I’ve been reading this book called The Expectant Father. A lot of people seemed to recommend it, and there really aren’t a whole lot of baby books out there I’ve seen that are actually geared toward dads and how to prepare for a baby. Because, let’s face it, we’re not doing a whole lot of the work—aside from general fetching of things and talking to the baby, this is a process that’s completely out of our hands. I wanted to try to find something productive to do with the time that will actually help me be a decent dad.
So I found this book. And you know me—I gotta have issues.
It’s not that the book is terrible. It’s just that it’s so . . . meh. In every chapter (separated out by month of pregnancy, naturally), it gives a list of things the mother is experiencing and things the baby is experiencing. Stuff that you can find in any pregnancy book. Not really shaking any worlds there.
Then they list things the father may be experiencing. And as I read through these lists, I really didn’t feel that I was experiencing most of the things they said I’d be experiencing. I kind of felt that I’m not the audience for this book. It’s probably not intended for the dad-to-be who goes out and creates a blog.
The rest of the chapters kind of go through different things you can do to help prepare for the baby. And if I’m going through this book along with the pregnancy, usually the stuff that gets brought up is a month or six late. Like in the seventh month chapter, they talk about baby names. Do people really wait till the seventh month to start thinking about names? Karli’s got both boy and girl names picked out for Squatch already. Has for a while. And for the next couple kids. A little late to the party, aren’t we Mr. Brott and Ms. Ash? And besides, there are countless other baby name books and websites already. Can’t you bring something original to the table?
But all that just makes me pretty disinterested in continuing the book. There’s a point I reached, though, where I just couldn’t bring myself to read any further. And that’s in month six, where they bring this gem:
As if that wasn’t weird enough . . . if your partner has been forgetful lately, or seems to be losing a lot of things—including her memory—it may be because her brain is shrinking*. Yep. Anita Holdcroft, an English anesthesiologist, found during pregnancy, women’s brains actually get 3 to 5 percent smaller.
Now that you know this, it’s probably best you keep it to yourself.
Really? You think I shouldn’t tell my wife that her brain is getting smaller? Tell me, Captain Duh, what are your thoughts on giving the baby Valium and Jack Daniels after it’s born? If it won’t stop crying, do I just shake it or leave it in its crib while I run to the store for more whiskey?
WHY WOULD YOU INCLUDE THIS INFORMATION? It may very well be true, but is it helpful in the least? When your kids were growing up, did you give them a hand grenade then tell them not to pull the pin while you were inside chatting with your friends?
THINK, PEOPLE! My wife knows I’m reading this book. She can see me reading it. Then she asks me what they’re telling me because, you know, we’re married and actually talk to each other. And I’m not supposed to mention that they’re telling dads their wives’ brains are shrinking?
At that point, I had to give up on the book. If this is the kind of stuff they deem helpful information, I don’t think I want to know what other landmines are waiting for me in months 7-9. No thanks. Now I know I’m not the audience for this.
But now I have a dilemma. I’m one of those nerds. Those academics. I read to find out about things. Anyone have any books to recommend for expectant dads? One that’s not just full of information you can find in What to Expect When You’re Expecting? And that’s not going to end with me sleeping on the couch?