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The A.M.E.B. Newsletter ~ fiction by Marion Deutsche Cohen

Today at The Housewife, how to cope with that child of yours who never seems to grow up …

The Disappointed Housewife


The term “eternal baby” originated from a story* of that title by Marion Cohen. (The story, in the author’s words, is “a Kafkaesque deal about a child who refuses to be toilet trained.) The actual medical phenomenon is most isolated. One out of every some huge number of babies is diagnosed eternal. The condition appears to be due to an extra half-chromosome which cannot be detected via amniocentesis. An eternal baby is one who, once born, ceases to develop, both physically and mentally. It is not what used to be called “retarded”; it just never changes, never grows, never learns, and never dies, except through accident or disease.

In spite of their eternal-ness, there are only some 57 in existence. This is probably because such a trait can’t possibly be hereditary (although there is some current research to the end of fertilizing an egg from…

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4 comments on “The A.M.E.B. Newsletter ~ fiction by Marion Deutsche Cohen

  1. Sha'Tara
    February 27, 2018

    A fun read over there, but in my opinion there are too many “obstacles” in the way of developing a believable theme; too many contradictions. By “scientific” definition an eternal baby could never be, since “it” doesn’t grow, “it” could not develop in the womb. It would remain at the stage the sperm fertilizes the egg. If it were born, and remained a new born, much of the details presented on how to “present” the baby to the world seem pointless. Just saying. Had I been writing this, and I love the concept, I would have had my eternal babies stop growing at a particular interactive age, say, four years old, or maybe not at a particular measurable age but to “fascinate” the theme, just before entry into puberty.

  2. Marion Deutsche Cohen
    January 19, 2020

    Actually, there are cases in which what you (Sha-Tara) describe has happened; the one I remember, the non-growing child, a girl, was “eternally” (until she died, of “natural”, “regular” causes) 18 months old (and very loving, lovable, and apparently happy).

    • Sha'Tara
      January 19, 2020

      Ah well, live and learn, huh! Perhaps these “mutations” are indications that it is possible to attain a state of eternal youth!

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This entry was posted on February 27, 2018 by in Publishing.
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