My kids have been invited to 7 birthday parties since the start of the year, and that doesn’t count their own February and March birthday parties. I can hear other parents nodding their heads in recognition, but here is the weird thing: My kids weren’t invited to any birthday parties in the fall. Were there not any kids with birthdays in the fall? That seems particularly weird since 40 weeks before September, October, and November are December, January, and February. You would think that the coldest months would be when MORE babies would be conceived, wouldn’t you? Why aren’t more Chicago babies conceived during winter?
I have a few theories about why there is an apparent birth dearth 9 months after Chicago’s winter, a.k.a. why people might not be “doing it” when it’s cold.
Theory one: Chicago winters are too cold for sex
Yes, sex is a great way to generate some body heat, but if you live in an ancient 3-flat with insufficient insulation, you likely spend the winter enshrouded in layers of long underwear, wool socks, and snuggies. Not only is that not the most attractive look to arouse your mate, but it’s also a lot of work to peel everything off. Plus, it’s cold out there. Brr!
Theory two: Chicago winters are too cold for procreation
Maybe Chicagoans actually are thumping like non-hibernating bunnies all winter, but perhaps it’s the sperm and eggs that are too frozen to fulfill their duties. Sure, there are people who freeze their eggs on purpose, but they do so under the expectation that a trained professional will thaw them before use. Popsicles don’t procreate.
Theory three: It’s a self-perpetuating cycle
For those who already have one or more children, perhaps they don’t conceive babies in the winter because they are too exhausted from getting gifts for and wrapping gifts for and driving kids to and picking kids up from a seemingly endless agenda of winter birthday parties. Most people don’t consider fighting about bedtime with a kid hopped up on cake, ice cream, and large bags of pinata candy to be much of a turn on.
Disclaimer: I am not a scientist
I should note that all of this has been posed for amusement only. I am well aware that my observation was based on a very unscientific sample. (Is there some fall birthday/winter birthday bias that makes my kids only be friends with kids whose birthdays are near their own?) Additionally, my theories are the result of a strange sense of humor documented in an unedited blog post rather than formal experiments published in a peer reviewed journal article. Believe any of this at your own risk.
But, you know, spring doesn’t start until March 20th, so you have one more week to make some babies and prove me wrong next year, Chicago.
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