As we tread the path of parenthood, over the scattered toys and bloody Lego, we’re all keen to do the right thing. We want our bubs to be perfect sleeping, eating and gurgling beings, and our toddlers civilized and polite. (HA! If only.)
So, how do we go about this? We read books. All the books. The books will have the answer.
We read save our sleep (shiver), toddler taming, baby love and how to be the most perfect parent 101 or something along those lines.
So, it’s not surprising that we’re stressed when our baby doesn’t sleep between 8am and 10am precisely as dictated. Familiar, anyone? Or when our toddler refuses to leave the park despite our ‘perfectly calm parent’ strategy.
So, to avoid disappointment or fears of your child being in therapy, let’s get these books on the shelf instead.
Sleep when the baby sleeps (and other useless tips)
This book is an accumulation of all the useless and often unsolicited tips that you receive during pregnancy, post-pregnancy and in the first few years of your baby’s life.
Divided into chapters of the parenting journey, it’s a bible reference for all. There’s a tick box against every tip that you receive along the way, as well as a notes section at the back where you can add your own.
Useless tips will include, ‘get lots of sleep now, because you won’t soon’, ‘enjoy that meal, it’ll be your last one in peace, ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’, ‘breast is best even if you’re nipples are bleeding/you have mastitis 2352 times/don’t feel comfortable with it’, and ‘the cleaning will wait.’
Food for fussy, patience-testing eaters
This book is a short reference guide for parents whose toddlers will only eat one type of food ALL the time. It focuses on the most commonly favoured foods, providing comprehensive recipes.
For ease of reference, the book is divided into food chapters such as eggs, bread, yoghurt, chips and pasta. Examples of recipes in the egg chapter include scrambled, poached, fried and omelette. For pasta, recipes include plain spaghetti, plain bow ties, plain twirls and plain dinosaurs.
More general advice is offered in the back. Brief subsections include, ‘just feed them whatever the hell they will eat’, ‘they won’t starve themselves’ and ‘McDonald’s, there’s always McDonald’s’.
Talking tantrums … yours
This book covers all you need to know about the sort of tantrums you will experience (personally) as a parent.
It will reassure you that you’re not alone in screaming silently into the pillow, locking yourself in the bathroom for some peace and losing your mind when, after an hour of patting your baby to sleep, the dog starts to bark.
The back section of the book offers advice and tips on how to deal with your tantrums in an adult way. Suggestions include drinking ALL the wine, eating ALL the cake and crying uncontrollably until you look like a pufferfish.
A parenting alcohol guide
This must have guide offers parents the ultimate reference to all alcohol. It offers special parent discounts for bulk buy and an annual membership to a list of local offers.
There’s a section dedicated to cocktails, including ‘Survival celebration – a mixture of celebratory champagne, fruit juice and vodka for those occasions when you want to toast surviving another day’ and ‘Heady wallbanger – a mix of peach schnapps and vodka for those days when you’ve felt like banging your head against the wall A LOT.
What to expect … the reality
This book covers all the things that you (personally) should expect to experience as a parent within the first three years of your child’s life.
Chapters are divided into age categories for ease of reference with topics titled appropriately. The baby section includes topics such as no sleep, 25 minutes to leave the house, public poonami and spew down the bra.
The toddler section covers public tantrums and humiliation, being told NO repeatedly, never going to a café and Lego injuries.