bringing up baby badly
it's been a wee while since we took a stroll down Bad Advice Avenue, hasn't it? well, lucky for you this new book recently crossed my desk. How to Survive Your Baby's First Year. the premise: the book's editors surveyed a bunch of parents about parenting secrets and techniques that work for them. basically, it's a bunch of tips from strangers.
first of all, this has to be the cheapest, laziest way to write a book. no work was involved. just ask people with kids for a few tricks of the trade, don't pay them anything, and collect the profits from desperate sleep-deprived suckers so hard up for peace and quiet they would probably take parenting advice from this guy. i mean, honestly, taking seriously a book of this caliber is akin to leaving your baby in the care of BTK. ok, not really, but you get my drift.
and with that, let the bad advice begin!
- Develop a private ritual with your child -- something the two of you share that nobody else (including your spouse) does. hmm, yes. this is also known as the Michael Jackson school of parenting. there is a reason this advice was given by an "Anonymous" parent of one three-year-old girl.
- When your baby cries, rather than getting frustrated, join the chorus. of course! nothing says "effective parenting" like sobbing uncontrollably every time your child cries.
- Get a sales job so that you can work from home! great idea, because i don't have a job already! and i've always wanted to work from home, disrupting strangers and selling them garbage like this advice. how much do you charge and may i have another?
- Don't get rid of your hip clothes once you stop fitting into them. They will serve as reminders of your hipness. because a person who uses the word "hip" in every sentence to describe herself is definitely filled to the rim with it. also, let me get this straight: keep clothes that don't fit as a reminder of what i used to wear? does this make sense to anyone? i live in new york, you know. how much closet space do you think i have, lady?
- I found myself really looking forward to my daughter falling asleep. I would panic when she was awake. someone please put a preemptive call in to child welfare services. this lady is happiest as a parent when her child is unconscious.
- Use the Supreme Court Test [when naming baby]: Does this sound like the name of someone who might serve on the Supreme Court? very topical advice, but give me a break. let's take a hard look at some of my all-time favorite supreme court justice names, shall we? Bushrod Washington (1762-1829), Brockholst Livingston (1757-1823), Mahlon Pitney (1858-1924), Felix Frankfurter (1882-1965) and, let's face it, Antonin Scalia (b. 1936). i mean, really. does "bushrod" scream "supreme court" to you? frankly, i think it would be awesome to have a Chief Justice Brittanie Dakota.
- Seek out advice from people you respect. you know, like people you've never met who happen to be quoted in this book.
there are many, many more tantalizing tidbits. but i will leave you with this one last, my favorite. oh, how i love the inspired absurd insanity of this pointer:
- Wait on your wife hand and foot ... Then during that hour the baby is asleep, ask her to service you. A hand job is a wonderful thing when you haven't had sex for a month. better yet, how about this? "honey, i know you're tired and your crotch was ripped open six weeks ago, but hey, your mouth still works, right?" i understand this is what john wayne bobbitt said to lorena moments before the Very Bad Thing happened.