Ep. 65: Raising a Baby Costs How Much!?

September 30, 2019

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Laura and Shanna go head-to-head in another exciting round of trivia in the special segment “Stump the New Mom,” where they discover just how much money it will cost to raise their babies to adulthood. Also, Shanna talks about bringing her eight-month-old daughter to an important doctor’s appointment, and Laura discusses her first day away from her seven-month-old son. Finally, they reveal their BFPs and BFNs for the week. Shanna’s baby is eight months and three weeks old, and Laura’s baby is seven months and three weeks old.




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Episode Transcript


Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive with Shanna and Laura. This week we have our weekly check-ins. We have our special segment, Stump the New Mom, where Shanna and Laura go head to head about some really surprising facts and we have our BFPs and BFNs for the week. Let’s get to it.


Laura Birek: Hi. Welcome to Big Fat Positive. This is episode 65. Hi, Shanna. How are you doing?

Shanna Micko: Hi. Well, as you can probably hear, I’ve been better. I have a little cold. Sorry for the raspy voice today, everybody.

Laura Birek: I’m sorry your voice is feeling raspy. That’s a sucky position to be.

Shanna Micko: Guess who I caught it from?

Laura Birek: Your neighbor who is really rude.

Shanna Micko: She is a really rude neighbor, but that’s beside the point. No, I caught it from CeCe.

Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. I could have guessed that.

Shanna Micko: Other than that, we’re doing really well. CeCe’s eight months, three weeks now and some of the positives are she is getting really good at standing up by herself. She lets go off stuff and balances.

Laura Birek: Ooh.

Shanna Micko: We try to catch it on video and we’re like, oh my God, five seconds. She’s really working on that and taking little steps. We have a little walker pusher.

Laura Birek: Okay. I know those.

Shanna Micko: It looks like a lion or Fisher-Price thing or something. I have to kind of force her into this situation. She doesn’t just really go and do it herself. But if I’m like, “CeCe, come here. You want to try this? I’ll stand her up next to it and she’ll be like, “Ooh, ooh,” and take a couple steps. So it’s really cute.

Laura Birek: That is really cute. Is it scary? Is there a lot of bunkage happening?

Shanna Micko: That’s a good question. She’s actually pretty graceful in how she falls. One of the other things she’s been doing is practicing squats. It’s ridiculous. 

She holds onto the gate or whatever she’s holding onto and she’ll just squat up and down and up and down and I think that’s like a baby’s way of kind of practicing getting from standing to the floor.

Laura Birek: That makes sense.

Shanna Micko: So she’s actually not terrible at falling over. Of course, it does happen occasionally, but she’s kind of like a graceful little ballet Swan just pleaing down to the ground and plopping.

Laura Birek: She was doing planks and now she’s doing squats. Is she just putting us to shame with her exercise routine? How many reps is she doing?

Shanna Micko: She takes class at my gym.

Laura Birek: She’s definitely been to the gym more than I have in the last 10 months.

Shanna Micko: Same. That’s the only gym time I’ve gotten is taking her to the baby gym. Yeah, she’s a fit little eight month old. So the other thing this week I wanted to talk about is remember back in episode 51 when I talked about how my C-section area still hurt?

Laura Birek: Oh, yeah. Totally. That was about four months ago or so.

Shanna Micko: Maybe when I was about four or five months postpartum and it’s hurt since I gave birth basically and has never gone away. So it’s super frustrating and annoying and I’ve been neglecting it because self-care is the lowest thing on my menu I was going to say, but menu doesn’t work: agenda.

Laura Birek: Agenda to your to-do list. I hear that neglecting pain really works out in the end. It’s a good plan.

Shanna Micko: Good.

Laura Birek: Just push it aside and will never rear its ugly head.

Shanna Micko: It’s just going to magically make itself better.

Laura Birek: Tell me about that. Go ahead.

Shanna Micko: I finally called my OB and he’s like, “I don’t think it’s anything serious. Come see me.” I had to wait a month to get an appointment with him.

Laura Birek: Wow.

Shanna Micko: Then he did an ultrasound. He was like, “It’s not lesions or anything like that. I think it’s scar tissue. So go see this physical therapist who specializes in women’s pain, especially postpartum pain,” and it took me a month to get in there too. So further neglect of my pain, not on my doing, but just waiting and waiting. This appointment was so important to me, which I just got to let you know how this story’s setting up.

Laura Birek: Yeah, keep going. I’m on the edge of my seat.

Shanna Micko: I work from home and I don’t have childcare and I don’t love spending a lot of money on childcare when I’m also spending money on appointments and stuff. So I was like, “Can I just bring my baby to this appointment?” They’re like, “Yeah, sure. As long as she doesn’t cause a distraction, et cetera.” We do that all the time. I’m like, okay, we’ll give it a whirl. I get there and I put her in her stroller and bring her in and she is the hit of the waiting room. She is the darling, everyone loves her. She’s so smiley and sweet and happy and I had to wait like 15 minutes at least before they called my name. They were running behind and so I’m just getting more on the edge of my seat every minute that goes by. I’m like, I’m losing her.

Laura Birek: I know that feeling.

Shanna Micko: Oh, God, I can tell. We finally get called in and we go back to kind of more like an exam room instead of the workout area and as soon as I get up on the exam table, CeCe starts whining and crying and I’m so anxious. I’ve been having some anxiety issues and so I’m so nervous and I’m just like, oh my God, I really need this appointment to go well, so I can find out what’s going on with me. I need to be able to come back and she’s the woman massaging my tight fascia, which is what I found out is going on.

Laura Birek: Yeah, she is. Massage that tight fascia. Sorry. I didn’t need to make it sexual.

Shanna Micko: Well, I couldn’t even enjoy the tight fascia massage, because my baby’s whining and crying and so I’m like sitting up every two seconds, handing her toys, handing her, her water cup and she’s just like, “Eh. Eh,” and then I get the bright idea. I’m like, “Maybe I can hold her while you massage my fascia and figure everything out.” She’s like, “Okay. Usually, the babies that come in here are much smaller and really don’t create such a fuss.” She said that in a nice way. It was not judgmental, but I felt like such an ass. So I bring her up on the table and I’m lying on my back and trying to hold this wiggly eight month old and she is stepping all over me and so angry that I won’t let her go and then of course she spits up right on my face and on the pillow.

Laura Birek: So after she throws up all over you and the pillow, what happens?

Shanna Micko: I wipe up and I’m apologizing and the PT is so nice. She’s like, “It’s okay. Why don’t we put her on the ground?” I’m like, “That’s a terrible idea, but sure.” She lays out some sheet and I’m like, yeah, she’s really going to stay on that sheet. But I put her down anyway, because at this point I’m just so damn flustered and I still want this to work. I put her on the sheet and of course, she immediately goes towards the trash, towards the supply cart. I mean everything. She makes her way around and uses the PT’s leg to pull up to standing and then she just started crying in this woman’s face. Then the woman picks her up and puts her on her lap and I’m like, yeah, that’s really going to help.

Laura Birek: Oh my gosh, what a good sport though?

Shanna Micko: She was really trying. She was really sweet and CeCe’s crying in her lap and I’m just like, oh my God, let me give her a bottle. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier, so I make a bottle and give that to her and that bought us five minutes.

Laura Birek: A good five minutes.

Shanna Micko: She sucked those suckers down. It was a good five minutes. It was the only time I was relaxed the entire time. She was explaining to me what was going on and what we need to do, et cetera, and she finished the bottle and it was just all over the place. I was like, “I got to go.” I just cut the appointment short. I left after 30 minutes. It was supposed to be an hour.

Laura Birek: Oh, wow.

Shanna Micko: I was like, “I’m so sorry.” I go out to the waiting room and they’re like, “Do you want to set up your future appointments?” I’ve got CeCe hanging off one arm. I’m pushing the stroller with the other arm. All our shit is piled on the stroller. I was like, “I’ll call you. Bye,” and just walked out with the baby hanging in my arm and I haven’t called back.

Laura Birek: You better call back. I think you got to prioritize this, because you don’t want to have pain there for the rest of your life.

Shanna Micko: I know, Laura. It’s in Santa Monica.

Laura Birek: What? Wait. Okay. Hold up. Why are you in Santa Monica? For those who don’t know Los Angeles, that’s like a fucking hour drive for you.

Shanna Micko: I know. Add that to the stress.

Laura Birek: And it’s on a good day.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: Okay, girl. We’re going to find you a PT closer to you. I just went to the doctor and she asked me like, “Do you have any pain or is there any incontinence or anything?” I said, “No, thankfully I’m very lucky.” But she said, “Just so you know, we have a pelvic PT on staff here in Pasadena, which is like 25 minutes from you.” There has got to be a PT closer than an hour away on a good day with no traffic. We’re going to find you one.

Shanna Micko: Find that name. The thing is I want someone who specializes in that stuff. I don’t want to go top someone who heals sports injuries.

Laura Birek: Totally.

Shanna Micko: Not that they would be bad, but I just want more specialized care. So that’s why I was going there.

Laura Birek: No, you should definitely go to someone who is specialized. But in the vast metropolis of Los Angeles, there has to be more than one. I think it was very noble of you to try that, but good Lord, that’s crazy. That’s a long way, but in related news, Corey still goes to a dentist in Santa Monica and he inevitably forgets to cancel the freaking appointment until the day before and then he will go, I can’t cancel it now. So the other day he’s like, “Well, I’m going to have to leave a little early, so you’re going to have to do the morning with the baby because I have to drive an hour and a half to get my teeth cleaned.” I’m like, “You really do not have to do that.” My dentist who I’ve been trying to get him to go to for years is like five minutes from his office, but he drives an hour and a half to Santa Monica to get his teeth cleaned.

Shanna Micko: That is hilarious.

Laura Birek: Don’t be like that.

Shanna Micko: He has an affinity for that dentist.

Laura Birek: He does and I get that, but come on. Again, vast metropolis, lots of healthcare professionals. But I am glad you tried to get it addressed and I also think one of the cool things about PT, I went through PT for a hip bursitis injury that I got from snowboarding that I exacerbated by using my spinning wheel when I used to spin yarn.

Shanna Micko: Classic.

Laura Birek: Yes, your typical injury. I got a lot of tips on how to continually make sure it doesn’t get re-injured and that was sort of the most valuable part. I think I went five times for the actual PT, but if it would flare up I’d know not to lie down on that side and put pressure on it, how to do some exercises to make it strengthened. So I think it’s a really good step. I just think you need to do it a few fewer steps from your house.

Shanna Micko: I agree. Maybe without the baby, so I’ll try to figure something out.

Laura Birek: CeCe might have to stay home.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, I think so. So that’s been our week. What have you guys been up to?

Laura Birek: My baby is seven months and three weeks and it’s been a pretty normal week for the most part. The cat, which I’ve talked about, he had his leg surgery. He’s recovering, so things are getting back to normal on that front.

Shanna Micko: Good.

Laura Birek: He’s still in his kennel, but it’s nice because he’s doing okay. I can tell he’s getting better, so things are calming down. But the big news I have this week, it’s going to be a little bit, cryptic. That’s the headline. I had my first full day away from the baby. The reason was it was for a shoot for a television show and that is literally all I can tell you.

Shanna Micko: What?

Laura Birek: I’m sorry.

Shanna Micko: What kind of television show?

Laura Birek: I’m not even allowed to say that.

Shanna Micko: Law & Order SVU? Are you going to play a hard hitting cop opposite Mariska Hargitay?

Laura Birek: Damn it, Shanna. How did you know?

Laura Birek: I told you not to tell anyone. No, I can safely say that it’s not Law & Order SVU.

Shanna Micko: Okay. All right.

Laura Birek: I promise I will announce it as soon as I can on the show. It is exciting and that’s all I can say, but the point was I had to go to literally Hollywood. People think Hollywood is where movies get made. 

Hollywood’s a part of Los Angeles and I went to Hollywood, so I spent the day at this studio and I was not sure how long the shoot was going to take and so I basically had to be there from 7:00 a.m. possibly till 7:00 p.m.

Shanna Micko: Wow.

Laura Birek: So I had to bring my breast pump. I had to bring a bunch of changes of clothes, because I wasn’t sure what I was going to be wearing on screen and I had to bring different shoe options and so I ended up showing up with a massive suitcase so I could carry everything, including my breast pump and I have to say I was fairly nervous about it, because I had never spent the day away from the baby.

Shanna Micko: Who was watching the baby?

Laura Birek: Corey stayed home until about I think 11 and then his mom came and took over.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: Other very nerve wracking thing is I wasn’t allowed to have my cell phone on me at all.

Shanna Micko: No.

Laura Birek: Actually, they told me they would confiscate it. So I had to leave it in my car. So I did.

Shanna Micko: No baby updates?

Laura Birek: No baby updates, no baby photos. I met all these people and they’re like, “You have a baby. Can I see pictures?” I was like, “Nope.”

Shanna Micko: Picture this, a real cutie pie with blonde hair with two little teeth.

Laura Birek: Exactly. Two little teeth on the bottom. I felt very disconnected. I think that was intentional on the producer’s part and I was nervous about it, but I thankfully thought ahead and was like, okay, I’m going to give Corey the phone number of the producer, so he can always text if there’s an emergency.

Shanna Micko: That’s good.

Laura Birek: It turned out kind of great and fun. It was kind of nice to have a day where I literally wasn’t even allowed to participate in any childcare.

Shanna Micko: Oh, true. It’s kind of like a vacay.

Laura Birek: I was forced to. I couldn’t answer any questions. I couldn’t check in. 

I couldn’t spy on my mother-in-law on the nest cam, which she knows about. She has a tendency to turn the nest cams away. She’s very smart. Sherry, we’re grateful that you take care of the baby and we are not trying to spy on you, but it was totally fine. I got breakfast and lunch given to me with snacks all the time and then the pumping was the part that I was like, ooh, I don’t know how this is going to work. But they had a little room that I could go sequester myself in.

Shanna Micko: Good.

Laura Birek: It was my first time pumping away from home. It was awkward, but fine. I got to read a New Yorker article.

Shanna Micko: Awesome.

Laura Birek: So I survived and it ended up wrapping around four o’clock, so I got home at a decent time.

Shanna Micko: Okay. That’s good.

Laura Birek: I only had to pump once, because I did the calcula. I fed right before I left and I was trying to just replace feedings and I did the calculations and figured I could only get away with only pumping once. I would’ve had to pump another time if I was going to be there any longer, but turned out fine. So I survived my first, full day away from baby and he survived and it was sweet when I got back, because he was like, MOM. I’ve done those words, because he doesn’t talk yet. But he was just so clingy and very sweet and cuddly. So it was fun.

Shanna Micko: Cool.

Laura Birek: It was a thing that happened and we all survived.

Shanna Micko: Yay. Should we move on to our next segment, which I’m really excited about?

Laura Birek: Yes, we should.


Shanna Micko: Welcome back. Our next segment is Stump the New Mom, our trivia game where we try to stump each other with trivia questions about parenthood, moms, babies, et cetera. I don’t know where we are in the standings, Laura, but I have a feeling you have pulled ahead in all of our rounds of Stump the New Mom.

Laura Birek: I don’t want to brag, but it is two wins for me. One for you and one tie.

Shanna Micko: Now, I feel nervous about this, because I really want to win. Okay. I’ll let it go. It’s all in fun.

Laura Birek: Here is the first question. Are you ready?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: How much laundry does the average American family do every year?

Shanna Micko: Oh, God.

Laura Birek: This is all in my mind, because I do a lot of fucking laundry. Is it between 2 and 300 loads, 4 and 500 loads or 6 and 700 loads?

Shanna Micko: Does it say an average family of how many people?

Laura Birek: I think it’s a four.

Shanna Micko: Gosh, I want to say we probably do like five loads a week-ish. So 2 and 300 and then, what was the second option?

Laura Birek: 400 to 500 or 600 to 700.

Shanna Micko: I feel like my family might be in the lowest bracket there: 2 to 300. So I’m going to say that.

Laura Birek: It is 400 to 500 loads.

Shanna Micko: That is intense. What?

Laura Birek: It is. I am skewing that high. So it’s about six to eight loads a week, which is about a load a day which is what we are doing. We’re actually probably doing more than that, which maybe we should be doing less. But the amount of dirty laundry that we’ve started producing, I think maybe having a happy spitter really contributed to that. He was going through so many outfits and then he’s kind of a messy eater, but now it is going down. When he was a newborn, we were doing laundry at least once a day. Sometimes twice a day, so this doesn’t surprise me too much I have to say.

Shanna Micko: I think I’m a little bit lazy in the laundry department and then let it build up and then just shove as much into the washer as possible and I also forgot to take into consideration towels and all the extra stuff too: my baby clothes.

Laura Birek: Baby clothes. Not just clothes.

Shanna Micko: Man, that is a lot. Thank God washing machines have been invented. Could you imagine if we were doing that shit on the wash board like the old days?

Laura Birek: This is why women couldn’t have jobs.

Shanna Micko: That was our job.

Laura Birek: Yeah, unless you were very rich then you didn’t need a job anyway. I am grateful every day for washing machines. It’s an LG and it makes a very pleasant little song when it’s done. It makes me happy every time.

Shanna Micko: That’s good. That’s very nice.

Laura Birek: All right. You got a question for me?

Shanna Micko: Yes, what is currently the number one selling baby item on Amazon? No cheating, Laura.

Laura Birek: I’m not cheating. Hands are off the keyboard.

Shanna Micko: A) Huggies size one diapers, B) The Haakaa pump, C) Pampers sensitive wipes.

Laura Birek: Number one. I’m going to cut out the Haakaa right now, because I don’t think that many people really know what the HaaKaa is or how to use it. Not everyone’s breastfeeding. Everyone has to put their babies in diapers though, but there’s so many brands. I’m going to go with the wipes.

Shanna Micko: Yes, but I will have you know that the number two most popular item, best-selling item is the Haakaa Pump.

Laura Birek: Really? That is very surprising to me.

Shanna Micko: Then some random toys.

Laura Birek: Wow. I guess the Haakaa is very affordable too.

Shanna Micko: Yeah, it is.

Laura Birek: That’s really interesting.

Shanna Micko: I think the word’s gotten out about the magic of the Haakaa.

Laura Birek: The Haakaa never worked for me. Not once.

Shanna Micko: That’s right.

Laura Birek: I don’t know why.

Shanna Micko: You didn’t have a letdown.

Laura Birek: I had a letdown. It just wasn’t like, pew. I assume that’s how your lot downs were. They were like pew, pew, pew.

Shanna Micko: Like laser guns in Star Wars.

Laura Birek: I never had that. Mine was just like trickle, trickle, trickle.

Shanna Micko: I’m sorry it was a fail for you. Apparently, women in America love it, because it’s the number two item.

Laura Birek: That’s really interesting.

Shanna Micko: All right. What you got for me?

Laura Birek: Okay. According to the USDA, how much does it cost to raise a child to the age of 18?

Shanna Micko: Oh, God.

Laura Birek: Approximately $120,000, approximately $180,000 or approximately $230,000.

Shanna Micko: It’s got to be the highest. They’re expensive as shit, especially iPads and iPhones these days. $230,000, boom!

Laura Birek: You are correct.

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: The study that was done in 2017, so it’s probably only going up says, “You will spend somewhere around $233,610 by the time the baby turns 18.”

Shanna Micko: Wow. I’ve got two of them.

Laura Birek: So there’s actually an additional little thing about what it costs to raise a baby in the first year of life and so it’s different depending on how much your household earns, which makes sense. If you’re not making a lot of money, you’re not spending as much on your baby. But for households that earn around $40,000, the actual cost is around $21,000.

Shanna Micko: Oh my God.

Laura Birek: Literally half your income and then if you make around $200,000, people spend $52,000 in the first year. I think that’s average and then here’s the really interesting thing is that when they pulled parents about what they thought it was going to cost, 18% of parents thought it would cost a thousand dollars or less and 36% put it between $1,000 and $5,000.

Shanna Micko: I’m not surprised.

Laura Birek: About half of people are totally clueless about how much it’s going to cost.

Shanna Micko: I think it’s like $3,000 just for diapers alone.

Laura Birek: Oh, God. I refuse. I just can’t.

Shanna Micko: It doesn’t work out.

Laura Birek: Especially, because I’m not making any money right now, it just makes me feel guilty. Anyway, he needs his diapers.

Shanna Micko: Exactly.

Laura Birek: What are you going to do? Let him run around without a diaper on?

Shanna Micko: Elimination, communication, baby.

Laura Birek: I could, but I don’t have the stomach or the heart for it or the time. Anyway, not to shame anyone who’s doing that. I think it’s actually really cool that people would dedicate the time to get their child on a potty and all that stuff. It’s not in my wheelhouse. That’s not something I’m able to do.

Shanna Micko: Me neither.

Laura Birek: So my baby will probably be 25 when he is potty trained. Do you have another question for me?

Shanna Micko: Yes, which of the following is not a real product made by the company Frida of the Windi and the NoseFrida thing?

Laura Birek: Familiar with their products.

Shanna Micko: I got to give you choices. A) The Fridet: A Baby Butt Washing System, B) Free to Blow: A Disposable Diaper, Extender to Catch Blowouts, C) FridaBalls: Underwear that Protects Dad’s Junk. Which of the following is not a product?

Laura Birek: Okay. I think the Frida Fridet is real because they’ve created a device that sucks snot out of baby’s noses, a Fridet is not so far off. I feel like their whole thing is that they do stuff relating to the baby, not relating to the parents. So I’m going to guess that it is the FridaBalls, the protective underwear for the fathers.

Shanna Micko: That is a real product.

Laura Birek: What?

Shanna Micko: Yes.

Laura Birek: By Frida?

Shanna Micko: Yes, it’s like boxer shorts with reinforced…

Laura Birek: Oh my God, now I am looking this up. This is crazy. Hold on. Is it on Amazon? It’s got to be on Amazon.

Shanna Micko: It probably is. I was looking at their own website.

Laura Birek: It’s called FridaBalls?

Shanna Micko: It’s boxer shorts with a reinforced crotch area.

Laura Birek: What the hell? You are right about this.

Shanna Micko: For all the kicks dads get in the nuts.

Laura Birek: With removable foam cup. Amazing. Wow.

Shanna Micko: They’re playing a contact sport or something. They need a jock strap.

Laura Birek: We have a baby who loves to jump on laps, so I know that this is a problem. I did not know there was a product for this.

Shanna Micko: There is a solution for the product. Now you know what to get Corey for his birthday.

Laura Birek: It’s $27.99. You have to have a lot of pairs, right?

Shanna Micko: Oh my God, it’s $28 for one pair.

Laura Birek: You can’t even reuse the foam cup every day, because that’s unsanitary.

Shanna Micko: Or you could just wash it every day and just keep increasing that washing load we were talking about now.

Laura Birek: I was going to say we’re doing laundry every day. So why not? All right. You got me on that one. Does that mean it’s a tie right now?

Shanna Micko: But let me tell you what the right answer is.

Laura Birek: Good point. It doesn’t matter. I got it wrong. Let’s move on.

Shanna Micko: The right answer was B Free to Blow: The Disposable Diaper Extender to Catch Blows. That is not one of their products. You’re right they do have the Fridet: the butt wash.

Laura Birek: I can actually see a use for the butt wash, especially if you don’t bathe your baby every day.

Shanna Micko: I actually kind of want to get one of those now that you mention it.

Shanna Micko: Anyway, let’s move on.

Laura Birek: Okay. Here we go. Einstein syndrome relates to a delay in what milestone in children: delayed onset of walking, delayed onset of talking or delayed potty training?

Shanna Micko: Einstein like the…

Laura Birek: As in Albert Einstein. It is actually named after Albert Einstein. That’s a hint.

Shanna Micko: Wow. He seems maybe like a mad genius who maybe had some delayed speaking. So I’m going to say delayed… What was choice B?

Laura Birek: Delayed onset of talking.

Shanna Micko: I’m going to go with that one.

Laura Birek: You are correct.

Shanna Micko: Oh, yeah. He didn’t have potty problems.

Laura Birek: Not that I know of, so he purportedly didn’t speak until the age of three or four and his parents took him to a doctor. No one’s really sure if this is actually true or if it’s just a story, but they claim that they took him to a doctor and the doctor said he was fine. He was just a genius who didn’t want to talk. So Einstein’s syndrome was developed by a guy named Thomas Sowell. It describes late talkers who are highly intelligent and possess strong analytics skills and memory and it says in these exceptionally bright Einstein children, visual spatial skills emerge before verbal skills.

Shanna Micko: Interesting.

Laura Birek: I’ve been really fascinated with all the developmental milestones and how wide a range is considered normal too. So I found this really interesting that you could not talk at the age of three or four and actually be a massive genius that the world has never known.

Shanna Micko: That’s why we can’t judge anybody.

Laura Birek: Totally.

Shanna Micko: It’s like you just don’t know what’s going on under the surface.

Laura Birek: That’s cool. Okay. So you’re pulled ahead. I have to get this one right to get a tie.

Shanna Micko: According to a research study done by the Pew Research Center, what percentage of millennial mothers say they’re doing “a very good job” as a parent? So millennials as opposed to Gen X, Boomers, et cetera.

Laura Birek: Sure.

Shanna Micko: A) 37%, B) 57%, C) 77%.

Laura Birek: The word on the street about millennials is that they’re very confident and self-obsessed and I say this as an elder millennial. I was born in 1982, so I qualify. I think all these generalizations are probably bullshit anyway and I’m just wondering. I feel like most moms are very self-conscious worried that they’re not doing a good job, so I’m going to go with the lowest number.

Shanna Micko: It was B, 57.

Laura Birek: Okay. So right about a little more than half think are doing a very, very good job.

Shanna Micko: They were much higher than the other generations. I think kind of along the lines of what you said, they have a little bit more confidence, et cetera. Gen X moms reported 48%, said they were doing a very good job and Boomers 41%.

Laura Birek: Interesting.

Shanna Micko: There you have it.

Laura Birek: I’m actually glad to hear that the numbers are so high in general, because I feel like we hear all about how insecure we all are as mothers and it’s nice to know that some people are like, yeah, I’m killing it.

Shanna Micko: I’m doing a very good job. You know what? I would answer yes to that question.

Laura Birek: I think you should. You are doing a very good job. I think I’d answer yes too, but now that you think about it, I think there are things I could probably do better.

Shanna Micko: I didn’t ask, are you doing a perfect job?

Laura Birek: That’s true. 5%. Yes, perfect. They’re the sociopaths.

Shanna Micko: Exactly. Narcissists.

Laura Birek: Shanna, I have some more good news, which is you won.

Shanna Micko: I won this round?

Laura Birek: You won this round. We are tied again.

Shanna Micko: Okay.

Laura Birek: We are tied across the board, so we’re going to have to do another round of Stump the New Mom in a little bit and see who can pull ahead.

Shanna Micko: All right. Sounds like a plan.

Laura Birek: Shall we move on to our BFPs and BFNs after the break?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it.


Laura Birek: We close every episode with our big fat positives and big fat negatives of the week. Shanna, do you have a BFP or a BFN for us?

Shanna Micko: I have a BFP.

Laura Birek: Yay.

Shanna Micko: I went to a kid’s consignment store in Burbank looking for fun stuff and I found this awesome pink push car called the Step2 Push Around Buggy and I got it for $16 and CeCe loves it.

Laura Birek: Aww.

Shanna Micko: It is so cute. It’s just this little pink car with a big purple handle that sticks up, so I can just go for a walk and push her around and she holds a little steering wheel like she’s driving this little convertible.

Laura Birek: Oh my God, come on. Too cute.

Shanna Micko: It’s so cute and I just love a deal. So I’m so thrilled that I found this thing.

Laura Birek: Do you know how much it costs if you get it new?

Shanna Micko: I think $35, but I wouldn’t have even thought of buying this on Amazon.

Laura Birek: Also, you buy it and you only can use it for a couple months, because they grow out of it and then you’ve added to more plastic in the world. I love consignment stores because not only is it great to get a deal, but you’re also not contributing to waste. That’s awesome.

Shanna Micko: Some of our best items have come from that store. I love it and I saw it there. 

I was like, she might like that. I was like, “Could I try this out?” I put her in it, pushed her around the store and she loved it. I was like, perfect. We’re going to get that.

Laura Birek: Do you take it outside or is it just an indoor push around?

Shanna Micko: Outside. It’s pretty big. I don’t put it in the house at all.

Laura Birek: Jealous. I’m going to have to try that next time we’re over at your house.

Shanna Micko: Yes, come over. You are going to try it. It’ll be fun. What about you? What do you have this week?

Laura Birek: I also have a BFP.

Shanna Micko: Yay.

Laura Birek: It doesn’t have a name. What I’m calling it is a fidget board. We are I think the fourth recipient of this being handed down. It is a big piece of like wood that a friend of a friend of a friend who’s an architect, took a bunch of random stuff from the hardware store, like hinges and little toggles and little things you hang pictures of those little triangle picture hanger things you screw into the wall. Gosh, there’s other stuff. There’s a bar with a bunch of washers and stuff and nuts and stuff that you can push around and he just attached all this crap to a board. It’s all baby safe and it’s a fidget board for the baby and he loves it. 

So he scooches over to it and he just spends all this time playing with the hinges and toggling the little toggles and it’s a genius thing that I now want everyone to make them. We’ll definitely post a photo of this to our social media, to Instagram and whatnot because it’s something you can make for probably $10, maybe even less or with stuff you have in the garage and as long as it’s well secured, it’s great. At this age, he’s just really into mechanical stuff. He will spend forever just moving something back and forth across on his toys. He loves just seeing how things are moving in the world, so it’s like a perfect thing to give him stuff to play with that’s new and interesting without having to buy more plastic toys.

Shanna Micko: My girl loses interest in toys so fast and then we’ll crawl around the house and inspect the weirdest thing. So that’s perfect.

Laura Birek: Totally.

Shanna Micko: It reminds me that Steve made one for Elle when she was a baby and I totally forgot about it. It’s probably in our garage somewhere.

Laura Birek: You got to find it.

Shanna Micko: I’m so glad you reminded me of that. Thank you.

Laura Birek: You got to go find it. Babies are notorious for crawling up to the doorstop, the ones that stick out from the wall.

Shanna Micko: Yes, love those.

Laura Birek: It’s essentially like that in a big old board for him to play with. So that’s been fun this week.

Shanna Micko: Cool. I love it.

Laura Birek: That’s all I’ve got for this week. Shanna, you want to wrap it up and give that poor voice a little bit of rest?

Shanna Micko: Let’s do it. Thank you guys so much for listening. We love you guys so much and we love hearing from you. If you have anything to add to the conversation, please, please reach out. Laura, where can they find us?

Laura Birek: We are on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at BFP Podcast. We also have a Facebook community group. Just search for Big Fat Positive community and ask to join. It’s a closed group, but I will add you and you can join in our awesome conversations we’re having in that group. I love that group. I love it. Love it. Love it. We also have a website, bigfatpositivepodcast.com 

Shanna Micko: Big Fat Positive is produced by Laura Birek, Shanna Micko and Steve Yager.

Laura Birek: Thanks for listening, everyone. We’ll see you next week.

Shanna Micko: Bye.