Even if you haven’t heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, I am sure that you have experienced it. The boiled down, laymen’s terms explanation is that the Badder-Meinhof Phenomenon is the experience of when you learn some new and/or obscure thing to you, you begin to see or hear about that new (to you) thing everywhere. You can read more about Baader-Meinhof in this great article on Damn Interesting.
The first time I really remember this happening to me in a notable way was when I got pregnant for the first time. I was never the type of girl who dreamed of having kids. I knew I wanted kids eventually, but it was not something I thought a lot about other than, someday I wanted to be a mom. Well, someday happened 2 months after Tim and I were married. We were young. Tim and I were just 22 years old when we got married. We had just graduated college. We were not thinking about kids. We were thinking about how we would pay our rent and wondering if we should sign up our new puppy Lucy for obedience class.
Then one fateful night I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We went to the doctor to have it confirmed because all I knew about pregnancy tests was what I saw in movies and on TV, and according to movies and TV, sometimes home tests were wrong. The doctor confirmed that I was indeed pregnant.
Being pregnant was so far off my radar that I didn’t take that pregnancy test until I was 10 weeks along. I had no idea. Tim and I were in shock. It took a few days to digest and that shock slowly morphed into excitement.
As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I saw pregnant women everywhere. Every ad on TV was for baby products and every song on the radio had the word baby in it. Every person I saw was pushing a stroller and every woman had a baby bump. Everything changed. Just like the commercials were telling me, a baby changes everything. Pregnancy and babies were EVERYWHERE.
The second time where Baader-Meinhoff really hit me hard was shortly after Elise was born. At 4 weeks old Elise was diagnosed with Sagittal Craniosynostosis. Elise was born with a ridge following the Sagittal Suture on her head. If you think about where you part hair for pig tails, that is the Sagittal Suture.
It was a scary diagnosis that rocked our little world. One in about every 2,000 babies are born with a form of Craniosynostosis. Sometime it is corrected with a helmet, much like crooked teeth are corrected with braces. In Elise’s case the best route for her was surgery.
1 in 2,000 kids.
We had never heard of Craniosynostosis before and all the sudden, as the news spread through our family and friends people started sharing their stories of someone they knew who had had kiddo with Craniosynostosis.
A good friend of my mom’s had a grandson who was going to have surgery in less than a month to correct his Craniosynostosis. The neighbor down the street had a kiddo that was going through helmet therapy for his pre-fused Sagital Suture. All the sudden I started seeing stories on the internet of helmets being decorated by artists. And the boy at the zoo in the stroller next to us had a zig zag scar stretching across his head from ear to ear. That was the same scar that my baby would soon have.
Those seasons have faded. We are done having babies and Elise is healthy and happy. I see kiddos with scars and note news stories that feature Cranio kids but my reaction has lessened. There will always be babies filling my Facebook news-feed but I see more than just those sweet baby cheeks.
More recently, as of last July, everywhere I look it is Airstreams. Granted I spend more time than I should Googling, Pinterest-ing and searching Instragram for #Airstream but my Airstream sightings go beyond my online searches.
I see, note and even sometimes take pics of and send Tim pics of the Airstreams I see on TV. There was an Airstream made into a Taco Food Truck in a recent episode of Hart of Dixie and a run down vintage Airstream on an old episode of Once Upon a Time. Even on Dr. Hunt on Grey’s Anatomy lives in an Airstream! (Yes, I know, I watch way too much TV).
I saw an Airstream flash across the IMAX screen during a NASA movie at The Science Museum of MN. References to tin and aluminium are everywhere and just yesterday I found out that the 10th wedding anniversary gift is tin/aluminium and this year is Tim and my 10th Anniversary. Mind Blown.
Even the exhibit Michael played at the Science Museum…
I still see pregnant woman everywhere, but I recognise that it is because I am at preschool drop off or Target much of my time and that seems to be a hub for pregnancy. Craniosynostosis changed how I will forever look at a child with a scar or toddler wearing a helmet and every time I part my daughter’s hair for pig tails I think about Sagital Sutures.
But let me tell you this… This new season of Baader-Meinhoff is fantastic. I bubble with the excitement that Tim (HINT! HINT!) thinks of something tin and Airstream for an anniversary gift. I pause the TV and shout for Tim to come out of the office where he is diligently programming and tell him, “LOOK an Airstream!” everytime one rolls across the screen. I see a calendar of vintage National Park ads at Fed Ex and buy the calendar even though it is March and we are three months into the year. Because National Parks make me think of road trips with Alice the Airstream.