Cultural expectations shade and color the images that parents- to-be form. The baby product ads, showing a woman serenely holding her child, looking blissfully and mysteriously contented, or the television parents, wisely and humorously solving problems, influence parents-to-be.
(Ellen Galinsky (20th century), U.S. author and researcher. Between Generations, ch. 1 (1981).)
I don't want her to have a cat because she'll end up talking baby talk to the cat. That's the way it is, and how can a P.I. do that?
(Sue Grafton (b. 1940), U.S. mystery novelist. As quoted in the New York Times, p. C10 (August 4, 1994).
On why Kinsey Millhone, the private-investigator heroine of her popular series of mystery novels, will never have a cat.)
Well, Pa, a woman can change better than a man. A man lives, sort of, well, in jerks. A baby's born or somebody dies and that's a jerk. He gets a farm or loses it and that's a jerk. With a woman, it's all in one flow, like a stream. Little eddies and waterfalls, but the river, it goes right on. A woman looks at it that way.
(Nunnally Johnson (1897-1977), U.S. screenwriter, and John Ford. Ma Joad (Jane Darwell), The Grapes of Wrath, reply when Pa says she's the one who keeps the family going (1940).
Based on the novel by John Steinbeck.)
Everyone knows that by far the happiest and universally enjoyable age of man is the first. What is there about babies which makes us hug and kiss and fondle them, so that even an enemy would give them help at that age?
I've always been impressed by the different paths babies take in their physical development on the way to walking. It's rare to see a behavior that starts out with such wide natural variation, yet becomes so uniform after only a few months.
(Lawrence Kutner (20th century), U.S. child psychologist and author. Pregnancy and Your Baby's First Year, ch. 9 (1993).)
Suddenly we have a baby who poops and cries, and we are trying to calm, clean up, and pin things together all at once. Then as fast as we learn to copeso soonit is hard to recall why diapers ever seemed so important. The frontiers change, and now perhaps we have a teenager we can't reach.