This is totally random, and if you wonder what kind of crazy I am peddling, this might give you some idea. If you didn't know already.
So, this very bold little bird strutted across my path the other day. I've seen birds get aggressive when defending nests, and this made me start thinking about baby birds. And nesting. And eggs.
And then I started thinking, you know, it might be better if we hatched out of eggs, rather than being born. I am sure this idea currently appeals to me as I have more and more friends who are pregnant or have recently had a baby, and are sharing a multitude of graphic, painful, and alarming tidbits.
But beyond my own fear of pain and stretching and tearing and such, this hatching from eggs could solve a lot of problems, I think. I don't mean like being all genetically engineered and decanted and brainwashed, all Brave New Worldishly. I mean this.
I haven't worked out the details. But broadly, my thinking is along these lines. If we hatched out of eggs, then only the people who really, really wanted to have kids, and were willing and able to be vigilant and to nurture their egg would have them.
If people hatched, there wouldn't be babies with fetal alcohol syndrome, or babies born to mothers with serious drug problems, or to really young teens who stick them in the trash in a junior high school bathroom. Foe example. Someone would have to take responsibility for the egg till it hatched, or it just wouldn't hatch.
The teenagers who accidentally got pregnant would likely leave their eggs under the bleachers in the football stadium. Women without the ability to care for a kid, for whatever reason - alcohol, drugs, whatever - who got knocked up might leave their eggs in some random corner. And these eggs just wouldn't hatch.
If you got pregnant but didn't want the baby, you could give your egg to someone who really wanted a kid to take care of until it hatched. It would be a huge and obvious commitment, and one would have to take constant care of it to make sure that it would hatch into a healthy kid. One couldn't, for example, take it on a roller coaster at an amusement park. Scrambled egg? Not hatching.
I arrived at work with this idea in my head, and ran into Marta. She said, after rolling her eyes and laughing, sure, maybe, unless there were lots of people who behaved like cowbirds. Cowbirds?
She'd just been reading about cowbirds, which she'd heard described as the "lazy sluts of the bird world" - or something like that. (The technical term, it turns out, is "brood parasite.")
She sent me this cowbird information from Audobon. Basically, rather than making their own nests and hatching their own eggs, they stick their eggs in other nests and trick other birds into incubating their eggs and raising their chicks. Which works if you're a bird. You're just trying to propagate your species, no?
Obviously this wouldn't work with humans; if you really wanted your child, you couldn't just stick your egg in someone else's care and expect to get your kid back. You could, however, pay someone for pre-natal babysitting.
I suppose you'd have to find a way to mark your egg as yours, to prevent someone nefariously swapping eggs with you, or having your supermarket cart with your egg in it getting accidentally switched with that of another shopper. Maybe you'd have a very distinctive egg cozy. Or you could color on it with crayons or something. I definitely wouldn't dye it like an Easter egg - hot water and dye would probably not be good for it.
So, I don't know if you ever find yourself thinking about something, and then decide to write it down, just because, and then you kind of get into it. And then you realize that you've gotten to the point of suggesting that, really, for safety's sake, you probably shouldn't dye your pre-hatched progeny.
Happy Thursday, everyone.