It's my way or the highway!
Our friends E and D are expecting their first child soon and we have been lucky enough to watch the process like it’s a spectator sport. First it was the great news that they were pregnant, next it was deciding where they were going to live (Ireland? England? Australia? Oh the options!), then what the sex was and how exactly we will be dressing the baby girl (Which, of course, I insisted that she be the girliest baby ever, even if E would rather a tom boy child. Too damn bad, I say!) And finally, the couple has gone to antenatal classes to learn all they can about raising a child in only eight hours. Or your money back guarenteed!
I’m all for being informed before you go leaping into a new life style, but I do harbor some resentment at these classes because from what I can gather, the parents always end up coming out overwhelmed and feeling completely inadequate and not up for the task that is looming just a foot and a half below her head. When we were at E and D’s house the other night we got into a conversation about their class, and the teacher and about all of the horrifying things that they were told. Like, the baby must sleep in the mother’s room for six months or you risk cot death or, you should breast feed your baby because otherwise IT WILL DIE AS SOON AS YOU PUT THE GODFORSAKEN FORMULA IN ITS TINY, BABY MOUTH.
Maybe these statements are true (especially the second one) or maybe it’s just a way of scaring parents into doing things the way you think they should be done. I have no doubt E and D took a lot of useful information away from the course but I also have no doubt that there are countless parents who had never taken an antenatal class before they had a baby (mine included) or, if they did, didn’t follow all of the rules put out before them and we all turned out just fine. I know E and D will be fantastic parents with or without this course. (I mean, they own a scooter -- that alone will get you into the Parent Hall of Fame of Coolness.)
When giving this little piece of
unsolicited advice to D he replied, "But where are the people who say, 'My parents fucked me up'".
Besides EVERY adolescent in the world, I have discovered a man (with the aid of my boss) who said this very thing.
And you just know that he slept in his mummy’s room and was breast fed until he was seven.