Sunday, 15 April 2012

Flat-pack children

No one tells you how to be a parent. No one even warns you. All the way through the pregnancy I kept expecting my parents to let me on the secret, or at least hand me their worn copy of 'The Big Book of Baby Rearing.'

It never happened. Perhaps because 'baby rearing' is illegal in most countries; perhaps because our parents – like ourselves – had no fucking clue how to raise a child. Seventeen months with Bug has helped me to realise that my folks have spent the best part of 38 years blagging it.

The bastards.

All that time thinking they were infallible and it turns out my parents were making shit up. Whenever I phoned them for hints during Bug's early days there would be a pause between my asking a question and their answering. At the time I thought they were considering what advice to give. Turns out they were just trying to remember what they did before suggesting I do the opposite.

While Bear was pregnant, we read the usual array of parenting books. After pounds spent and words read I came to this conclusion: parenting books are full of shite. It's all about crafting the perfect child. All of our friends are raising their children differently to how we're raising Bug. Some parent similarly, others may as well be on a different planet. We all do what we think is best for our child and yet none of our kids attain the perfection these books demand.

I envisage a longer, more ranting blog about parenting books in the not so near future.

Watch this space.

Until then, here's some help that may be more useful than baby manuals. Firstly, a selection of health and safety tips that the most lovely J sent me each week during Bear's pregnancy: 

Next up, a book with a message all new parents can relate to:


And finally, if all else fails, keep it simple:


Bye for now.


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