Recently, I went to the library to pick up a few instructional books and managed to thoroughly confuse myself. There is no shortage of books out there to educate the masses on the art of raising a baby. Babywise, What to expect, Happiest baby, and many more of these books line the shelves, each with its own take on raising a well behaved baby. I checked out three, no four, wanting to cover my bases. But as I look through the mystery stained pages, I’m more convinced than ever that my baby is never going to be normal.
These books have different ways of doing one thing, sticking to a schedule. Sleep, eat, play. My dog does this too, but also squeeze in time to sniff the cat's butt. (Wait, do kids do that too?) These books stress rigid routines and schedules, and some of them are not shy about explaining the consequences if that schedule isn't followed. I’m already quite neurotic, and if you haven’t noticed, my imagination likes to run wild.
I imagined my son after being raised on unscheduled feedings. He's left free to roam without the all important structure in his life. Combine his mother’s stubbornness and any of my laundry list of afflictions, he will quickly become a nightmare. A screaming demon child who lashes out because he played after sleeping, or even worse, played while eating. I'll only have myself to blame because I didn’t stick to the schedule. What will become of him then? The consequences could be devastating.
Somewhere there’s a lost interview with Jack the Ripper’s mother berating Mr. Ripper for not following the feeding rules or waketime.
I’m not saying this stuff doesn’t work, I’m sure it does, actually I have no idea. But my wife has something that I don’t. Common Sense? Well yes, but also a motherly instinct. As I read passages from these books to her, more often than not she’s able finish the paragraph for me, laughing as I stare at her in amazement. It's as if there is some secret code that nobody bothered to mention to me. And I'm beginning to thing that she just might know how to take care of what’s growing inside her.