Category Archives: Parenting

“Don’t Knock It: Humor appreciation doesn’t evolve overnight”

FIRST EXPOSURE: The first jokes we learn often come from Dixie Riddle Cups or cheese stick wrappers.

Culture Schlock – By Darren Garnick
The Telegraph
March 9, 2006
It may be even a more vital stage of child development than looking up
curse words in the dictionary or conjugating swears for Mad Libs. If
you’ve ever spent significant time socializing with three and four
year olds, the atmosphere inevitably mirrors one of those low-grade Chinese
restaurant comedy clubs.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Hoo Who?
Is there an owl in here?

Sometimes there is improv involved – an unexpected twist tossed into
the routine.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Hoo Who?
Is there an echo in here?

My wife Stacy, a former preschool teacher, warned me this intolerable
stand-up act was coming. Why would Ari be any different than the
millions of other kids exposed to riddle books and riddle popsicle
sticks? It is only a matter of time before he stands in front of the
fireplace (for that “Live at the Improv” brick wall look) and urges
his parents to “please don’t forget to tip your waitresses because
they’ve been great tonight.”

I’m sure that Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld began their careers
memorizing Dixie Riddle Cups, but we didn’t have to sit through their early material and pretend to like it. Aside from endless repetition, the most painful element of toddler humor is that their unscripted jokes seldom make sense.

In the overrated knock-knock genre, they usually fall into one of two
categories. Either the punchline is merely the reunion of two split
syllables or it is an arbitrary sentence with minimal ironic value.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Kanga who?

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Dog who?
The dog likes to eat pizza in the rain!

Now before Greater Nashua’s child psychologists and speech therapists
start burning my columns in Railroad Square, let me make myself clear.
I recognize that these jokes – especially the original material – are
a valuable exercise for building Ari’s public speaking skills and
honing his creativity. I also recognize that as a general rule, most
child psychologists and speech therapists are peaceful individuals, so
I retract my earlier statement.

With those disclaimers out of the way, let me bluntly confess that I
try to redirect the conversation after four or five jokes.

How to respond to free verse knock-knock jokes is a Catch-22. If I
pull a Simon Cowell and ruthlessly point out the humor deficit, there
might one day be an after school special about him called “The Boy Who
Was Afraid to Laugh.”

If I laugh at everything, I believe I’d be doing him a grave
disservice. Sure, his self-esteem spikes now, but what happens when it
all comes crashing down at our local coffee house’s open mike night?

Silence doesn’t work, unfortunately. All comedy acts crave validation.
“Isn’t that funny, Daddy? Isn’t it?”

At the risk of jeopardizing my son’s comedy calibration, I arbitrarily
determine which jokes are funny and which ones need to be rewritten.
Getting a little cocky, I made up a joke as an example of the kind of
uproarious humor hibernating in the Garnick subconscious.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Lion who?
Lion is the opposite of telling the truth.

“That’s not funny, Daddy,” interjects Ari, feeling absolutely no
hesitation to crush my comedy ambitions.

Toddlers are a tough audience. From my wife’s years of knock-knock
immersion, I understand that kids will frequently laugh when their
peers laugh regardless of the quality of a joke. This creates awkward
moments when one kid’s nonsensical punchline will bring down the
house, while an equally illogical joke will provoke cruel silence.

Knock! Knock!
Who’s there?
Orange who?
Orange you glad you don’t have to read any more knock knock jokes?

Darren Garnick’s “Culture Schlock” column runs every Thursday in
Encore. Send favorite knock-knock jokes and riddles to
darrengarnick (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Don’t Bite Your Friends

There’s something strangely addicting and compelling about this “Don’t Bite Your Friends” song and dance number by the monsters from Yo Gabba Gabba.

I’m not sure if it’s the hypnotic voice of the robot, the catchy synthesizer beat, the folksy message or the emotional chorus (Bite? Bite? Bite? No! No! No!)

But I want the soundtrack. I first heard this song from the other room as my 2-year-old daughter Dahlia was dancing away. She does not have a biting problem, but she does “affectionately” smack her older brother Ari, 7.

My son suggests two other songs that Yo Gabba Gabba should record:

1. “Don’t Murder Your Friends,” a simple tribute to the 10 Commandments; and

2. “Don’t Use Your Brother as a Tissue,” a personal appeal to his sister’s lack of consideration during flu season.

As long as the robot is the lead singer, I’m thinking both songs could be huge hits.

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Pre-Swine Flu Nostalgia: Feeling sentimental about good old-fashioned germ-o-phobia

I used to mock Purell when it first came on the market. Now I may as well drink the stuff.

I used to mock Purell when it first came on the market. Now I may as well drink the stuff.

CULTURE SCHLOCK – By Darren Garnick
“PARANOIA AIR: Germ-o-phobia overtakes supermarket carts, airplanes”
The Telegraph
Originally Published: January 19, 2006
Like many overprotective parents, I zealously keep my toddler away
from chainsaws, pit bulls and downed electrical lines. But there’s one
hazard that terrifies me above all the others.

Despite explicit instructions not to touch a molecule, regardless of
how pristine it may appear, my three-year-old son acts like a “Price
Is Right” game show hostess in a public restroom. He slowly brushes
his hand across the stall partitions and the waste baskets. He
showcases the paper towel and soap dispensers. His fingerprints even
wind up on the floor tiles.

Scrubbing him down is a logistical nightmare because he cannot reach
the sink. I tuck him underneath one arm like a football and use the
other hand to rub his hands with soap. In the end, at least a half
gallon of water winds up on his shirt. When my child is tall enough,
I’ll teach him the essentials of urinal yoga: How to flush any toilet
with your sneaker.

I thought I was superparanoid about germs until I stumbled across The
Wall Street Journal’s recent consumer tests of anti-bacterial products
for airline passengers. As bad as a raunchy gas station bathroom or
portable toilet is, an airplane is essentially a petri dish with
wings. There’s no place for the germs to go, so they socialize inside
the vents and luggage compartments. In the airplane bathroom itself,
a.k.a. Virus Central, it is impossible not to have every body part
brush against the walls.

The Journal’s phobia product round-up includes a $75 neck pillow “with
a built-in ionizer to shoo pollutants from your personal breathing
space,” an $85 pair of metal-free “travel shoes” which wearers might
not have to take off during the security check, a $10 anti-bacterial
seat wrap, and an $8 bottle of anti-flu nasal spray.

We’re just one more SARS epidemic or chicken flu away from the launch
of Paranoia Air, an airline in which the flight attendants wear white
biohazard suits and the passengers all wear surgical masks. At least
that scenario might spare you from an annoying conversation with a
chatty passenger sitting next to you.

Self-help guru Deepak Chopra, who travels frequently for his New Age
seminars, told the Journal that he recommends flying without any
anti-microbe protection. “By creating an artificial environment, we’re
not stimulating our immune system enough,” he said. “Germs are immune
stimulants. They challenge you to be prepared.”

Back on the ground, it’s tough to be kissy-kissy with these
“challenging” germs — especially after reading the latest handwashing
studies (which the soap industry churns out weekly under academic
cover). After paying spies to observe more than 6,000 people in
public restrooms, the American Society for Microbiology recently
reported that 25 percent of guys snub the sink altogether opposed to
only 10 percent of women.

Unfortunately, there is no way to segregate the clean people from the
dirty ones. Even hanging out with just women doesn’t eliminate the
risk (although it does cut it in half).

Supermarket shopping cart studies, usually publicized at sweeps time
by FOX News affiliates, always prove to be nauseating. One University
of Arizona study found that one in five carts in Tucson “tested
positive for bodily fluids, blood, mucus, saliva or urine.” The
University of Maryland had no trouble finding E. coli bacteria in the
festering juices of raw beef, chicken and pork clinging to these

The Wall Street Journal gives a thumbs down to most of the anti-germ
products it tested, but it does endorse using alcohol-based hand
sanitizers, such as Purell, even after washing your hands on a plane.
Sometimes, they found, even the water can’t be trusted. The
Environmental Protection Agency recently discovered “unacceptable”
levels of coliform bacteria coming out of airline sinks.

As long as we can’t see the germs, paranoia will continue to thrive —
and so will these products. Makes me wish I bought some stock in

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Filed under Darren's Archive Vault, Family, Parenting, Urinal Yoga

Elephants to Disney: Can you spare a frickin’ Snapple?


Disney’s environmentalist propaganda offensive, the movie “Earth,” serves up phenomenal how-did-they-get-that footage and delivers on its rated G promise to not sensationalize the endless murder sprees in the wild kingdom.

Plus, not a single polar bear or sperm whale drops the F-bomb.

Nevertheless, I find two scenes hauntingly disturbing:

1. ELEPHANTS SUCKING ON DUST — We see a mommy and baby elephant trudge through a drought-ravaged corridor of Africa.  Making the lack of water even worse are the clouds of dust that line their throats, thick enough to make the movie audience cough.

I know the camera crews thought they were being responsible documentarians by refusing to alter the story, but couldn’t they occasionally spare a bottle of frickin’ Snapple or spring water?  Inconsiderate bastards.

2. PACIFIST WALRUSES — Picture the scene… one famished and scrawny polar bear arrives on an island filled with fat and brawny walruses. The polar bear lunges, at nursing home speed, at the yummy walrus children.

How do the fully-armed (well, tusked) walruses respond? Most of them run away. A few of them scrape their daggers into the bear’s fur, but mostly you see tails. it’s a slow-motion chase to nowhere because the bear tires of running for food, and tires of simply living.

Although the walruses lucked out with a weak enemy, their parenting behavior and overall self-esteem is absolutely disgraceful. You could arm these walruses with fully-stocked F-16s and Apache helicopters and they would use them to fly away from the bear.

Honestly, the “Earth” storylines were no more compelling than the average nature documentary on the Discovery Channel. But all the drama in these kind of films is artificially constructed anyhow.

Spoiler Alert! Here’s what happens in the movie…  Animals are born, they eat, they look for more things to eat, they move around some more, and then they die.

There, I just saved you nine bucks a head.

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24-Hour Diary of a Pregnant Guy — (Postscript with competing bellies)


(Originally published in July 2007)

The Empathy Belly is still by far the most dominant pregnancy simulator on the market, but a dramatic recent price cut indicates that the Pregnancy Profile (the Pepsi or Avis to the Empathy Coke and Empathy Hertz) is making up ground.

I wore the Profile for an hour — I wasn’t going for another 24! –, more than ample time to understand how it feels in comparison to the Belly. Students in teen pregnancy prevention classes usually go no longer than 30 minutes.

Although the suit is eight pounds lighter, the Profile rib belt pulled around tighter, so I felt many of the same side effects such as increased heart rate and body temperature. Personally, I felt that the Velcro straps made the Empathy Belly seem more like “a part of me” than the plastic buckles and backpack straps did for the Profile.

The Profile’s buckles made me feel like I was putting on one of those Baby Bjorn infant carriers. Which isn’t a bad thing, just an observation.

If you are from an educational institution considering the purchase of a pregnancy simulator, check out both companies’ comparison charts for all the trash talk.

Why The Empathy Belly makes you feel more pregnant.
Why The Pregnancy Profile makes you feel more pregnant. (Page 23 of PDF catalog)

On another note, the Web is saturated with intriguing stories about how these suits are used in the most unexpected ways. And there is also an abundance of material speculating about the possibility of male pregnancy.

Some recommended reading:

1. MALE PREGNANCY HOAX? Check out installation artist Virgil Wong’s 1999 exhibit on the first male pregnancy. The imagery and scientific jargon convinced many people the event was real.

2. EMPATHY FOR A MONTHPublic relations guru Kevin Burke, who owns a marketing company tailored toward women, wore The Empathy Belly for a month (no more than 16 hours at a time) to celebrate Mother’s Day. Burke strapped on the suit at home and the office, but never in public because he did not want his efforts to be misconstrued as “trivializing motherhood.”

3. MALE PREGNANCY HYPNOSIS Entertainer Joshua Seth performs a popular hypnotism routine in which he makes guys think they are pregnant.

4. INSENSITIVE BELLIES? — The Chicago Tribune’s Julie Deardorff discovered that some women are turned off by guys who wear The Empathy Belly and talk about how sensitive they are. Hope she doesn’t mean me.

5. ENGINEERING EMPATHY — Learn more about the belly-wearing engineers at the Ford Motor Company.

6. THE BEVERAGE BELLY — Want the belly without the side effects of pregnancy and a buzz to boot? You might prefer The Beerbelly, a refillable bladder meant to be smuggled into ballgames.

7. PASS THE SALT WATER — Read what one British moron did to experience the sensation of morning sickness! Yum-yum!

8. THE BRITISH BUMP “The Bump” is a British-designed pregnancy simulator that differs from The Empathy Belly and Pregnancy Profile in two ways. Most notably, it allows users to add or subtract weight with removable four-pound bean bags. It also has silicone-filled breasts for a more realistic weight distribution and a better logo than either the Belly or the Profile.




Darren’s 24-Hour Empathy Belly Diary:
(Part 1 of 3)
(Part 2 of 3)
(Part 3 of 3)
(Postscript with Competing Bellies)

LABOR OF LOVE — My original Boston Herald feature on the Belly.

EMPATHY BUZZ – Inspirational responses to my Belly exercise.

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Filed under empathy belly, Family, Fashion, Health, male pregnancy, Parenting

24-Hour Diary of a Pregnant Guy — (Part 3 of 3)

(Third of three parts chronicling my 24-hour pregnancy simulator field test, launched in honor of my wife Stacy’s second trip to the maternity ward — Originally published in the Boston Herald — July 2007).


8:30 p.m. — Chili’s Restaurant

Stacy tells the hostess that we are both pregnant and need a table instead of a booth. She’s clearly having fun with this, which is my primary goal above and beyond learning about empathy. Nothing wrong with empathy. I highly recommend that everybody get some. I just think I already had it.

The hostess comes over later with a waitress who says she recently wore the Empathy Belly for a class (we assume college). She seems genuinely thrilled that Stacy is expecting in a few weeks and wishes us the best. She also says that all the waitresses back in the kitchen are fascinated by the idea of the Empathy Belly.

Who knew? Our waiter isn’t the least bit curious about the suit. But he’s a fantastic waiter. I make about a dozen alterations to my fajita order, none of which he writes down, and it comes out perfect.

Bottom Line: Pregnant guys are totally welcome at Chili’s, too.


10 p.m. — Bedtime

Back home with my real belly filled with chicken and steak, I was ready for some mattress diving. “It’s been a long day for both of us,” Stacy says. “I was up at six, too, but I can’t take my suit off.”

Clever line? Sure, but I wasn’t taking the Empathy Belly off just yet.

I was accepting Stacy’s challenge. There must be a damn good reason why the suit’s creator pre-emptively urged me not to go 24 hours. But I’m a daring adventurer. As long as the smoke alarm doesn’t go off tonight, things will be fine.

I’ve watched Stacy sleep over the past nine months and I know her techniques — even how to rest one arm under a pillow to minimize soreness. I grabbed a couch cushion as a body pillow and trudged upstairs.

Lying down for the first time was a total body shock. Usually, the childbirth educators ask you to do this in class, and I think the other Empathy Belly guy actually did hit the rug. But I must have been fetching my notebook at the time.

Anyhow, I felt the weight of the world on my stomach, like I was a Pop Warner quarterback tackled by an NFL lineman. (Just a testosterone-filled simile to balance out all the maternal metaphors).

Each time I rolled over to change positions, it meant feeling this immense pressure on my stomach again. And I rolled over often. Even with the secret insider knowledge about the body pillow, I just could not get comfortable.

1:46 a.m. — Still Awake

My notebook sits next to my clock radio so I can record my sleeplessness. We’re now approaching the four-hour mark. I don’t normally have any trouble falling asleep.

Maybe it’s time to stop playing dress-up. Stacy will never know if I take the suit off. The sound of Velcro isn’t that noisy. Not wanting my legacy to be “The Rosie Ruiz of Pregnant Guys,” I roll over and believe that sleep will finally kick in.

3:37 a.m. — Climate Control

Still awake, but at least I’m not sweating. The air conditioner is cranked. Oddly, this is a mild night when I ordinarily would just leave the windows open. Must be the belly. Its claim to raise body temperature must be valid.

6 a.m. — Fatigue Redefined

I’ve pulled rare all-nighters in my post-college years, but usually in front of a computer for work. Never staring at the ceiling. But last night wasn’t a wasted night. It probably was the most vivid lesson the Empathy Belly could ever teach me.

I now really understand why my wife is tired all the time. Or do I?

Stacy would later tell me that not getting sleep is really only part of the equation. When she was pregnant with our five-year-old son, Ari, she sometimes would sleep up to 17 hours a day and still be tired. Pregnancy simply drains you of energy. All of the body’s resources are rechanneled toward the growing baby.

For the next few hours, I answer e-mails, check baseball box scores, and begin typing my pregnancy simulator article for the Herald. Like at the restaurant, my arms feel extremely short again. The Empathy Belly is also blocking the keyboard tray from fully sliding out.

9 a.m. — Freedom Time

Resting the water-filled belly on the bed, I slowly detach the straps to avoid having 33 pounds of weight yank my neck around. It was a great tip from Penelope, my pregnancy guru at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Overall, wearing the suit was fun, so I’m hesitant to say I felt a huge wave of relief that my ordeal was over. However, 24 hours is enough. It’s time to get back to the fatherhood stuff.

Baby Number Two is showing up in two weeks, and his/her bedroom still needs to be cleaned out. And, oh yeah, Stacy first has to take her suit off.

Hopefully, that doesn’t happen at the movies or a pizza restaurant!


Check out my exclusive Empathy Belly Diary Postscript including links to other researchers in the groundbreaking field of fake male pregnancy.



Darren’s 24-Hour Empathy Belly Diary:
(Part 1 of 3)
(Part 2 of 3)
(Part 3 of 3)
(Postscript with Competing Bellies)

FOR A SHORTER VERSION of this story, check out “Labor of Love,” my original Boston Herald feature on the Belly.

EMPATHY BUZZ – Inspirational responses to my Belly exercise.

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Filed under empathy belly, Family, Fashion, male pregnancy, Parenting

24-Hour Diary of a Pregnant Guy — (Part 2 of 3)

The Empathy Belly

The Empathy Belly

(Second of three parts chronicling my 24-hour pregnancy simulator field test, launched in honor of my wife Stacy’s second trip to the maternity ward — Originally published in the Boston Herald in July 2007. Photos by Ilya Mirman)

10:45 a.m. — On The Road

I’m in the passenger seat of photographer Ilya’s SUV and I’m feeling the baby kicking. Actually, it’s a suspended weight floating inside the water bladder. The minor bumps in the road seem to inspire activity. I’m not naive enough to believe it’s identical to the real thing, but the Empathy Belly attaches so snugly that it almost feels like an extension of my body.


One glance down at the arm straps peeking through my shirt, and I remember who I really am. But the pretend gestation period continues.

11:30 a.m. — Relaxing Time

We arrive at Ilya’s house and are warmly greeted by his wife, Barrie. She thinks the Empathy Belly is hilarious. She peppers me with questions as I help myself to a bowl of cherries on the counter. For reasons that are still unclear to me, Lionel Richie music is playing in the background.

“Want me to put on some Mozart?” she asks, adding a dramatic pause. “For the baby? I’d be totally happy to do it!”

1 p.m. — Surprising Stacy

Barrie, Ilya and I arrive at the Flatbread pizza restaurant in Bedford with the intention of surprising Stacy. This would be like one of those reality TV shows when everyone gets ready for “the reveal.”

The three of us march into the dining room and see that Stacy is smiling. She’s definitely amused, but I can tell right away that she isn’t totally surprised. Maybe she noticed the return address on some of my correspondence with the Empathy Belly people. There’ll be time for a full investigation later.

While we’re glancing at our menus, Stacy looks me over and declares, “Your breasts look like they are too close together. It looks like you are wearing the wrong size bra!”

Now, there’s a quote for the baby book.


1:30 p.m. — Table Banter

I notice that the suit makes it tougher to move my arms with their usual full range of motion. It’s more difficult to reach things across the table. Barrie recognizes this phenomenon, too, comparing it to the wee little arms on a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The table conversation moves on to what The Empathy Belly can and cannot replicate. Stacy thinks the suit accurately transforms the upper body (minus the heartburn), but notes that wearers will never understand the water-retention problem. We speculate if there is a way for a pregnancy simulator to inject liquid into your legs, ankles and feet but conclude that the idea is too commercially risky.

I usually gulp down pitchers of water and iced tea at restaurants, but I’m rationing liquids today (the exact opposite of what pregnant women are supposed to do). I want to minimize my bathroom trips, because the bladder sandbag has been performing better than advertised.

Sticking to that theme, a woman standing near the reservation desk scoffed at my appearance as I headed to the rest room. “Male pregnancy?” she huffed. “Pffffff! After you’ve peed in your pants a few times, then come back and talk to me about male pregnancy!”


1:45 p.m. — Settling The Check

During the entire meal — I highly recommend the Community Flatbread with caramelized onions — our waiter, Mark, did not say one word about the pregnancy suit.

Management would be pleased with this young lad. He treats even the kooky customers with dignity and respect. But his silence was driving me nuts.

After we tipped him, I asked Mark if guys wearing Empathy Bellies and question mark maternity shirts dine at Flatbreads often. Apparently, I represent a rare demographic.

Mark tells us he would never question a customer even if there were a chimpanzee on his head. I’m paraphrasing. And the Board of Health might object to monkeys near the open kitchen or their “primitive, wood-fired earthen oven.”

But the bottom line is: Pregnant guys are totally welcome at Flatbreads.


3:30 p.m. — Showcase Cinemas, Lowell

Walking around with Stacy by my side is much more fun than scampering around with a photographer. For starters, I made a major contribution to her pregnancy. I’m a big fan. Plus, her real womb gives my fake one instant credibility. Next to her, I either come across as a goofball or a sensitive guy. Not a creep with foam boobs.

I’d much rather be seen as the sensitive goofball.

Stacy wants to see “Knocked Up,” the irreverent pregnancy-themed comedy. We both love everything Judd Apatow has made since his short-lived TV series “Freaks & Geeks.” But I push hard for the new Michael Moore health care documentary, “Sicko.”

Hey, health care matters to two pregnant people, doesn’t it?

The theater is half empty, but Stacy predicts that some straggling couple will walk past the vacant rows and make us stand up.

She’s right.

“Can we squeeze by?” an elderly woman asks.

“Not really,” Stacy says. “We have to get up, which might take some time because we’re both pregnant!”

“Oh, sorry, I didn’t even notice,” the woman replies.

Now I’m intrigued. The lights are on. Does this woman actually not notice that one of us is a guy? Or is she just in another zone?

After the movie, I experience what has to be The Most Awkward Moment of My Life.

I’m leaning against the wall across from the Women’s Room, waiting for Stacy to come out. Five other guys are standing around with me, waiting for the women in their lives, too.

These are all guys in their 20s with baggy jeans and backwards baseball caps — the kind who don’t take their girlfriends to see documentaries. I’m standing there strapped inside the pregnant belly and wondering what these guys are thinking. Well, I have a good idea of what they’re thinking.

They definitely see me. The white question mark on my shirt is taking on the properties of neon. But no one says a word to me. I just scribble things down in my notebook and act as if I do this all the time.

I’m happy to get back to my car.

Despite roaming around my hometown turf in the Merrimack Valley, I have astoundingly yet to bump into anybody I know. Murphy’s Law dictates that this would be the time I’d reunite with my old algebra teacher or prom date.

6:30 p.m. — The Endurance Challenge

Stacy and I pop by to see our friends, Marty and Dina, who had invited us to a barbeque earlier that day. Over a plate of brownies, I declare that my pregnancy experiment will end in a few hours. I already have enough for an article. My center of gravity has been out-of-whack all day and I feel some soreness in my back. I get it. I’ve learned my lesson.

No way, Stacy says. I must sleep in it to get the “full experience.” Dina, of course, agrees.

I say that I’ll consider it — even though I know that I’m gonna do it. The alternative is having my wife think I’m a wimp. She already saw me bail out of the alligator suit. So this has become a defining moment.

Am I man enough to be pregnant for 24 hours?

(Continue on to Part 3 of the Pregnant Guy Diary)



Darren’s 24-Hour Empathy Belly Diary:
(Part 1 of 3)
(Part 2 of 3)
(Part 3 of 3)
(Postscript with Competing Bellies)

FOR A SHORTER VERSION of this story, check out “Labor of Love,” my original Boston Herald feature on the Belly.

EMPATHY BUZZ – Inspirational responses to my Belly exercise.

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Filed under empathy belly, Fashion, male pregnancy, Most Awkward Moment of My Life, Parenting