& you lost me, pal

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.

This book will (probably not) change your life.

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.

*Emphasis mine.

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?

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16 thoughts on “& you lost me, pal

  1. My best advice is just to ask your wife what she needs, about 30 times a day. After skimming some daddy’s guide to pregnancy book published by Fisher Price, B said that it was equally stupid as your book and basically took his cues from me throughout the pregnancy. If you want good biological info on what’s going on and how to prepare for L & D just read What To Expect.

    It seems to me that if you are a dad who actually goes to the trouble to read these common sense books, you more than likely don’t need them in the first place.

    Reply
    • Maybe I should just write my own. Like in a “You want something to do while your wife’s cooking the baby? Try this” sorta way.

      Reply
  2. By my 8th month, I didn’t care what my husband thought or if he cared to share those thoughts. In fact, it behooved him to keep his mouth shut and just work on finding me a pair of matching shoes.

    Reply
  3. My husband came across this today and I instantly thought about you. Leave it to the Australians to come up with a “Beer + Bubs” training class for men that takes place in a pub, then base a book on it. If the book “Cheers to Childbirth” is even half as straight forward, no nonsense as this article…it’s right up your alley.
    http://www.beerandbubs.com.au/cheers-to-child-birth/tops-tips-for-first-time-fathers-those-first-few-weeks-with-your-newborn/

    Reply
  4. Thats it! I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. I picked up this book on the shelf, read two paragraphs, and put it right back on the shelf where i found it. When Squatch is out and the dust settles, you and I are writing our own dad book (title: “The Dad Book. subtitle: “This Probably Wont change your life”). We’ll get it published (because if this yahoo can get published, anyone can) andmake enough money to put Squatch, Squatch 2.0, Squatch 3.0 and Episodes 4-6 through private college.

    -Dorkdad

    Reply
  5. I’m not even thinking about having children, but this entry made me laugh SO hard, so thank you for that….and my future husband better have the common sense to never pick up these ridiculous books:)

    Reply
    • You just send him here and we’ll get him straightened out. We’re handing out common sense like it’s Halloween in here.

      Reply
  6. Wait, so preggo brain has to do with a shrinking brain? Why haven’t I been told?! We obviously know that SOMETHING is happening. And I don’t know how much you’ll get out of it besides knowing a little more about the act of childbirth, but Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was the best thing I read all pregnancy. So many ecstatic births, filled with serene, happy mamas…and there’s a wicked pic of a kid coming out face first that I’ve shown everyone I’ve ever met.

    Reply
    • I’m pretty sure you haven’t been told because it’s just good sense not to tell a pregnant lady that. Not unless you like the fear of being smothered in your sleep.

      I don’t know that I want to see the face-first baby. I may never sleep again. I imagine it’d look like that scene in The Mummy where they’re outrunning the big ol’ tidal wave with the bad guy’s face on it.

      Reply
      • So, so similar. As EB was coming out, Matt had it in his head that she might come out face first and was so freaked out that she had such a hairy face. Turned out it was her squishy scalp, like it should be. The pic is much more funny after the birth probably.

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