Last summer, the E! Online Answer Bitch column did a great 3 question article on celebrity moms, asking why celebrities have nannies, schedule c-sections, and name their children such horrible names. It’s a great read, very informative and funny. To read it in full on CBB, click the continuation link under the bit of the article I posted.
Do celebrities raise their own kids? The nanny seems to be around all the time. Why have them if you’re not going to raise them?
Most stars downplay any role a nanny might have in the lives of their silky offspring. Bad for publicity, see. And this kind of dishonesty does, yes, piss off the nannies, a few of whom marched right up to the Answer
First the fundamentals: Most celebrities have at least three nannies per kid–one for weekdays, one for weeknights and a third for weekends and trips. Lucky nannies get a whole $30 per hour. That’s enough to buy, well, nothing, actually, over at Fred Segal and all the other fancy shops where they must take the younglings to buy their mini-Uggs and hats that let the kids pretend they’re koala bears or whatever.
For more seamy details, we turn now to Kim Hong, who says she worked for a family connected to an action-movie mogul. (Celebrities routinely require their nannies to sign gag agreements. Violate this–name names, say–and you’ll never wipe another softly powdered ass in this town again.) Hong served the aforementioned action family for three weeks, "one week longer than the previous three nannies they hired," she tells this
So, what does a Hollywood nanny do all day? Teach the tots to sing? Make play clothes out of curtains? If only.
According to Hong, The nanny is responsible for packing lunches; preparing dinner; playing games; reading bedtime stories; overseeing homework assignments; bathing the children; making sure they brush their teeth; dressing them appropriately; picking up after them; packing two or more different outfits for them when they go on jaunts (in case the weather changes); and transporting them to and from school, karate class, the chiropractor, Spanish class, parties at other celebrities’ homes and any other trip.
"The kids," Hong says, "usually end up treating their nannies like assistants."
But what about the many glamorous perks that inevitably rain down like liquid platinum onto working stiffs to the stars? Don’t nannies get to take fancy trips? Well, kind of.
Suzanne Hansen, who used to nanny the children of Danny DeVito, Debra Winger and other celebrity DNA distributors, still gets complaints from current babysitters who need to vent. One nanny recently told Hansen she’d been asked to accompany a star family on a trip out of town, only to be saddled with 12 more privileged little moppets once she arrived at the hotel.
This nanny worked for a pro baseball player, see, and had looked forward to the out-of-town trip, hoping to witness something other than the top of a toddler’s head for once. "Instead, she was just left with all the players’ wives’ kids," Hansen tells this
But the biggest peeve for most nannies: invisibility.
"Celebrities like to say they don’t have help with the kids, but it’s not the reality," says Hansen, who has since written a book called You’ll Never Nanny in This Town Again. "If people really knew how dishonest stars were about this, we wouldn’t put them on pedestals."
Every time I read about a celebrity giving birth–like Denise Richards, Kate Hudson, etc.–they had a C-section. Are stars too posh to push?
Yes, actually. And they’re also much, much too important to sit around and wait for labor pains to start. These actresses are on a schedule, people. Let’s produce the thing and get back to the set. Think this B!tch exaggerates? You are wrong.
Denise Richards had booked a Caesarean section in March, to deliver daughter Sam 10 days before the baby’s due date. Why? The arrangement fit perfectly with husband Charlie Sheen’s planned weeklong hiatus from filming his sitcom, Two and a Half Men. "It was convenient," Richards later told People. "We like to plan things." Unfortunately, the baby didn’t get the memo and arrived a day early.
Such arrangements horrify a lot of birthing nurses and other medical practitioners, one of whom tells your friendly neighborhood B!tch, "I don’t approve of delivering babies for scheduling conveniences. It’s a risky thing to do if you don’t have a medical necessity." (For the record, most scheduled births–also called social inductions–automatically call for a C-section delivery because the body hasn’t fully readied itself for a vaginal birth, nurses tell this B!tch.)
Another info morsel of note: Some stars can’t deliver naturally. So says Suzanne Hansen, a birthing nurse who also used to serve as a Hollywood power-nanny. She currently has a track-star patient preparing for motherhood, but the mom’s abdominal muscles are so toned that her baby hasn’t been able to flip upside down into the proper birthing position, Hansen says. That mom will probably have a C-section, Hansen adds, and supposes that similarly toned stars will have the same issues. Who else is doing the belly cut? Let’s see.
The Glasgow Daily Record recently quoted Kate Hudson as saying she wanted a C-section–which can take about a half hour–instead of a lengthy natural birth, to prevent strange people from seeing her in labor or trekking to or from a hospital. "I was going in to get induced because the baby was so big," Hudson was quoted as saying. "Then my hips weren’t opening and I wasn’t dilating. I was in labor. My contractions were two to five minutes apart, and I couldn’t feel anything. "The doctor said I could go home, but it was such a pain in the butt to get to hospital because we were being stalked by photographers…I was like, ‘I am not going home, just don’t want to do this again. Let’s just have a C-section.’ "
The procedure has also saved Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, Madonna, Victoria Beckham and singer Toni Braxton from the rigors of natural birthing. And Everybody Loves Raymond star Patricia Heaton? She’s had four. To be fair to the celebrity shortcutters, some experts, including Harvard researchers, insist that today’s Caesarean poses no more risks than a vaginal birth does.
But what isn’t so cool is that this procedure is still, for the most part, reserved only for people who can pay for it–or who have already suffered through days of absurdly ridiculous pain. See, most health plans won’t pony up for a C-section unless the mom has tried labor first. "I had one mom who already had about eight kids," Hansen recalls. "She had varicose veins everywhere from all the labors she’d had, she was a prime candidate for a C-section, and her insurance plan wouldn’t pay for it." What, couldn’t she argue that she was being chased by paparazzi? Sheesh. Think, people…
What’s with all the weird baby names coming from Hollywood? Can’t anyone just name their kid Sarah or John anymore?
A baby is the Most Important Production a celebrity will ever finance. A-list-spawned cherubim represent all the world’s most valuable DNA in a single organism, genetically front-loaded with pearly pink promise.
How can such children lead the world in song if burdened by thuddingly plebian names such as Dave or Kimberly?
No. These offspring are Special. They are Living Art. They are Apple, Speck, Sistine, Coco, Banjo, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah Belle. Pardon me whilst I cough up blood.
Most celebrities offer pretty much the same explanation when asked about how little Audio Science or Pilot Inspektor came by their crackpot hieroglyphs. Indeed, most stars just say they think their kids’ names are, like, um, nifty and stuff.
Think I pulled the examples above out of the ether? You underestimate this
Actor Jason Lee sired li’l Pilot last year. Through a rep, Lee later told the media he "just liked the name."
Six Feet Under star Rachel Griffiths bore Banjo in January. The science behind the choice remains unclear, but Griffiths’ buddy Toni Collette later raved to the press that the baby is "beautiful, blue-eyed and has long fingers. He’s definitely going to be a musician someday."
Audio Science popped out of ac
tress-slash-deejay-slash-Zappa-wannabe Shannyn Sossamon last year. No word from her camp on the "thought process" behind the name.
Meanwhile, Courteney Cox and David Arquette have li’l Coco, Gwyneth has Apple, and Ben Affleck recently became the proud uncle of a boy named Indiana August, courtesy of his brother, actor and nepotism jackpot winner Casey.
For a glimpse into the children’s future, we go to Peaches Honeyblossom Geldof, daughter of Band Aid-Boomtown Rats impresario Sir Bob. (Kids under 21: Go ask Mom about this guy.) Soon after Gwynnie’s Apple fell in May, Peaches wrote an impassioned essay in London’s Sunday Telegraph. (Bonus fact: Peaches has sisters named Fifi Trixibelle and Pixie and a half-sister, Heavenly Hirani Tigerlilly.)
"Poor Apple," Peaches sympathizes in her essay. "At primary school I got teased a lot, just as little Apple Martin will. The most common taunt was: ‘Oi, Peaches, are your parents bananas?’
"Another heart-warming school memory: Every Tuesday we were served sliced peaches. I avoided choosing this, even though I had a fondness for them, because every time I dared to raise my spoon, the jubilant cries of, ‘You’re eating yourself! You’re eating yourself!’ would echo around the room."
Oh, but this doesn’t stop with famous spawn. Whatever delusion-inducing disease these celebrities have, it has spread to the masses.
At least three Americans have named their children after the sports network ESPN. A couple in Pampa, Texas, recently told a reporter that they pronounce their son’s name Espen and chose the full moniker of ESPN Malachi McCall because "that’s a cool name." (Apparently, this Texas place features a unique definition of the word cool, one roughly synonymous with asinine.)