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kariyaki

S12.E17: The Conference Valuation

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When Penny and Bernadette go to San Diego for a pharmaceutical sales convention, Howard is in charge of the kids. Also, Sheldon finds a book on experimenting on kids, and the guys plus Amy make a day of it.

Airdate: Thursday, March 7, 2019

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Man I can’t wait until this show is put out of its misery. I still watch the older reruns on a nightly basis but just getting through these last few seasons has been a serious chore. I don’t think I laughed once during this ep. 🙁

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6 minutes ago, srpturtle80 said:

Man I can’t wait until this show is put out of its misery. I still watch the older reruns on a nightly basis but just getting through these last few seasons has been a serious chore. I don’t think I laughed once during this ep. 🙁

lol...I was watching a rerun at 7:30 and as it ended and I was reaching to change the channel I thought, "god I wonder how many episodes are left..."

I did chuckle at Beverly telling Leonard that the experiment isn't over yet..

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I didn’t think it was a bad episode but it did feel incomplete. I was surprised when it was over because it seemed like nothing really happened. It felt like two “B” plots with no “A”plot.  

I actually wish Penny would consider the other job offer. I really hope the show doesn’t end with her in the same job position. 

Edited by Dani
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I thought the episode was delightful! Bernie and Penny had an interesting little storyline, Johnny was fantastically funny as Leonard realizing what Beverly had done (although I may be watching wrong because I don't think I was supposed to find "the experiment's not finished" sweet but I kind of did), and I LOVE cocky Amy. Mayim throwing those glances left and right got a hearty laugh out of me each time.

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I really loved Amy egging Raj on with the pointed looks about whether she can push Sheldon’s boundaries. 

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When Raj realized it was Amy steering Sheldon towards the baby book and spending time with babies I was so afraid she was going to announce she was pregnant. Glad that didn't happen. But just how old is Amy supposed to be? Maybe it's because of the dowdy clothes she wears, but I would say mid 30s at least. Yet she and Sheldon act like they've got all the time in the world to have children. I know lots of women have children in their late 30s and 40s, but there's a reason pregnant women over 35 are referred to medically as "elderly."

Edited by SpiritSong
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26 minutes ago, SpiritSong said:

But just how old is Amy supposed to be? Maybe it's because of the dowdy clothes she wears, but I would say mid 30s at least.

I don't recall them ever saying how old Amy or Bernadette are but I've always assumed that means they are within a few years of their respective guys in age otherwise you can bet that it would have come up!  Which means since we know Howard and Sheldon are in their late 30s Amy and Bernadette can't be too far behind.

I agree with your point about age and having babies as well.  It's funny how this rarely comes up on sitcoms even when the potential parents are a lot older than Amy and Sheldon.  There is a point where it has to be an issue and not just  because getting pregnant might be harder.   The older you get the harder it gets to get down on the floor and play with a kid!

Edited by CherryAmes
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I get it was supposed to be a joke about him being like a babysitter but Bernadette saying she laughed cash onthe table for food made absolutely no sense in 2019 and wasn’t funny so totally pointless.

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5 minutes ago, CherryAmes said:

 The older you get the harder it gets to get down on the floor and play with a kid!

--and the more important it is to have "god parents" (or the equivalent) in the event that the "elderly" new parents do not survive the kids' childhood--which these days means at least college graduation. 

My favorite line was Bernie's clarifying that the difference between babysitting and parenting is that you don't get paid. Many older siblings do not get paid, but they are parenting too.

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2 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

--and the more important it is to have "god parents" (or the equivalent) in the event that the "elderly" new parents do not survive the kids' childhood--which these days means at least college graduation. 

My dad was significantly younger than my mom.   My mom is still here as I pass 40 and my dad didn't make it to college graduation.  Both got down on the floor and played with me.   In fact the people I know who are older parents tend to seem younger becuase running around after little kids keeps you in the game a bit.

Now, I was super worried about my mom's age when I was little.  I'm not advocating for this as a choice everybody should make.  I'm just saying mom and dad in their late 30s early 40s isn't leaving a kid with parents who can't do things.   

And not having people have kids into their early 40s really was a more recent phenomenon.  Go spend some time with the census and look at those big farming families from before the pill.   Mom was often popping out kids every other year from 18-42.

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7 hours ago, SpiritSong said:

I know lots of women have children in their late 30s and 40s, but there's a reason pregnant women over 35 are referred to medically as "elderly."

Speaking from experience, 'elderly' mothers (I was 36) are medically referred to as 'geriatric'. Personally, I found that a tad harsh.

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1 hour ago, Beden said:

Speaking from experience, 'elderly' mothers (I was 36) are medically referred to as 'geriatric'. Personally, I found that a tad harsh.

I am old enough now to find that harsh and ridiculous!  I know there are medical reasons behind it not Hollywood fluffery but it's still jaw droppingly dumb.

Edited by CherryAmes
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5 hours ago, bybrandy said:
8 hours ago, shapeshifter said:

--and the more important it is to have "god parents" (or the equivalent) in the event that the "elderly" new parents do not survive the kids' childhood--which these days means at least college graduation. 

My dad was significantly younger than my mom.   My mom is still here as I pass 40 and my dad didn't make it to college graduation.  Both got down on the floor and played with me.   In fact the people I know who are older parents tend to seem younger becuase running around after little kids keeps you in the game a bit.

I was 42 when my youngest was born.  My husband was 46.  Our youngest is now in college and we hope to live to see his college graduation ;-) He was our third and we were on the floor with him just as much as with our other children.

Because these are the last episodes I feel like I want each of them to resolve something. Each episode should be important and not just filler.  I guess that what we found out in this show is that Amy is nudging Sheldon into wanting children, that Penny is good at her job, and that Bernadette is still a bully.

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I can't get over how much time these adults spend with their friends.  I have friends but we don't live in each other's pockets.

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10 hours ago, PinkRibbons said:

I thought the episode was delightful! Bernie and Penny had an interesting little storyline, Johnny was fantastically funny as Leonard realizing what Beverly had done (although I may be watching wrong because I don't think I was supposed to find "the experiment's not finished" sweet but I kind of did), and I LOVE cocky Amy. Mayim throwing those glances left and right got a hearty laugh out of me each time.

I love the way Amy manages Sheldon !

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I liked Bernadette saying she would fight to keep Penny and trying to get Penny a better salary if she did leave. I'm not sure why Bernie was even at a sales event though.

10 hours ago, PinkRibbons said:

(although I may be watching wrong because I don't think I was supposed to find "the experiment's not finished" sweet but I kind of did),

It's not really the sort of thing we expect from Beverly, but the smile on her face when she said it made me think she was just teasing him.  I don't see how Leonard could possibly have remembered his mother doing those tests when he was a baby.  I did like that she said those were some of her fondest memories.

Amy was hilarious and I think her plan is working.

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1 hour ago, ShelleySue said:

  I guess that what we found out in this show is that Amy is nudging Sheldon into wanting children, 

17 minutes ago, Lady J said:

I love the way Amy manages Sheldon !

I like when the show highlights that Amy understands Sheldon and is able to work within his boundaries to open him up to "new" or different ways of doing things.  As much as I enjoyed that, Sheldon has notably been shown to want children.  Yes, it was more about not depriving the world of his advanced genes but it was still about having children.  So I probably would have rather it had been played for Amy moving Sheldon from reproduction only reasons to more "cuddlely" reasons for having children.  Though we were left with the notion that Sheldon "learned" kids could be "fun".

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58 minutes ago, Trey said:

I don't see how Leonard could possibly have remembered his mother doing those tests when he was a baby.

I just saw this episode a few minutes ago (only way I will watch BBT is through the magic of PVR) and Leonard doesn't remember the tests from babyhood, the tests being done on the babies triggers childhood memories.  Like the name of his cabin at camp being "Control Group" 😃

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15 minutes ago, CherryAmes said:

Leonard doesn't remember the tests from babyhood, the tests being done on the babies triggers childhood memories. 

He did have the sense that the tests seemed familiar, which could have been unconscious memories, or he saw them done on someone younger (I think there's at least one sibling we don't know anything about).

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10 minutes ago, LoneHaranguer said:

He did have the sense that the tests seemed familiar, which could have been unconscious memories, or he saw them done on someone younger (I think there's at least one sibling we don't know anything about).

We know he has a much older sister and a brother.  Depending on the episode it seems to me that the writer(s) du jour forgets whether it's an older or younger brother.  Mostly though they do seem to go with younger.  What I've always wondered about was if Leonard was the only sibling that got the special "mothering" from Beverly or if they all have a tale to tell!

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35 minutes ago, CherryAmes said:

Like the name of his cabin at camp being "Control Group" 😃

That line made me giggle.  Partly because I used to tease that If I had identical twins I'd name then Control "Connie" and Variable "V."  It's not a bad thing that I don't have children.

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8 minutes ago, CherryAmes said:

I've always wondered about was if Leonard was the only sibling that got the special "mothering" from Beverly or if they all have a tale to tell!

I've often wondered myself if Leonard's siblings have the same resentment to Beverly that he has.

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15 minutes ago, kariyaki said:

I've often wondered myself if Leonard's siblings have the same resentment to Beverly that he has.

I don't think so -- it has been established that Beverly thinks her other two children are superior to Leonard in their careers and general overall intelligence and worthiness.....

poor leonard

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6 minutes ago, Dakisela said:

I don't think so -- it has been established that Beverly thinks her other two children are superior to Leonard in their careers and general overall intelligence and worthiness.....

That's true but we've never been shown what Beverly is saying to her other children.  It's possible she's playing the same mind games with them that she has always played with Leonard.  I guess  this is one potential storyline though that will never be pursued.

Edited by CherryAmes
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1 hour ago, CherryAmes said:

Can Lorre and his writers not comprehend that is is perfectly possible for a woman to be capable, even excel in the workplace, and not become a harridan?  I guess they do allow for that with Amy but mostly they seem to show any woman in a position of power over others being a bully.  I hate that 😞 .

An interpretation is that Bernadette is a terrible boss who has made a monster/terrible boss out of Penny (rather than female bosses being intrinsically harridans)--but this only works in a fictional narrative (IMO) if either

  1. Penny wakes up and rebels and decides to be a supportive boss,
    or:
  2. Bernadette sending the exhausted underlings home at midnight (instead of letting Penny give them B12 shots to keep going) is the beginning of Bernadette having an epiphany, and she reforms her own management style to supportive.

Maybe that was was where they were going in this episode with Bernadette realizing she could lose Penny if she's not more supportive?
Anyway, if neither Penny nor Bernadette reform on screen, they will in one of the alternate universes in my head.

Edited by shapeshifter · Reason: a "huh" moment
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13 hours ago, PinkRibbons said:

I don't think I was supposed to find "the experiment's not finished" sweet but I kind of did

I kind of thought it was sweet also, not sure why.  

I also expected it to turn out that the book Sheldon had was written by Beverly Hofstadter.

Also, IMO Beverly's other kids surely have to have some issues with her.  For all we know, she talks up Leonard in their presence.

12 hours ago, biakbiak said:

I get it was supposed to be a joke about him being like a babysitter but Bernadette saying she laughed cash onthe table for food made absolutely no sense in 2019 and wasn’t funny so totally pointless.

I get the impression that Bernadette controls the finances in the house.  Howard has been shown to be somewhat impulsive in his spending.  I've known married couples like this, where the wife controls the money, because the husband cant' be trusted with it.  Remember, Howard lived all those years with his mother, so he may not have had to live with a budget.

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4 minutes ago, rmontro said:

Howard has been shown to be somewhat impulsive in his spending.

Yeah I could totally buy Bernadette not wanting to leave him alone with access to a credit card...or a bank account.  This is one aspect of "Bossy Bernadette" that I actually understand - they have been very good about showing that Bernadette has to be in control where the money is concerned because Howard is a total idiot who makes very bad decisions!

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They addressed Howard and Bernadette’s finances years ago when he impulsively bought a 3D printer with Raj just so they could print some action figures of themselves. She made him sell his half of the printer back to Raj (with the check made out to her) and took him off the joint account.

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I actually really like that Penny looks to have found her niche, with a job that pays well and one that, much to her surprise, she's really good at.  Good enough that a competitor wants to hire her away.  She's never been valued for anything but her looks before, and I loved to see her delight when she realized what was going on.  Penny has always been depicted as kind of a lame screw-up who peaked in high school, barely good enough and pretty enough to be in the most horrible schlocky B-movies and an indifferent waitress, but now she's coming into her own.  I like it. 

Anyone else think that the "experiments to run on your baby" was authored by Leonard's mom?  I was waiting for the reveal where Raj takes a second look at the cover and discovers Beverly's name. 

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I get the impression that Bernadette controls the finances in the house.  Howard has been shown to be somewhat impulsive in his spending.  I've known married couples like this, where the wife controls the money, because the husband cant' be trusted with it.  Remember, Howard lived all those years with his mother, so he may not have had to live with a budget.

Did Howard quit his job to be a full time, stay-at-home dad? I remember them having a discussion about it but then again it seems like he's always in the cafeteria scenes with Leonard, Raj and Sheldon like he still works at the school. If he does he should have his own money. Enough for groceries, anyway.

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10 minutes ago, iMonrey said:

Did Howard quit his job to be a full time, stay-at-home dad? I remember them having a discussion about it but then again it seems like he's always in the cafeteria scenes with Leonard, Raj and Sheldon like he still works at the school. If he does he should have his own money. Enough for groceries, anyway.

Howard didn't quit his job, as was mentioned upthread he got taken off the bank account and put on an allowance a few seasons back and not without reason!  They're funny with Howard, in some ways he's being written as a former sleaze who grew up and accepted responsibility and yet they can't resist harkening back to the "mama's boy" image of him and still having him basically selfish and lazy.  Guess whatever fits the plot on any given day.

Edited by CherryAmes
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1 hour ago, CherryAmes said:

What I've always wondered about was if Leonard was the only sibling that got the special "mothering" from Beverly or if they all have a tale to tell!

It would be nice if they address this in an upcoming episode.  I've always wondered what Leonard's siblings have to say on the matter.  It will be disappointing not to have it addressed. 

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1 hour ago, HurricaneVal said:

Anyone else think that the "experiments to run on your baby" was authored by Leonard's mom?

See my post three posts above yours, I thought the same thing.  It was hard not to, when Leonard was saying this was his childhood, "word for word".  It makes sense too, that Sheldon would buy a book written by Beverly, since he admires her so.

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1 hour ago, CherryAmes said:

That's true but we've never been shown what Beverly is saying to her other children.  It's possible she's playing the same mind games with them that she has always played with Leonard.

 I presume she's playing different mind games on each of her children.

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15 hours ago, PinkRibbons said:

I thought the episode was delightful! Bernie and Penny had an interesting little storyline, Johnny was fantastically funny as Leonard realizing what Beverly had done (although I may be watching wrong because I don't think I was supposed to find "the experiment's not finished" sweet but I kind of did), and I LOVE cocky Amy. Mayim throwing those glances left and right got a hearty laugh out of me each time.

Did anyone else think Amy was going to say she was pregnant and this was to get Sheldon ok with babies?  

This show is nowhere near as clever as it was in the beginning but it does have its moments.   Leonard realizing his whole life has been an experiment and confronting his mom who was almost sweet to him.  Penny and Bernadette having the kind of fight friends who are also  coworkers have.   Amy tricking Sheldon into taking care of a baby.....and enjoying it.

Edited by Chaos Theory
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1 hour ago, CherryAmes said:

That's true but we've never been shown what Beverly is saying to her other children.  It's possible she's playing the same mind games with them that she has always played with Leonard.  I guess  this is one potential storyline though that will never be pursued.

We do know that she doesn’t like who his siblings married. Judging by the way she initially treated Penny I would imagine that they are also subjected to a lot of insults. 

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1 hour ago, LoneHaranguer said:

 I presume she's playing different mind games on each of her children.

Wouldn't surprise me, but I'm sure there are some common themes.  For instance, Beverly said last night that she knew she wasn't the warmest of people.  And remember, Leonard's father used to have to borrow his hugging machine.  I don't think Bev is giving out a lot of love to anybody.  There's Sheldon, but they both know they have limitations on their intimacy.

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5 minutes ago, rmontro said:

Wouldn't surprise me, but I'm sure there are some common themes.  For instance, Beverly said last night that she knew she wasn't the warmest of people.  And remember, Leonard's father used to have to borrow his hugging machine.  I don't think Bev is giving out a lot of love to anybody.  There's Sheldon, but they both know they have limitations on their intimacy.

Very good point. Judging by the comments Leonard’s father made Beverly was cold and physically distant with all of them. It was probably a tough environment for all of her children but the other two got more words of praise than Leonard. 

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2 hours ago, iMonrey said:

Did Howard quit his job to be a full time, stay-at-home dad? I remember them having a discussion about it but then again it seems like he's always in the cafeteria scenes with Leonard, Raj and Sheldon like he still works at the school. If he does he should have his own money. Enough for groceries, anyway.

Even if Howard were a stay at home dad he should have an equal say in the family finances.  Well I should say if he was capable of making sensible choices with money he should have a say!  Bernadette isn't making the decisions because she makes the money, she makes the decisions because Howard is a 12 yr old who still needs to be on an allowance!

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18 minutes ago, Homily said:

  Bernadette isn't making the decisions because she makes the money, she makes the decisions because Howard is a 12 yr old who still needs to be on an allowance!

I agree with you here but like I said earlier they can be pretty inconsistent with Howard.  In an episode from earlier in the year Bernadette is burned out and comes home and hides in the Wendy house in their backyard  Howard knows she's doing this and doesn't get mad at all and instead is picking up two babies from daycare. coming home and holding down the fort while giving Bernadette the space he knows she needs.  Yet in this episode she leaves money on the table for him to buy take out and seems very unsure about whether he's capable of looking after the children for a week-end.  🤷‍♀️ like I said earlier, whatever fits the plot on any given day I guess.

Oh well I still liked this episode a lot!

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4 hours ago, rmontro said:

get the impression that Bernadette controls the finances in the house.  Howard has been shown to be somewhat impulsive in his spending.  I've known married couples like this, where the wife controls the money, because the husband cant' be trusted with it.  Remember, Howard lived all those years with his mother, so he may not have had to live with a budget.

I refuse to believe he doesn’t have Postmates, InstaCart, UberEats and a gazillion other apps. Not to mention a debit card, credit card etc. Does Bernadette give him lunch money every day? Managing the finances and having to leave cash on the table so your husband and children can eat for two days are two extremely different things. It makes absolutely no sense and wasn’t funny.

Edited by biakbiak
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Pretty good eppy!

First we had the Return of Mean Girl Penny, who we haven't seen in years (remember when she browbeat Amy & Bernadette into writing her community college papers for her?). At least here it was in service to a good cause, her career. And I loved her remark (from memory), "Mediocre shlock actress, great sales rep, who knew?" 

Like others, I was sure the Experiments with Babies book was either by Beverly or at least would have an intro or blurb from her. That was a missed opportunity, I think. But Amy's flawless manipulation of Sheldon was great -- we've seen it before, so adding Raj as spectator/chorus made it seem fresh again, seeing it thru his eyes, as it were. It took me back to when she made him feel more affection for her by playing Star Trek nurse-doctor or making him his favorite kid meal (spaghetti with hot dogs cut up in it -- a real Eyetalian treat, as his mother would say). As she pointed out to Raj, she's been at this a long time and she hasn't failed yet!

I wonder if we will meet one or more of Leonard's siblings in the last few episodes? We finally met Penny's family (Mr. and Mrs. Nolastname), and Leonard's father -- I'd love an episode where Leonard and his brother or sister compare notes and discover their mother was doing the same thing to all of them, pitting them against each other and making them compete for her affection. The fallout would be grimly hilarious.

ETA: Yeah, the inconsistency in Howard's character is grating. I like him better as a grown-up.

Edited by Gummo · Reason: I forgot stuff
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17 hours ago, SpiritSong said:

When Raj realized it was Amy steering Sheldon towards the baby book and spending time with babies I was so afraid she was going to announce she was pregnant. Glad that didn't happen. But just how old is Amy supposed to be? Maybe it's because of the dowdy clothes she wears, but I would say mid 30s at least. Yet she and Sheldon act like they've got all the time in the world to have children. I know lots of women have children in their late 30s and 40s, but there's a reason pregnant women over 35 are referred to medically as "elderly."

They always do that on TV.  People will get married at 50 and talk about maybe having kids some day.  I may be exaggerating.  

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I’m probably giving him too much credit, but it seemed possible that Sheldon had caught on to Amy’s ploy, and his equally manipulative response was to act like he wanted 15 kids.

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46 minutes ago, Katy M said:

They always do that on TV.  People will get married at 50 and talk about maybe having kids some day.  I may be exaggerating.  

On Everybody Loves Raymond by the last season Robert was pushing 50 and his wife was early 40s, they talked about having kids but never in a "whoa we better step on it" kind of way.  I see the same thing here on BBT.  Granted they are all still clinging to their 30s (regardless of the real age of the actors involved) but still it would be completely plausible if Amy were to be concerned that she's missing a window of opportunity to start a family - especially that family of triplets and/or quints  😃!

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If they go with Sheldon's "divisible by 3" guideline, for three kids, he and Amy still have some time. If they want six? They better get a move on.

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20 minutes ago, CherryAmes said:

but still it would be completely plausible if Amy were to be concerned that she's missing a window of opportunity to start a family - especially that family of triplets and/or quints 

I don't think she'll mind if she's miss that particular window of opportunity.  LOL.  I think she'd be happy with 1 or 2.  It's actually kind of funny that Sheldon and Amy's relationship started out with the sole purpose of creating a child, and they still haven't done it.

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