Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
Sometimes, kids, you don’t have to read the book.
What this means for you, my regular listeners – disregard my last post IN ITS ENTIRETY. I take it all back.
Once I removed my head from the wall that I was banging it against, I went out immediately to hunt down and purchase Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block. Found it at my local giant chain bookstore, where a bookstore grunt with the biggest braces on the biggest teeth I have ever seen located it for me in about 5 seconds. It’s apparently in high demand.
So as I’m waiting in line to pay for my precious, precious purchase, I decide to peek inside the book to see what precious, precious wisdom awaits me. Thumb through the chapters – it’s pretty much what’s in the DVD, spelled out. But I KNOW that the information that I, the DVD-watcher, have missed is in the book somewhere, and I’ve gotta find it. I’ve gotta know how to get Baby off of the 5-S crack, because, at 3 months of age she is leaving the ‘fourth trimester’ (during which, Karp claims, the 5 S’s are most effective) and she is already demonstrating – to my tremendous frustration – that the effects of that crack slowly begin to wear off the bigger and stronger a baby gets (see past posts).
And then I find it, the elusive sub-section of the 5th chapter, which promises to explain “how to wean your baby off of the 5 S’s.” Sucking, swinging, shh-ing – easy, easy, easy – and then, finally, swaddling.
And it’s, like, 3 SENTENCES LONG. “After about the fourth month (aren’t trimesters three months? isn’t this supposed to be a ‘fourth trimester‘ kind of deal? you mean I didn’t have to freak out for a whole ‘nother MONTH?)… after about the fourth month, you might try swaddling baby with one arm free, and then gradually progressing to two arms, etc, etc.” Or something like that. Whatever. THAT WAS IT.
Shit. I already know that one. I WORKED IT OUT MYSELF. It’s kind of a no-brainer. I was not paying twenty-some-odd-dollars for that.
I turfed the book on a nearby paperback rack, bought this month’s Junior magazine and got out of there. (If you don’t know Junior Magazine – or its counterpart, Junior Pregnancy and Baby – it’s British and it’s, like, kiddie Vogue. It is full of references to Silver Cross prams and mom & baby spas and has layouts of toddlers in Dolce and Gabbana outfits. It makes me feel inferior in the most superficial way. The way Vogue does. But I still buy both Junior and Vogue. And read them cover to cover.)
So, yeah, about the reading? Didn’t do it. Did not read this book. Only saw the movie and am quite confident that I know all that I need to know about what Dr. Harvey Karp has to say.
‘Cause, people? He’s not Plato. (I don’t need to say that the comparison borders on the heretical, do I?) His book is not philosophy, or literature, or even an Oprah’s Book Club selection. His advice is really, really good – I’m still sticking by it – but you do not have to read it.
So I’m going on record as stating that you sometimes – sometimes – do not have to read the book.
There. Now you will never hear that from me again.
But what the above all means is, you will hear more about the swaddling. Sorry.
Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, 2006. Copyright Catherine Connors 2006 – 2009.