Thursday, September 17, 2009

Babies and Drunks: A Comparison

In the past two months I have read enough parenting books to make me go blind. I started with "What to Expect the First Year" (which really should be called "Start Comparing Your Child to Others Early") and from there moved on to "The Baby Whisperer," "The Happiest Baby on the Block," "Heading Home With Your Newborn," and "Parenting Means Always Feeling Bad About Yourself." I think I might have made that last one up, I can't be sure. Some of the books were well written, some very poorly, almost all were useless/panic inducing.

It isn't that I am saying I am a super parent. Today, for instance, I put Meg in an outfit that I thought was darling, not realizing that she couldn't straighten her legs in it because it was too small. There have been times I have offered her five bucks just to let me sleep ten more minutes. However, I think that most of the stuff in these books is self explanatory, especially when babies are in the potato phase, as Meg is now. They serve to reaffirm choices parents are making, and let them know they aren't doing a horrible job.

Honestly, the best advice I have received since becoming a parent didn't come from any book. It came from a smart ass friend. He told me just to treat the baby like I would a tiny drunk. No, he didn't mean go through her pockets for loose change (at least, I don't think he did). What he meant was keep her safe, keep her fed, don't let her sit in soiled clothes, and, above all else, keep her happy or things could get ugly.

I have thought a lot about his advice, and not just because it would make the best title of a parenting book EVER. Really, I don't know why anyone has thought of this before. I mean, look at the similarities...

Ways Babies are Like Drunks
  • Both are magnets for girls with low self-esteem.
  • The vomit smell.
  • Frat boys dress up as both babies and/or drunks for Halloween.
  • Both wear ridiculous outfits, usually picked out by someone else.
  • Drooling.
  • Both pass out when they have had too much to drink.
  • It is not unusual for either to greet everyone with a smile, or angry pointless yelling.
  • Unintentional soiling of the pants is commonplace, and normally not noticed, or thought to be humorous.
  • Both fight sleep, trying to pretend they aren't tired.
  • Cross-eyed grins.
  • Missing teeth.
I will admit that Meg is cuter than most drunks I know. However, I have known some drunks who are more fun than Meg at 2 in the morning. Once she learns how to tell dirty jokes though, all bets are off. Until then, I will just keep her safe, fed, dry and happy. Oh, and I will use the parenting books to level out the crooked coffee table.


Chief said...

I love this post! The books we read with our first were ridiculous except for one and I'll be damned if I can remember the name of it. She was so down to earth I always knew if I went to that book, I would feel better about myself as a parent.

The drunk comparison is brilliant!

Ellen said...

and don't even get me started on the regretted tattoos those kids get...

Amy Jane said...

you are awesome:)

*Akilah Sakai* said...

Like drunks? Ahahahaha! I would have never thought of that comparison.

Anonymous said...

That may be the BEST advice I've ever heard!

P.S. I think you're on the right parenting path if you're already bribing her. At least that's what I see with my students' parents.

just making my way said...

That is the most brilliant parenting advice EVER! What a total riot - and totally true.

I tossed the Baby Whisperer in the trash after the first couple of chapters - according to them I'd already done everything wrong, so I figured What the Hell!

Aunt Juicebox said...

They both also have poor coordination skills and difficulty walking. Wow, it's kind of eerie!

Candice said...

Great post.

I also think that most parenting books are basically useless, and are most likely written by someone named "Corky".

I say keep up the good work. The baby/drunk analogy is pretty much spot on.

Lulu said...

yes, and wait until she starts really babbling and it sounds like a drunk diatribe delivered in another language!

Oh, the places you'll go....:)

Amanda said...

I am so getting my Meglet this album: The Bottle Let Me Down: Songs For Bumpy Wagon Rides

Sarah Bellum said...

Dude, I'm not a parent and even I can't stop laughing.