John Walker's Electronic House

Raizing Babies

by on Jan.17, 2009, under The Rest

As people I know start to have babies, I’ve realised that in amongst the tens of thousands of books that tell you their right way to raise a child, there’s room for one more. It’s called, “Tips For Raising Your Child (That Might Kill Them)”. It’s admittedly a controversial approach, but it’s bold and original.

Parents have the crap scared out of them every other fifteen seconds. One book will proclaim if you give your five month old a piece of banana before their fifth month and second week they will definitely die by catching on fire. Then the next says that failure to provide banana by this point ensures they’ll die of meningitis. Your baby doesn’t sleep through the night by 13 months? You’re the worst parent ever and you’re going to prison for ever. Your baby does sleep through the night by 13 months? Your baby has Sleep Cancer and will be dead by the morning, you murderer.

Never mind the “advice” visited upon you by everyone who’s had a kid, been a kid, or seen a picture of a kid in a book, all sucking through their teeth at your every action. “Tssss. You let your baby cry for ten minutes?” “Tssssssss. You bath your baby three times a week?” “Tssssssssssssss. You carry your baby on your left hip?”

With so much certain doom prophesied upon you by these morbid soothsayers every day, I think there’s certainly room for the baby raising book where there is a risk for the child.

For instance: Your baby cries too much at night, and you’re not sleeping, and nothing will soothe it? Increase the levels of carbon monoxide in the room. It will help the baby sleep, but it might kill it a bit too.

Worried about diseases? Babies need to build up an immune system to prevent them from getting sick when they’re older. So instead of food, feed your child a variety of poisons, allergens and dirt. If they survive, they’ll be near immortal.

Concerned your child may have latent super-powers that aren’t being realised by traditional baby-raising advice? We all know babies can instinctively swim, but later lose the ability if not taught. The same is true for all manner of paranormal powers. To check for most of these before those instincts are lost, throw it out an upstairs window.

Despite this, during the last week I’ve been left alone for the odd hour with an eighteen-month-old girl, which is far less terrifying than I’d thought. I’d assumed it would be the cute little girl screaming in misery at being left with the hairy big man, him sitting there helplessly, surrounded by bleeping toys and puddles of tears. Turns out such brief babysitting is mostly about going through wooden books with colourful pictures of cows and apples, stacking boxes into short-lived towers, and watching Yo Gabba Gabba on Tivo. Oh, Yo Gabba Gabba – it is by far the best thing in pre-school TV since Sesame Street. I will be writing more about Yo Gabba Gabba for sure.

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