The Brady Bunch? Eight is Enough? Quitters!

It’s that age-old female urge to be implanted with an absurd number of embryos

The Brady Bunch? Eight is Enough? Quitters!

(Photo illustration by Maclean’s)

Newspapers report that Nadya Suleman, the single mother of octuplets who already had six children before giving birth, was unemployed and financially strapped even before she decided to seek fertility treatments. She has expressed interest in a career as a television child care expert.

Welcome to Kids Korner—real-world advice on raising children. I’m Nadya Suleman.

Did you tune in to The Brady Bunch and think to yourself—this show would be so much better if they just added eight infants and the looming threat of bankruptcy, foreclosure and malnutrition? Did you watch Eight is Enough and think to yourself, “Says who? Dick Van Patten is not the boss of my womb.” Did you see the movie Cheaper By the Dozen and think of the parents as quitters? Well then you just might love having children almost as much as I do!

Let’s go right to the phones.

Hi Nadya, thanks for taking my call. I’m having trouble with my four-year-old son. No matter what I say, or how I say it, he just won’t listen to me. It’s frustrating!

You know what I find works in situations like this? Providing him with 13 siblings. It gives the kind of emotional support and understanding of mob dynamics that you just can’t get from a family that’s incapable of fielding its own soccer team.

Hello Nadya, I don’t know how you do it! I’ve only got one newborn girl and I’m completely exhausted.

Believe me, it gets easier! Once your child reaches seven or eight weeks, she’ll pretty much take care of herself. From that point on, you’re mostly there to give your baby an occasional nuzzle and maybe a gentle prod along the way. [Pause.] Or is that a fawn?

How do I help my older kids adapt to the new baby I’ve just had?

Here’s an easy trust exercise that everyone can try at home: get your five oldest kids down on their hands and knees. Then get your nine other children to climb up, forming a human pyramid. Then place the baby up on top. Then make them stay like that for the entire afternoon so Mommy can sell her book rights and go on Oprah.

Hi! We love your show—and we don’t even have any kids yet! How do I know when I’m really ready to bring a baby into the world?

I think most women go through the same experience. You find yourself feeling that age-old urge to be implanted with an absurd number of embryos. You can’t stop thinking about one day being at the hospital and counting those 50 little fingers and 50 little toes, then taking a nap, then waking up and counting the remaining 30 fingers and toes. You dream of that special moment in the delivery room when you look up into the faces of your 46-member team of medical professionals and say, “Are they all out yet, or what?” That’s nature’s way of saying you’re ready. And if at the end of the day you’re still not sure, then just take it slow. Start with quintuplets.

Now it’s time for the Kids Korner speed round where I answer a series of parenting questions in no time flat. Just try and stump me! Ready? Let’s go.

Nadya, my three-year-old won’t sleep through the night. What should I do?

Get pregnant again.

Hi! I’ve just had twins and—

Get pregnant again.

I’ve got a rosebush that just isn’t thriving in the shade and—


Nadya, I’m going through a real bad case of postpartum depression and I—


Okay, that was fun. Let’s take a moment now for a word from one of our sponsors.

Viewers, getting the kids off to school can be a real hassle in the morning, especially when it’s 7:45 and you’ve still got a couple hundred Eggo waffles to toast. That’s why I swear by Chrysler’s new maxivan—the Crazytown & Country. Designed for the mom who uses children as a proxy for emotional fulfillment, it comes standard with 14 passenger seats, 860 cup holders and a psychiatrist. Can’t afford the sticker price? No problem! Just do what I did—overextend yourself to a tragicomic extent and blithely expect society to take on the burden.

Okay, we’ve got time for one last call.

Yes, I have a question: when you were unemployed with six young kids, why did you actively seek out a fertility specialist and bring so many babies to term despite not having the resources to support them?

Viewers, this is exactly the kind of ignorance I’d expect from someone who has no idea how I live or—

Mom, this is Bruce.


Your son.


Sorry, I’m going to need a little more detail.

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