Queen Victoria's Toupee

Daron admits that he wasn't aware of the merkin phenomenon.

A few days ago, I called a very good friend of mine “Johnny” –- father of two -– who is both hilarious and completely trustworthy with anything we discuss. Embarrassing stories, good jokes, serious personal issues, you name it and Johnny can engage in meaningful and always hilarious dialogue. Plus, I owed him a call because he left me a joking voice message a week ago telling me to call him back to discuss the fact that he is “looking at an investment property in an old folks home” and to “call me back ASAP.” This guy is nuts. But he has always been very smart and sometimes even cocky about the trickier parts of manhood.

I wanted to ask “Johnny” (with a very serious tone) if he knew much about what sometimes happens to men as they accompany the expectant mom on the journey of pregnancy, and in tonight’s case, what Thomas was going through. Now I assumed that since “Johnny” has traveled down the road of pregnancy twice as an accomplice, he would absolutely know that a man’s hormones were at risk of changing and that he could gain weight, sleep terribly, have morning sickness – sympathetic pregnancy symptoms. This was also a loaded question, because before “Johnny’s” first baby was born, I was witness to him putting on a solid 25 pounds, and I remember him as being irritable, and most of all, I knew that he was supremely educated about this. “My man boob era? Of course, I know this phase.” As expected.

Now since I knew that I had him in a very comfortable point in our conversation, and I could sense a few overconfident make-fun-of-Daron comments coming my way, I hit him with a question that was the real reason for my call: “Time out. Separate topic. I doubt you do, but are you familiar with what a merkin is?” Silence followed… and then, “What the hell are you talking about?” Got him! I finally one-upped “Johnny” and it felt good. If I’m being honest, when Rosie brought up the merkin topic (or Queen Victoria’s toupee as described tonight) to me after dinner last week, I absolutely 100% played along as if I knew what this merkin thing really was. But I was as clueless as “Johnny” was when asked. Thankfully, she figured I knew what it was and I actually managed to change the topic so quickly that she couldn’t quiz me on it. I also seemed to entirely lose my self-confidence, because I felt like I missed a chapter in boyhood, college, or even manhood when I should’ve learned about Ms. Merkin.

But “Johnny” proved that it wasn’t just me, other men out there have never heard of this crazy accessory. Also, as Thomas proved, soon-to-be dads may not know a thing about sympathetic pregnancies either. Why would they prior to having kids?

Why is it that even as men approach mid-life, there is so much about women that remains a mystery?

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The Privilege of Parenting

Rosie wanted to deal with her own issues so she could be the best parent possible.

People often ask me why I do what I do. I think it is so important for people to understand the passion I have for helping people be the best parents they can be and to get educated about the process. Parenting is truly a privilege. This episode I decided to open up a little about my past to help you understand a little more about where this passion comes from. You were all so supportive when I was honest about my struggles with fertility, so I wanted to be honest with you about my relationship with my own mom as well. The thing is, as parents we help to shape our children. Of course, there are many other things that go into who they become, but parents have a lot to do with it. This honor should be taken so seriously, and I think it’s at the core of what I do.

Honestly at the beginning of the season I had no idea things would take such a personal direction. But finding out I was having a girl and coming to terms with my speech issues brought to the forefront so many issues from my past that I think I had chosen to lock away. I'm good at locking things away in tiny boxes in my head! It’s a survival technique...probably not a good one, but hey, I am a work in progress! Pregnancy is really a time to come to terms with the parts of you that you don't like, because as a parent, we have to love who we are. We have to be proud of ourselves so we can be role models to our children. If there is any self-hate in there, it will get brought out the moment you look into your child's eyes, because you'll want to hide those sides of you and doing that in my opinion always leads to disaster. Children know when you are not being honest with them about whom and what you are.

So I decided to take a long, hard look at who I am, why I do what I do, and to try and get to a better place with what I think about myself so I can be the best role model possible for my children. I hope in some way that understanding better who I am will help all of you in your own lives get to a place of love for yourself. Whether you are becoming a parent, already are a parent, or not one yet a parent, you deserve it! Life is just too short to live so full of pain. If I can do it, so can you.

Shop Rosie Pope Maternity, MomPrep Classes, read my blog, and meet our experts at www.rosiepope.com. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @.

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