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Let's play the What if...? game. It'll be fun. You just have to read through my list of hypotheticals and try to follow the way my loopy, school-stressed, Twinkie-loving, pregnant brain works. And then, if you have a blog and feel so compelled, write your own What if...? post. Thanks to Jennie Doering of Momaconda for the inspiration and the tag!

What if childbirth wasn't painful? Those Biblical curses weren't doled out evenly, if you ask me.

What if we were born with some sense of institutional memory? Civil rights, the feminist movement, devastating pre-vaccine epidemics, the price of war. Sometimes I worry that each subsequent generation suffers unnecessary mistakes and regressions because it has not, personally, experienced the things that wised-up the generation(s) that came before.

What if some nutritional value could be added to Twinkies? It's not like there's a risk of making them too synthetic...

What if the United States disbanded the Electoral College system?

What if all politicians were required to match, dollar for dollar, the amount spent on their personal campaigns to some kind of public benefit fund in their states? Food banks, for example. Or a scholarship program. Or relief for veterans.

What if every American student who completed a two year community college program received some kind of learn-your-world-and-love-your-world congratulatory gift? A plane ticket, either domestic or international, to the region of their choice. Perhaps some added perks for a commitment of volunteerism in that region.

What if police officers were required to wear body cams?

What if there were no Facebook?

What if, every time a woman was raped, public scrutiny turned immediately and fully on men, rather than women, as a group?

What if our pets could live healthy lives longer?

What if every guy who ever, under the guise of an internet troll or his gamer handle, threatened a woman online with sexual violence, was required to admit this to his mother, his wife, his sister, or his daughter?

What if foreign language was taught in American schools beginning in 2nd grade? Any language. But especially Spanish and Mandarin.

What if we kept smartphones and tablets out of the hands of our kids until they learned to write their names and make friends with other flesh-and-blood children?

What if everyone who calls for war to be waged by our country's military were required to have some skin in that dangerous game? I'm thinking of every Fox News anchor begging for our President to let slip the dogs of war on ISIS, but makes these rallying cries from the safety of a network studio after hours of hair and makeup. No chance you'll take a bullet in the chest, or an RPG will hit your Humvee, or a black-veiled coward with a machete will take your head off in front of those video cameras? Then, no opinion.

What if adults could continue participating in the Book Bucks program? I'm really only in it for the free personal Pizza Hut pizza. And the free round of mini golf.

On an unrelated note: yesterday, I spent an hour reading aloud from James Joyce's Dubliners collection to the Hazelnut. In an Irish accent. Disney seemed pretty entertained by the whole thing. I know it's impossible for my daughter to learn these things via osmosis, but I feel like little bits of her personality are already beginning to catch the light. She kicks more when I'm laughing than almost any other time. She seems soothed when a purring kitty is draped in front of my tummy. She is calm when she hears Jonathan's voice or feels his hand press close to her.