I received an email (one of many) on the IMPORTANT STEPS I needed to be taking to HELP MY BABY’S DEVELOPMENT. The activities promised to be FUN and EXCITING.
And obviously the writers promised to SHOUT intermittently.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about helping our boy reach his full potential. But when you see all the stuff we’re meant to be doing as parents these days, you wonder WTF parents of previous generations were doing with their time (and indeed how we all managed not to turn into cretins).
Here are some of the ‘helpful’ tips:
“Activities to help your babies development” – They were off to a bad start… I think the author means “your baby’s development” (so in this case it would seem that their grammar, rather than my baby’s development, would be the thing in need of help).
“Do not do any activities you are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with. Practice on a doll first” – Surely unless I have done this particular baby development course before, the activities would all be unfamiliar..? Practice on a doll first, yes, I suppose many men around the world are.
“Before you lift your baby, get the all clear from your doctor” – Please bear in mind that this email was sent quite recently, and our boy just turned one… And only NOW I’m getting advice on ‘before I lift my baby’? A bit late but THANKFULLY I can now lift him off the floor… and take him shopping for a device to re-mold his flat head.
“Use a soft comfortable organic lambs wool rug to lay the baby on” – Clearly any other surface will make the baby break out in a toxic-induced-pressure-sore-abrasion-related rash. I grew up in Hong Kong where noone batted an eyelid if you did a sliding tackle on concrete. Harden up I say.
“If your baby does not enjoy the activity, contact your health professional” – Right… because if the baby cried it would surely mean that something serious was wrong… and not because the poor kid was sick of playing stupid educational games.
“Do balance activities that gently rock your baby. They must be done very slowly and for no longer than 2 minutes” – Who came up with the 2 minute limit? We’re obviously in trouble because we regularly put our kid in a 6G flat spin and he loves it (“Mav’s in a flat spin heading out to sea”… opportunistic Top Gun quote).
“What you need: toys, soft organic lambswool rug, a happy relaxed baby and you” – How the hell can I be relaxed when I’ve seen the cost of the rug and am frantically timing to keep activities under 2 minutes?!
“For your baby’s clothing, we recommend fabrics that allow for lively movement – eg. organic pure wool and cotton” – Now I just feel inadequate because we can’t afford the “organic pure wool and cotton lively baby clothes” because we took out a mortgage to pay for the soft organic lambswool rug… (see previous point).
“Enjoy the visual experience of lying under a tree, but ensure if you are lying under the trees with your baby, ensure that there is nothing that may fall onto your baby from the tree” – Would I sound cruel if I said that people who lie with their baby under a coconut tree, just WAITING to play ‘chicken’ with the falling coconut should have perhaps considered not breeding? Oops, I already said it.
And it went on and on…
Is our world really so ridiculous now? It must be, because on a separate note we also have:
- Stroller instructions… “Remove child from stroller before folding stroller“. Insert massively incredulous face here.
- Packet of cashews… “Contains nuts“. No. Freaking. Kidding.
- Baby activity centre box… “Baby not included“. And here I was giving the middle finger to adoption agencies…
- Canned food… “Remove lid before eating“. No words.
I fear for our future… 🙁