Thursday, September 11, 2008

Parenting Manuals, Or, Really Obvious Stuff You Should Already Know

Had some time to kill between TIFF screenings today at The Manulife Centre, where most of the press/industry screenings are held, so I skulked around the "Parenting" section of the Indigo bookstore for something of a bit more substance than of the "For Dummies"/insta-book variety. What an exercise in futility that was--there's certainly no shortage of touchy-feely tomes for moms-to-be, but my cursory browse revealed that 99% of books on the subject of fatherhood are inane and condescending--I took a casual flip through the few meager offerings and found countless references to having to skip watching "the Big Game" and jokes of the "Home Improvement" variety and felt like I'd be better off reading "The Road" again, which despite its bleak setting and nihilistic world view is, at its heart, a moving tale of a father's love for his son, and not a collection of obvious "to-do" lists ("bring lots of snacks!", "don't tell her she's fat!") aimed squarely at an audience whose lips move when--if?-- they read.

I decided on "The Expectant Father"--second edition--by Armin A. Brott ("America’s most trusted Dad™"!!!) and Jennifer Ash, which came highly recommended by not only Family Circle but also Sesame Street Parents magazines! Nothing terribly revelatory here, and providing more food-for-thought than anything else, as most of the resources offered and financial advice pertained to Americans, it left me with some subjects to pursue, like education funds, the safety of ultrasound and 4D imaging, consumer safety reports on items like car seats and strollers, and what to expect the first few weeks at home with the newborns. Straightforward and light-hearted without being too cutesy, it was worthy read after all, and I'll probably follow up with the duo's "The New Father: A Dad's Guide To The First Year".

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