Everybody -- and I mean everybody -- is having babies these days.
Judging by the supermarket tabloid covers, the rapidly expanding universe of so-called mommy-bloggers and even the upcoming releases at the movie theater -- it seems that if you’re not having a baby, you’re doing it wrong.
In the past week, I’ve received no less than seven pitches from public relations firms wanting me to read their book, interview their parenting expert or publish their baby-preparation tips (breaking news: having babies costs money!).
Already I’ve received publicity pleas for the film version of “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” which employs an ensemble cast to cinematize the literary franchise that has become the modern parents’ go-to baby-rearing bible.
But in the interest of saving you from more baby-related reading than any human should be required to withstand (seriously, how did children even survive to adulthood before such manuals existed?), I’ve whittled the mountain down to a comfortable molehill.
For the die-hards, check out the brand-new “Mayo Clinic Guide to Your Baby’s First Year” ($22.95 in softcover, available in bookstores this month). The book leverages the sterling reputation and expertise of Mayo Clinic’s pediatric experts for a voluminous guide to every question, concern and curious rash a parent may encounter (including color photos of the rashes!). Advertised as a “one-stop resource,” I’m inclined to agree. Full disclosure: I haven’t reviewed the book but who can really argue with Mayo?
But for those parents who’ve managed to maintain some shred of their sense of humor, don’t miss Jacob Seiger Weinstein’s “How Not to Kill Your Baby: A Slightly Useless Guide.”
Sager Weinstein’s book is a little more my speed. He muses on all the familiar topics, but with a biting irreverence altogether unfamiliar to first-time parents. For instance, his chapter on bath time includes the following warning:
“Children can drown in as little as 1/10,000,000th of a millimeter of water in half the time it takes a hypercaffeinated hummingbird to flap a pair of spring-loaded wings. In fact, to be as safe as possible, we recommend you keep your child away from even microscopic moisture. The simplest way to do this is to add an ordinary industrial-strength dehumidifier to the plastic bubble in which you have already placed them.”
Of course, there are many more. A pediatrician named David Hill has written “Dad to Dad: Parenting Like a Pro” while someone called Brett Cohen has penned “Stuff Every Dad Should Know.”
I suppose I’ll have to add those to the other baby-related titles that have already been shipped to my desk, including Thomas Hill’s lovingly titled “What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding,” which is a real book, and that is the real title.
Before too long, I might have to write my own baby guidebook: “What to Expect When Publishers Expect You to Read Twelve Books on Parenting.”
Hopefully, it never comes to that.