Parenting For Dummies

January 26, 2010

in How to be a Housewife

I have never been one of those people who read instruction manuals. I didn’t actually think those people existed until late last year, when I watched my MIL settle herself comfortably on my sofa to read … the manual for her new car.

Who does that??

Those with all the answers, apparently. I mean, I never throw out the manuals. I hand them to the Big Man. Who, I assume, files them away somewhere. Or shreds them. Whatever. The point is, they are reference materials – to be referenced as a last resort. After all, I have a BA from one of the top universities in the country (hey, I’m unemployable at the moment, have to use that degree for bragging rights if nothing else) – manuals are really only needed as a last resort, when time is of the essence and you don’t have any to waste frantically flipping through said manual to find out how to warm the baby bottle before your kid’s screams bring the cops to your door. THEN, and ONLY then do you rampage through your husband’s files to find every manual except the one you need, which has been conveniently filed inside another equally useful manual.

In case your still a bit fuzzy on my stance on manuals – I find them to be as useful as the liner notes on a CD: important only to those who wrote them, and ignored by everyone else until the 7th hour of being stuck in an elevator with nothing else to read.


Wait for it…

(seriously, if you don’t see the twist coming, stop reading my blog)

It’s now past midnight, and I don’t know when I can go to sleep because the only thing keeping my child asleep (and thus not screaming bloody murder) is my foot rapidly rocking his carseat back and forth. With him in it, of course. Should I stop, he awakens. And the cute little mouth that smiles so sweetly during the day starts to screw itself up for a hell-raising scream until I can get back the exact correct rhythm that for some reason makes him forget whatever demon is pinching him and soothes him once more.

I? Could use an owner’s manual for this kid.

One that would discuss topics such as:

  • Why he thinks the hours of 10pm-2am are evil and if he is awake, must be filled with screams. Is it a principle thing, or does he have some sort of moral stance against them?
  • How to avoid projectile poo. While still successfully changing his diaper.
  • Why he is fascinated by every light bulb that crosses his path. Spots, 3ways, 60watt, 40 watt, he’s not picky. If its lit, he will stare at it for minutes. Which means in the short time he’s been alive, he’s spent like 90% of his time awake staring at lights. I have NEVER been that fascinated with anything. Except him.
  • How to avoid projectile poo. While still successfully bathing him.

I know that there are a myriad of books in the bookstore – but does a manual for a Honda work for a Toyota? Sure they are both cars, the same…but different. Of course, I wouldn’t know the answer to this since I never read the owners manual for either.

I did, however, take a stab at the parenting books. Seeing as how my prestigious degree was in Anthropology, not child rearing, I chose “Parenting for Dummies.” I’m fairly clueless when it comes to infants, so I figured this might be a good place to start. Perhaps it would have the answers to such questions as “when should I start brushing my child’s gums/teeth?” or “when should my child be able to focus on something other than the nearest light source?”

Apparently, I was a bit advanced for this book. I did, however, learn that I should feed my child – because I love him. And I should change his diaper – because I love him. And I should hold my child – because I love him. And above all else, I should always love my child. Everything is solved with love. Even gingivitis.

So now, as slowly develop tennis elbow in my knee and my child decides that rocking in the carseat is no longer acceptable, no matter how much love I do it with, I ask you – where is the freakin‘ manual?


an undomestic goddess February 6, 2010 at 1:08 am

Got one from my aunt – he hates it! And it doesn't really work around my boobs well. But he does love the Baby Bjorn for going out. Reading "Happiest Baby On the Block" now – it promises to have all the answers…we'll see. But at least its theories seem to make sense!

Maggy Jeanette February 4, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hey – Do you have one of those slings for babies things? All my other baby mommas are raving about them. :)

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