What with being an ace parent who has had children for years without them randomly exploding or being abducted by aliens, I’ve often thought that I could write a parenting manual. I’ve just never come across a suitable gimmick. Until now, that is.
Today I am feeling inspired by the work of a fellow parent and author. Neil Sinclair has written The Commando Dad Manual for Fathers, which for reasons not quite clear to me seems to have some extended advertorial in today’s Guardian. It is basically a guide for new dads but it’s DEAD HARD and MANLY! A bit like that Haynes Baby Manual. But obviously completely different, of course.
So what does the book do?
Commando Dad sets out to offer “a few essential skills, to reduce the stress, and allow you to function”. The tone is cod-military and tongue-in-cheek, referring to a dad’s “mission” and to newborns as BTs (baby troopers).
Hahahahahahaha! Excuse me while I piss myself (it’s the post-natal pelvic floor). All this time I’ve been referring to my kids as “those fuckers”, or alternatively as “children”, but BTs! I love it!
Chapter headings include: Preparing Base Camp (baby’s bedroom); An Army Marches on Its Stomach (feeding); Welcome to the Thunderbox (toilet training); On Manoeuvres (transporting kids) and Dealing with Hostilities.
Well, I think a trick was definitely missed here. “Manoeuvres” should clearly have been linked to potty-training. Perhaps that’s one for the reprint? But anyhow, I still admire anyone who can stretch a ridiculous metaphor to breaking point. So Sinclair, I salute you.
“It’s ‘Right, gentlemen, today’s lesson is … burping baby,'” Sinclair says. “‘For this task, you will need equipment A and B. The core skills you require are X and Y. Here are the key dos and donts. And then: fall out, commando dads.'”
Erm… Actually, is it just me, or WHAT A TOTAL TWAT? Give me a break. I have no idea where a real, live baby fits into this military wordplay extravaganza. Perhaps backup (ie Mummy) is actually looking after him or her.
Anyhow, back to MY book. I’ve bred. I can do metaphors. I can do sexism. So where’s MY book deal? My proposal – The Disney Princess Guide to Motherhood – is fucking ace. Lots of stuff on getting your baby to be a “sleeping beauty”, an “ugly stepsisters” section on sibling rivalry, a chapter on “beauty and the beast” ie when your baby’s, like, a bit annoying (that’ll be cos you’re not serene and feminine enough). Haven’t yet come up with a comedy name for the baby itself but I’m thinking of something along the lines of “which of the seven dwarves is your little one most like?”. Then you call him or her Grumpy, Happy, Dopey etc. for the rest of his or her miserable life.
God, I am REALLY excited about this one. Time to sit back, ignore the actual kids and wait for the advance bidding war to begin.