  
Anonymous Vasko said...

I wish I could say yes you are alone, but you aren't my wife is consistently showing me wierd baby themes, we are about 6months along now. Wonder where that is on the fruit chart, apparently he is about 2lbs.

I was still pulling to use Kvothe as his name but I guess we are settling with Caden. Mostly cause I couldn't get any help from you to get her on my side.

June 17, 2009 10:24 PM  
Blogger Pirate said...

Heehee Capt'n Joe ftw! :D

Though you could use Douglas Adams as a reference aswell.
Your Child is on Margareth...

June 17, 2009 11:03 PM  
Blogger jkoznek said...

My wife and I use that site all the time. She is due any day. I think it's very odd to compare your offspring to things you eat.
I like the name Oot. We used "it" until we were corrected.. This whole pregnancy thing isn't as bad as I thought. The worst part of it is everyone constantly saying "It's only going to get worse"... Like we don't know the eminence of the situation.

June 18, 2009 12:17 AM  
Anonymous Ryan K. said...

Mmmmm ... baby.

June 18, 2009 10:58 AM  
Anonymous Darb07 said...

Borders says a wise man's fear is comming out August 30th. I know this not to be true for though you are a god literary god, your minions assure a little while longer. though i know this to be off topic i can't but wish you luck on the continuation of whatever is left of the process to get the second volume of the new testiment out. good luck with oot the fruit and your commandments yet to come. thanks for such a great read so far!!

June 18, 2009 11:08 AM  
Blogger Alexis said...

As someone female I NEVER wanted the image of trying to expel a pumpkin from my body. There's already something very disturbing about thinking about giving birth to something as large as a baby, but I've had so long to think about it it doesn't bother me. A pumpkin still deeply disturbs me....

June 18, 2009 4:11 PM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

I'm so excited for you guys!! I'm 34 weeks now and my belly is crazy-big. I had a stranger stop her car the other day and ask if I was due tomorrow. Uh. No. Six more weeks, but thanks. Have people never seen a pregnant belly before?

I find the food comparisons kind of odd too. At our first ultrasound there was a jumbo-size gummy bear taped to the machine with the words "Your baby at [whatever] weeks." So we referred to the baby as "gummy bear" for a while. Now we call her
"Professor". We tossed it around as a name, mainly because we love the idea of her first grade teacher having to call on her in class: "Yes, Professor?" We amuse ourselves :-)

June 18, 2009 10:04 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Fruits are ovaries, of course. There is a clear connection -- no, no, there's not.

Swift references make me happy. :)

June 18, 2009 10:50 PM  
Blogger Howard said...

Speaking of profound things about babies:
1) Watching baby birthing videos was, for me, profoundly icky. A person should probably never watch those videos unless
a) said person wants strong motivation to avoid having kids, or
b) it's too late to prevent having a child (a person is already pregnant).
2) Watching our own baby being born, however, was for me simply profound.

June 19, 2009 12:06 AM  
OpenID limabeanbreath said...

Forwarding this to my brother and his wife, the latter of which is with... a lentil.

P.S. While I tackle knitting baby clothes, think I can make a hat for Oot?

June 19, 2009 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat a question, not related to this post. I've just finished reading a column you did in the Pointer Online. It's about the time you lost your backpack, did you got it back?

p.s. Say hi to Sara and little Oot for me.


June 19, 2009 12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Rothfuss,

Please, please, please... get another book to print. Please.

I go through books like a paper shredder and picked up Name of the Wind after I was out of things to read by my 4 or 5 authors. It was great but then I go back to find out what else you have and when the next book will be out and.... you have a gift, I will buy your book, publish it! :)

June 19, 2009 12:18 PM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

This stuff is funny. This entire conversation is funny. Pat, maybe by the time Oot is born, we're all gonna feel like one large, strange family.

wv: paces. no kidding. a real word.

June 19, 2009 12:31 PM  
Blogger DrMartin said...

wonderful.. congratulations buddy :P

June 19, 2009 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I don't like comparing babies to anything. Invites way too much creepiness. o.O

June 19, 2009 9:17 PM  
Anonymous laura said...

Captain Joe, if you have any web savvy at all, i beg you to develop that LOTR/Baby website, or find someone who can. frankly, the normal baby sites creep me out, but i could definitely get on board with something like that.

at 10 weeks, i'd like to think that my parasite is chillaxin' in Rivendell, but there's currently no way for me to know definitively! think of the babies!

June 20, 2009 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Ben said...

Happy Father's Day, Pat! Hope your first one is great as you and Sarah prepare for many more in the future!

June 21, 2009 7:36 AM  
Blogger Stewart said...

FUNNY! Ur definitely not the only one thinking that comparing fruit to the size of babys. Wat if they did food comparisons as a size chart in some country? weird.......

June 21, 2009 7:56 PM  
Anonymous april sullivan said...

I just said "veritable cornucopia of nativity trivia" out loud 3 times and loved it. Thanks

June 26, 2009 9:40 AM  
Blogger WiL said...

wait... 62 comments and not one person mentions rothfuss tagged an obscure programming language? I didn't even know Pat knew how to program a computer, let alone had an interest in graphical BF variants

June 26, 2009 7:57 PM  
Anonymous Frank said...

I would just like to say: 63 comments and no one has mentioned Jonathan Swift and his "modest proposal" ala the title of this blog.

Bravo, that was quite cleverily sneaky of you.

June 29, 2009 11:33 AM  
Blogger Sam said...

Frank beat me. Doh.
Anyways, the comparison makes me think of stem-cell research and eating babies, which leads me to think - why can't we just clone human embryos to harvest for food?
You see, they wouldn't be wasted or violated lives because they would be used in the highest service of all - allowing humanity to swell and expand past previous food intake limits, as well as providing a rare delicacy for those well-moneyed among us to flaunt their wealth with. Imagine walking down the street when you see your neighbor, driving in a ubiquitous luxury convertible with the top down, spoon inside belly, extracting the entrails like caviar.
Mmm, delicious!

June 30, 2009 9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dressed my daughter as a lobster for Halloween when she was a crawler. I still refer to her "delicious" toes and we make BigLittle "sandwiches" that get some tickely mustard before they are gobbled up. So, I'm not really having a problem with the ongoing food analogy.

July 1, 2009 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Jeannine Meeker said...

My best friend is also preggers and started using the fruit analogies for the early weeks after finding that site as well. I found it distracting while reading her emails about the human sprout's progress as it just made me want sangria... then I pictured a fragile fetus floating in the sangria instead of orange wheels and lime smiles. I shuddered. Then I had an extra strnegth margarita to wash my mind clean. I highly recommend getting as many margaritas in before the thing is birthed as there won't be much time for them afterwards--plus then you'll have to share them with Sarah.

July 2, 2009 9:31 PM  
Blogger Carlos Flanders said...

Clever boy...Jonathon Swift. I see at least one other person got that reference!

July 3, 2009 11:13 AM  
Blogger candida said...

1) your book came into my hands after nearly 9 months of living in Korea - close to bookless. I could barely put it down. Thank you for allowing me to get lost in another world for the better part of my weekend. I look forward to going back into it with the publication of "The Wise Man's Fear"

2) when i followed the weird baby-fruit link on your blog, i was signed in as sarah.mary.thompson ...was that intentional?

July 5, 2009 7:21 AM  
Anonymous April said...

Is it any more creepy, really, than the fact that we anthropomorphize food all the time? I used to get really, really creeped out by the goldfish commercial (especially the part where the songs says that they want you to bite their heads off.) After that, I started paying attention to more food commercials (and also not studying for my M.A. Exams) and realized that a whole lot of food commercials have cute little personifications. Soooo creepy.

July 10, 2009 9:21 PM  
Blogger michael said...

The first time I read "A Modest Proposal" Ole' Johnny Swift left me equal parts tickled and squirmy. Yours is just as entertaining but less pretentious, but thats why we keep coming back.

P.S. I was going to grip about book two but I read the whole, "I have a life too" blog that you posted. It gave me pause. You are pretty cool fellow, Pat. Keep up the good work. I'll just re-read the first book because it IS that good. If it takes another two years to make book two as good as book one then take your time, make it good enough to re-read while you finish book three.

July 13, 2009 2:11 AM  

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