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.

This entry was posted in Oot, Pregnancy, Sarah, Wierd ShitBy Pat70 Responses


  1. AndyB
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 5:47 AM | Permalink

    “The US hardcover of The Name of the Wind”? Speaking of making your imaginary womb profoundly uncomfortable…

  2. sparkly_jules
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:07 AM | Permalink

    So how big is your froot?

  3. James Thelman
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:21 AM | Permalink

    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…

  4. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

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

  5. Guy
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:54 AM | Permalink

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

    She was not thrilled to learn this.

  6. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

    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.

  7. Nyn
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 8:16 AM | Permalink

    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.

  8. Captain Joe
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    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.

  9. marky
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

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

  10. Lisa
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:18 AM | Permalink

    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.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:21 AM | Permalink

    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??

  12. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:22 AM | Permalink

    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…

  13. Kari
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:29 AM | Permalink

    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.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    It is quite stupid ans wierd, but I like it anyway. More interesting than the German website: http://www.babycenter.de/pregnancy/entwicklung/wochen/05wochen/

  15. Cynthia
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

    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.

  16. Amanda
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

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

  17. Cory
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 12:14 PM | Permalink

    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.

  18. Amanda
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 12:18 PM | Permalink

    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.

  19. Jay Belt
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    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.”

  20. jorgemg
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 1:35 PM | Permalink

    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.

  21. Kelmar
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    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.

  22. JeffT
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 2:10 PM | Permalink

    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.

  23. preita
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 2:20 PM | Permalink

    ‘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.

  24. Cat
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 2:41 PM | Permalink

    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?

  25. wimbittworld
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 2:51 PM | Permalink

    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!

  26. Vae
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 4:01 PM | Permalink

    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

  27. An Albino Druid
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:32 PM | Permalink

    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

  28. Steve Deas
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 6:44 PM | Permalink

    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.

  29. D
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 8:05 PM | Permalink

    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…

  30. Autumn
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    I know exactly what you mean..my 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?

  31. Alicia
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 8:49 PM | Permalink

    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!


  32. SonomaLass
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 10:51 PM | Permalink

    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.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted June 16, 2009 at 11:24 PM | Permalink

    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.

  34. Robert
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 6:46 AM | Permalink

    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…


  35. susan
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    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????

  36. Anonymous
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    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…

  37. Jennifer
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 4:36 PM | Permalink

    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 ThinkGeek.com 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.”

  38. gapyeargirl123
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 5:23 PM | Permalink

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

  39. Anonymous
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    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

  40. Tristan
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 8:07 PM | Permalink

    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??

  41. Steven
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 8:55 PM | Permalink

    I very much enjoy the title of this blog!

    Fruit sure is delicious…

    Thanks Pat, Keep it up!

  42. Anonymous
    Posted June 17, 2009 at 11:52 PM | Permalink

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

  43. Vasko
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 4:24 AM | Permalink

    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.

  44. Madeline
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 5:03 AM | Permalink

    Heehee Capt’n Joe ftw! :D

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

  45. James
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 6:17 AM | Permalink

    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.

  46. Ryan K.
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 4:58 PM | Permalink

    Mmmmm … baby.

  47. Darb07
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    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!!

  48. Alexis
    Posted June 18, 2009 at 10:11 PM | Permalink

    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….

  49. Laini Taylor
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 4:04 AM | Permalink

    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 :-)

  50. Laura
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 4:50 AM | Permalink

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

    Swift references make me happy. :)

  51. Howard
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 6:06 AM | Permalink

    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.

  52. limabeanbreath
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 5:08 PM | Permalink

    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?

  53. Anonymous
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 6:16 PM | Permalink

    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.


  54. Anonymous
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 6:18 PM | Permalink

    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! :)

  55. logankstewart
    Posted June 19, 2009 at 6:31 PM | Permalink

    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.

  56. DrMartin
    Posted June 20, 2009 at 2:18 AM | Permalink

    wonderful.. congratulations buddy :P

  57. Matt
    Posted June 20, 2009 at 3:17 AM | Permalink

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

  58. laura
    Posted June 20, 2009 at 2:27 PM | Permalink

    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!

  59. Ben
    Posted June 21, 2009 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

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

  60. Stewart
    Posted June 22, 2009 at 1:56 AM | Permalink

    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…….

  61. april sullivan
    Posted June 26, 2009 at 3:40 PM | Permalink

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

  62. WiL
    Posted June 27, 2009 at 1:57 AM | Permalink

    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

  63. Frank
    Posted June 29, 2009 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

    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.

  64. Sam
    Posted July 1, 2009 at 3:36 AM | Permalink

    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!

  65. Anonymous
    Posted July 1, 2009 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    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.

  66. Jeannine Meeker
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 3:31 AM | Permalink

    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.

  67. Carlos Flanders
    Posted July 3, 2009 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

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

  68. candida
    Posted July 5, 2009 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

    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?

  69. April
    Posted July 11, 2009 at 3:21 AM | Permalink

    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.

  70. michael
    Posted July 13, 2009 at 8:11 AM | Permalink

    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.

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