I suppose if I live long enough I’ll hear everything. Or maybe I just need to get out more.

A couple of months ago, I read about something called a “push gift” – a gift that a man gives a woman after she has delivered a child. His child, presumably. I immediately disliked the term, and assumed that it was an American thing because I can’t remember hearing any of my friends remark that they were given a gift after they delivered any of their children.

But maybe they just didn’t tell me. Or maybe they got a gift a few months later and didn’t know what it was. Whatever the case, I’m trying to remember whether my husband sought to reward my efforts at childbearing by presenting me with a little bauble. But he’s always been wonderfully generous, so I may have been unaware of his direct attempt at compensation.

I’m hearing about the ‘push gift’ once again because a notoriously vocal musical celebrity has been making the talk show rounds on American TV with her gift in tow, and I say ‘tow’, because her cushion cut canary diamond ring is quite a big item to carry around. Long before she received it, she had been making her expectations known, so I dare say it wasn’t exactly a surprise when she opened the box.

But she’s new to the motherhood thing. So if she thinks pregnancy and childbearing was hard, what’s she going to ask for when the child is colicky, when she has to clear the child’s nasal passages (without a suction apparatus) just so that he can breathe, and when he has a bout or two with diarrhea and she has to lay him and his bare bottom on the floor with a blanket, because to do otherwise would be a waste of several good Pampers?

What’s she going to ask for when she has to deal with a growing child who is teased at school? Or has to explain that life is not always fair? Or see the look on her son’s face when the innocence of childhood is gone? What’s she going to ask for when the sacrifices she makes for him seem not be enough? What would she ask for if God forbid, she became a single parent and as we say locally, water became more than flour?

But since she’s unlikely to have any of the challenges that most of us have to deal with, maybe her husband only needs to concern himself with what she’s going to ask for the next time. If, she graces him with a second child.


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