Guesty Monday: A Push Present By Any Other Name

So my Lactation Leave has officially begun.

For the next month or so, I’ll be featuring a guest post every Monday and a Post-Partum Postcard from me later in the week.

You know.  With tips on how to latch.  Be it to a boob, beer bottle, or vat of Nutella.

Thank you so much to Julie from By Any Other Name for being here today.  She’s a writer whose humor and wisdom I admire and I’m thrilled to showcase her chops on my site.  When you’re done reading this, go to her site.  You won’t be disappointed.



So recently, I heard the term Push Present for the first time.

Are you familiar with this lovely bit of brilliance?

According to Wikipedia (so you know it’s true), a Push Present is “a gift a father gives a new mother when she gives birth to their child.”

Because if she didn’t receive – let’s say – a Cartier watch wrapped up with a bow, Jessica Simpson might leave the kid in her uterus until he’s packed for college?


And yet I somehow missed this extortion-opp when I was sweating things out in an ice-cold delivery room. I was too busy begging for an epidural (or at least a roast beef sandwich – light mayo – on a nine grain roll) to think about jewelry.

Which is why, to this day, I own only one diamond. On the engagement ring my husband gave me sixteen years ago.

(Disclosure: My band of gold may not sport a real diamond because the fellow who sold it to us was found guilty of hawking fakes shortly after our wedding.  Still. As in most areas of life, I soldier on in denial that my almostonecarat solitaire may be as genuine as Kim Kardashian’s marriage.)


Although I indeed pushed out two squawking newborns in the 1990’s, I possess no stud earrings. No tennis bracelets. No pendants. No Cartier watches.

(Disclosure: I don’t know if most Cartier watches boast diamonds. I do know Cartier has to its credit some pretty bling-ish pieces. Like the necklace they fashioned for Bhupinder Singh. Remember him? The Maharaja of Patiala in the early 1900’s? He not only possessed a kickass Cartier necklace but also a Maharajadom. And let us not forget the Best. Name. Ever.)


Imagine my bewilderment when I caught a segment on the Today Show highlighting the earth-shattering auction of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewelry during which Ann Curry modeled ET’s gems alongside Natalie Morales.

(Disclosure: It might’ve been Savannah Guthrie but I can’t tell Nat/Sav apart. I’d offer apologies but they’re both quite attractive. So hopefully they’ll forgive me).


These journalists were giggling like schoolgirls at a Justin Bieber concert. Or the mothers of schoolgirls at a Justin Bieber concert. Or Justin Bieber. Indeed throughout the segment, they gushed that wearing Ms. Taylor’s lavishness was the stuff of every woman’s dreams.


My Big Dream is underwear that doesn’t creep up my ass while I’m grocery shopping because I hate deciding whether I should pick the fabric out of my crack in Frozen Foods or continue toward the Express Checkout with a wedgie.

So. I ask you. What am I missing? Besides of course Push Presents, a maharajadom and a kickass name like Bhupinder?

Oh wait. That’s right. I may be a two-time mother, but I’m still missing the Girl Gene.

I don’t much care about Manolo Blahniks or Godiva chocolates or The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. (Although Ryan Gosling might impel me to try a bikini wax. You know. Just in case.)

The truth is, I’d rather grocery shop with a wedgie than visit the local shopping mall and I’d gladly skip both to stay home and Google random crap on Wikipedia.

All day long.

Such heady goals don’t leave me time to wear lipstick, birth more children, or have my I-Can’t-Believe-It-Might-Not-Be-A-Diamond appraised by a local jeweler.

I know. I know. “Every kiss begins with Kay.” And some of them lead to Push Presents.

But I’ve got bigger fish to fry. And creeping underwear to foil.

Just as soon as I find out where the hell Patiala is.


60 Responses to Guesty Monday: A Push Present By Any Other Name
  1. Alexandra
    November 20, 2011 | 9:45 pm

    I missed the boat on push presents, too.

    Think it started in the new millenium.

    But, what do I know..birthing in the 1990’s and before the internet and all.

    GOOD TO SEE YOU HERE, helping out chalupa with her mini-chimi.

    You’re a good woman..xo

    • julie gardner
      November 20, 2011 | 10:09 pm


      You’re so right. Birthing in the 1990’s meant some major compromise.

      In fact, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even offered ice chips.

      It’s true that these millennium moms really know what they’re doing. In more ways than one.

      But. My kids our kids are sleeping through the night, so there’s that.


  2. julie gardner
    November 20, 2011 | 10:13 pm

    My dear Mama Chalupa,

    I can’t express how honored I am to be here and how much joy I feel on the birth of Mini-Chimi.

    Such love has sucked the snark right out of me and all I can offer is a sincere wish for the happiness of your entire delicious family.

    And maybe a small prayer for the nipples. They’re about to take another beating.

    So to speak.

    And now, try to get some sleep!
    (I know. That was just mean, right?)

  3. Mommy Shorts
    November 20, 2011 | 10:50 pm

    I am still waiting for my push present from my soon to be two-year-old. That push gift has snowballed into last year’s birthday present and this year’s mother’s day gift as well. I think my husband is just letting my ungiven gifts accumulate until he can justify buying me the whole of Elizabeth Taylor’s estate collection.

    That’s got to be what he is up to, RIGHT???

    (Try Hanky Panky thongs. You will never wear another brand of underwear again. TRUST.)

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 5:57 am


      If the Hanky Panky thongs can do for my lower-half what the bras do for Tracy Morrison’s upper?

      I’m set.

      You know you’ve already steered me toward LuLu Lemon running pants so what you’re becoming to me now is my wardrobe guru.

      Which is amazing since I don’t shop.

      Clearly you’re magic. And deserve Liz Taylor’s gems.

      “These have always brought me luck…”


  4. Alison@Mama Wants This
    November 20, 2011 | 11:11 pm

    I am now going around with an image of you with a wedgie, thank you.

    Push presents are hysterical. All I wanted after the birth was tea and toast.

    I know, I’m easy to please.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 5:58 am


      The video after the birth of my son features me mowing what looks to be an entire turkey dinner.

      And my mom’s voice can be heard in the background saying, “She’s really enjoying her food.”

      True story.

      p.s. A healthy appetite is good for nursing, so…

  5. Jessica
    November 20, 2011 | 11:32 pm

    My push present was a decaf coffee and my husband changing the very first poopy diaper. I would have taken a diamond bracelet too but he wasn’t offering any up.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 5:59 am


      So you see where I’m coming from then. And I’m sorry for that.However.

      That first diaper-change can be pretty intimidating. And you had girls.

      That’s a lot of foreign real-estate for him to get right.

      I hope at least his coffee had caffeine.


  6. Mad Woman behind the Blog
    November 21, 2011 | 2:31 am

    OH MA GAH! Congrats Chalupa on the new addition to the menu! I was just thinking of the new chimi and wondering if he would need a few things.
    And Mama Chalupa, I type as I pump, may Chimi find his latch and you, the best lanolin a sheep can produce.

    Push presents, huh? Right. Adonis buys into that concept like he does Valentine’s day. That is to say, I’m still waiting. I do recall him saying the resulting INFANT was my present. And I think I have to agree.

    But if someone can recommend some guaranteed-not-to-wedge panties, I think I might have to weather that trip to the mall… I’ll pick you up a pair, Julie.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:01 am

      Mad Woman,

      Now I know why in all the interwebs, you people have become my friends…

      Because we know what gifts really count.


      We can appreciate the value of comfortable underwear.

      It’s the bond that can’t be broken.
      Someday, we will lingerie shop together.

      Fingers crossed…

  7. John
    November 21, 2011 | 4:54 am

    Who would have thought that I’d love yet another post from Julie.

    I’ve purchased two diamonds in my life – the first for my first fiancee, the second for my second fiancee (who became my wife). I’m, unfortunately, gifted with truly, insanely good eyesight, though, and can see the differences between diamond colors. This means that I probably should have just gotten pretty glass – because that can be actually clear.

    Anywhoosit, the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco gives out a nice set of pretties from Tiffany’s to everyone who finishes. I’ve contemplated running with a padded bra – I’m still not sure if I’d need to shave my face, or legs, to pull off the “I am a woman” look, though.

    I solved the “to pick or not to pick” issue by just not wearing underwear to the grocery store.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:04 am


      You can distinguish diamond color? Seriously?

      I’m delayed in that area. Among others. And, as I said, what I’ve got may not even be a real diamond.

      So when we meet up in San Francisco to run Nike Women’s, I’ll leave my one falsie at home and you bring two falsies to score some bling.

      It’ll be a win win. Or at least a lot of fun.

      • Mad Woman behind the Blog
        November 21, 2011 | 2:04 pm

        Sorry Tarj…

        Um, if the two of you are even the slightest bit serious about doing the SF marathon, I will be there. I may die after receiving my Tiffany from a REAL LIFE SF FIREMAN but it will be with a smile on my face.
        Yes, John failed to mention the finish present is presented by FIREMEN. And I’ve seen what the SF force has to offer…they’re not to be missed.

        Again, sorry new-again Momma for taking over your post.

  8. Suniverse
    November 21, 2011 | 4:57 am

    Like you and Alexandra, I gave birth in the Dark Ages. I ended up with a pretty good kid and a weakened bladder system, which I’m guessing is a fair enough deal. And while I am not a girly-girl, I AM distracted by shiny objects – hence my inability to bypass displays of obviously fake cocktail rings without trying them on. I have several $10 rings I like to wear to distract me while I’m driving.

    What the hell am I talking about? Oh, congratulations on the mini-chimi and on this lovely post.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:07 am


      At least in the Dark Ages, we weren’t expected to be back in Victoria’s Secret shape fifteen minutes after the birth.

      Nowadays, I’m pretty sure Heidi Klum walks the runway before her placentas drop.

      Talk about distracting…

  9. angela
    November 21, 2011 | 5:18 am

    My husband was all “um, our CHILD is your push present”. I tried to convince him that the pushing that ended in a c-section (twice, b/c I am not great at learning lessons the first time) deserves an even better present. I got a bottle of Motrin 😉

    I am unabashadly girly, but ET’s jewelry isn’t exactly the stuff of my dreams. You don’t need that for the glamorous life of Trader Joe’s and Aunt Annie’s pretzels.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:13 am


      I WISH I were a bit more girly. I do. I blame my mother (duh) and am currently destroying the girl gene in my own daughter.

      By the time she’s ready for a push present, her requests will probably veer toward laundry that folds itself or fruit that doesn’t rot three minutes after ripening.

      Both of which would be pretty cool. But not so much feminine.

      Still, Trader Joe’s is universally awesome unless you’re insane.

      And even then. Probably.

  10. annabelle
    November 21, 2011 | 5:45 am

    Push present?

    The only push present I got was an infected boil. On my labia. (tmi?)Treating that was more painful than the pushing I tell you that damn much. Of course they don’t give you the epidural so….

    Julie – It’s so good to see you here.

    Tarja – As a woman who’s children are 16 months apart, the best advice I can offer you is this:

    yeah. I’ve got nothing. : )

    Love you both!

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:16 am


      You totally win the prize.
      A labial boil? No words.

      And yet you turned around and got knocked up seven months after the first baby.

      Which is strong proof that motherhood does indeed make us even more crazy.

      And also maybe more hungry and prone to TMI.

      In other words, perfect.


  11. Renee Schuls-Jacobson
    November 21, 2011 | 6:33 am


    Like you, I’m a one ring-bling, girl. That’s all I’ve got.

    Every year, my sister-in-law announces: “Look what Dan got me for my birthday.” And it is another piece of something or other that is covered in diamonds with a name that means nothing to me.

    I wonder in those moments if I secretly have a tiny recessive Y chromosome or something.

    But I did give birth. Once.

    Afterwards, I begged for a blue popsicle, but they said they were all gone, so I had to suffer through the orange one which always tastes like baby aspirin to me.

    As far as the wedgie thing goes, we need to tweet about underwear. I NEVER have these problems and you always do. I have to solve this for you once and for all. As your friend, I simply cannot have you walking through life picking your ass.

    You’re better than that, Julie.

    As always, loved this.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 8:49 am


      I welcome any and all suggestions for how you can help me with the ass-picking.

      I should warn you, however, that I don’t buy stuff for myself that costs more than $5.99.


      I hope your underwear recommendations can be purchased at Target.

      Or else I’ll have to settle for the equivalent of an orange Popsicle.


  12. Abby
    November 21, 2011 | 7:27 am


    I have the remedy for that wedgie problem…they’re called Hanky Panky. Google it, or better yet, look it up on Wikipedia. Hanky Pankies are the best invention in. the. world.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 8:51 am


      You are not the first person to swear by the Hanky Panky.

      So there must be something to this brand.

      I can only hope Santa’s aware of it.

      And that I’m not on the naughty list. Again.

  13. Carolina Valdez Miller
    November 21, 2011 | 7:33 am

    If I’d only known such a thing existed, my marriage might not have lasted. I can see it all now, my hatred slowly building towards my husband for refusing to bow to the whims of commercial extortion (eh hem…HALLMARK). I remember that after my first child, I came home to discover new rugs in my kitchen and was quite delighted, but not because I’d received a PUSH present. Only because my feet now had something to stand on that didn’t freeze them to ice blocks. Hello, husband who meets my base needs and doesn’t buy me a diamond I might hock to buy more rugs.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 8:53 am


      As half of a couple whose Christmas, birthday and anniversary gifts are always something for the “household” (or paying the property taxes – hooray!), I’d say rugs trump jewelry any day.

      Plus, Hallmark doesn’t even make a card yet that says “Congratulations on covering that water bill for Mother’s Day.”

      We’re so ahead of our time.
      Oh yeah.

  14. JButt
    November 21, 2011 | 7:34 am

    Whoa whoa whoa. Push presents? The reasons for baby #3 just keep piling up.

    (Does it have to be jewelry? The present I pushed out last sat on my Kindle, so a new one would make a great Push Prez.)

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 8:55 am


      Add to the list of reasons for Baby #3 the fact that I’d come rock it for you. All day long.

      Unless that would be creepy. In which case forget I said anything.

      p.s. Sorry about the Kindle. Someone should make those things sturdier!

  15. Eva Gallant
    November 21, 2011 | 7:49 am

    What a wonderful post! You had me giggling all the way through it! I don’t care about jewelry and shopping either. But I do need my chocolate, and Godiva would send me to heaven. The stuff is just too damned expensive for my budget!

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 8:58 am


      I’m glad to hear you’re a sister in the “no shopping” club.

      Life’s too short, in my opinion. Especially when you’re busy trying to find room in the budget for Godiva.

      It’s good to have priorities.
      Well. In. Hand.

      Cheers to that, my friend.

  16. Alex@LateEnough
    November 21, 2011 | 7:54 am

    I’d pick no wedgies over jewelry any day. (punny!)
    But my husband did get me this lovely necklace with 2 circles interwoven to represent each of our kids. I hadn’t pushed out #2 yet so I think it was a ‘thanks for carrying 50 extra pounds and a backache for 18 months’ present.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 9:01 am


      I suppose I should admit (here, in a public forum) that part of the reason I don’t seek jewelry is my tendency to lose and/or break my stuff.

      And so far, I haven’t lost or broken my underwear.
      At least more than a few times.

      So it’s really more about knowing myself.

      And apparently having everyone else know, too.

  17. KLZ
    November 21, 2011 | 8:36 am

    Let me be of some assistance: you pick the wedgie. There’s no reason to live uncomfortably. I bet even Liz Taylor would agree.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 9:03 am


      How awesome would that White Diamonds commercial have been if Liz Taylor had walked up to those men, said “These have always brought me luck,” handed them the pair of earrings and grabbed a handful of her own panties to adjust?

      Yep. I should have been in advertising.

  18. liz
    November 21, 2011 | 9:23 am

    I heard about push presents when I was pregnant with Kate, though I did not ask, accept nor receive one.

    What Craig did, to his credit, was surprise me with a necklace on Kate’s first birthday, and also bought Kate the same one. So instead of a push present, we have a common piece of jewelry to wear.

    Thankfully we had a second girl and he could follow suit. Maddie and I have the same right hand ring. Obviously neither girl wears theirs yet, but we have them in a safe spot for when they get older.

    Congratulations on Baby Burrito!

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 2:45 pm


      That gesture of the matching mother-daughter jewelry is so sweet I can’t even make a joke.

      And I’m rarely serious.

      So Craig is a bit of a magician.

      Strong work marrying that one.

  19. Kristin @ What She Said
    November 21, 2011 | 9:38 am

    I think push presents are the most ridiculous made-up silliness since our societal treatment of Black Friday as a veritable holiday. And interestingly enough, both come down to consumerism. Coincidence? I doubt it – I think I’m missing the Girl Gene too.

    And I would totally pick the wedgie. Although I probably wouldn’t do it in frozen foods since it’s usually pretty crowded. I’d go to a quieter aisle – say, pet products, for instance. Who buys that shit at the grocery store anyway? Target’s got much better deals.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 2:46 pm


      I have two dogs, a guinea pig and had a gecko and goldfish before accidentally killing them.

      And I’ve never bought a single item in the pet aisle at the grocery store.

      That will henceforth be my zone of pickage.
      So I thank you for your support.

      AND lack of consumerism…


  20. FranceRants
    November 21, 2011 | 9:45 am

    I could write a really gross comment about my push present (for example, right after childbirth the doctor had to ‘push a present’ I got from labor, also known as a hemi, back to its proper spot) but I won’t go there.

    I agree with so much of you said during this post that I still think we should check to see if we are could be lost identical twins.

    (p.s. a good way to correct a wedgie w/o actually having to tug at it, is to pretend that you need to closely study something on the bottom grocery shelf and then do a deep knee bend in the grocery aisle; this tends to correct the problem. although on second thought, it has at times also resulted in driving the wedgie deeper.)

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 2:48 pm

      OH France,

      I know about the push present of which you speak. And we shall therefore never need to mention it again.

      We’ll just *get* each other.

      Also, if you see me bending deeply at the grocery store, don’t laugh too loudly.

      (I may also be hiding from the Salvation Army bell ringer…)

  21. dusty earth mother
    November 21, 2011 | 9:51 am

    Oh, that made me laugh out loud! Especially when I got to the “really? that’s what women want?” section. So funny, good filling in for the lactator, Julie. (lactater? laktator? milker?)

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 2:50 pm

      Thanks so much!

      And I think we should coin the term lactatologist for her.

      First of all, it sounds very science-y.

      Plus at the 2:00 AM feeding, it helps to have permission to use made up words.

      Or so I remember…

  22. tracy@sellabitmum
    November 21, 2011 | 10:15 am

    Now I am not a jewelry girl – but if my husband brought me a $1000 GC to Anthro while I was nursing my newborn he totally could have gotten into my knickers again sooner than the standard six month waiting time.

    But, he only brought me a latte..Not even non-fat..WTF so it’s now been 2.5 years and he’s rethinking the gift.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 2:52 pm


      I’m guessing that since you wear knickers, you don’t get wedgies very often.

      So I will totally shop with you at Anthropologie and you can distract the other shoppers while I stroll down the sales aisle to adjust my own creeping panties.

      Then we can get lattes after.


  23. Jamie
    November 21, 2011 | 10:22 am

    I got a push present for the first… a video camera. I would have preferred a voucher for a weekend away sans the whole family. Just me and my laptop and lots of wine. Shame. I didn’t even know then how much I would want such things.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:12 pm


      I’ve tried to reply to you twice and it doesn’t show up.


      Third time’s the charm; unless we’re talking about how many kids I have.

      Because I stopped at two and they are totally charming.

      Kind of.


  24. Cameron
    November 21, 2011 | 5:04 pm

    “My Big Dream is underwear that doesn’t creep up my ass while I’m grocery shopping because I hate deciding whether I should pick the fabric out of my crack in Frozen Foods or continue toward the Express Checkout with a wedgie.”

    Right with you on the creeping undies, sister. And Mama didn’t get no Push Present but a baby.

    Oh… wait. Yeah.

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:09 pm


      Yet another reason we need to hang out together someday: So we can curse our underwear while we extol the virtues of the best push presents ever.

      Felix, Jack and Karly.

      Oh yeah.

  25. Bridget
    November 21, 2011 | 5:46 pm

    Push presents? These young mom’s are sissies. You know what my push present was? Cable. Seriously, I keep telling Dallas I need to upsize the 1/5 carat (TOTAL WEIGHT) earrings he bought me when we were dating. He usually laughs and says, “or we could just send the kids to college.”

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 6:10 pm


      I hear that. It’s the exact reason why I have never gotten my ONE diamond appraised.

      Because denial is preferable to knowing the truth.

      And we already can’t afford college.


  26. Stephanie
    November 21, 2011 | 7:31 pm

    I think Push Presents are as genuine as Secretary’s Day. But jewelry? Take it!!

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 9:10 pm


      But did I mention I REALLY like roast beef sandwiches?

      Like a lot.

      (I know. Something wrong with me. It’s okay. I’ve accepted it.)

  27. My Inner Chick
    November 21, 2011 | 9:01 pm

    **My Big Dream is underwear that doesn’t creep up my ass while I’m grocery shopping**


    PS. Why the hell didn’t I hear anything about this gift/diamond stuff?

    • julie gardner
      November 21, 2011 | 9:11 pm


      It’s some kind of conspiracy.

      I think we should blame Snooki.

      Who’s with me?


  28. Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes
    November 22, 2011 | 4:30 am

    I don’t think I’d like a push present, each time I’d look at it I would be reminded of the excruciating pain and the greenish tint of my husband’s countenance after they told him ‘look sir, you can see the head, come and have a look’.

  29. Missy | Literal Mom
    November 22, 2011 | 8:52 am

    I didn’t get push presents either, though friends did and actually MOCKED me for not insisting on one. Really, I don’t get the jewelry thing either and now I’m getting invited to a home jewelry party every month. My bank account can’t handle that! Great post, Julie. Flying Chalupa – great to meet you. Where have you been my whole life?

  30. Katie
    November 22, 2011 | 9:03 am

    I love jewelry. My husband has the jewelry dumbs. My mother buys me all the cute earrings and necklaces for my birthday. (which isn’t tons, mind you.)

    And that is ok.

    I remember waiting for him to show up with flowers or something to the hospital the day after Eddie was born.

    Instead he showed up with a cooler that had his lunch in it and a couple sodas…for himself.

  31. Lady Jennie
    November 23, 2011 | 8:29 am

    I have a friend who got a push present, which is the first I heard of it (although she didn’t use that name). But … as shallow as I am … I am content with the admiration my husband lavished on to me. “You WENT for it honey!” I was quite proud.

    I can relate to latching on to Nutella.

  32. Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him
    November 23, 2011 | 12:34 pm

    Julie, I’d give you a rock for pushing out my baby. Though I might make you raise it first.

  33. chickensconsigliere
    November 27, 2011 | 4:55 pm

    See, this is my problem, I never listen. I heard about push presents, but just thought it meant the head was out…

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