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Chapter One: On Deciding to Become a Father
Unlike marriage, fatherhood is not something to be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. You must understand the full range of responsibilities and duties it entails. Having a baby is a full-time job. You've got to feed it, clothe it, shelter it. I mean, man, that's a lot of hassle.
So before you embark on fatherhood, make a list of reasons why you want to have a child. Compare your reasons with the following list:
GOOD REASONS TO BECOME A DAD
BAD REASONS TO BECOME A DAD
Still think you're ready? Many high schools require their sex-ed students to care for a plastic doll for two weeks in order to help illustrate the full-time nature of parenting. Why don't you try it? If your "test" baby looks like this, then maybe you should hold off on having children — at least for a little while.
If, however, you passed the baby doll test (or, more likely, figured, "Who the hell has time to drag around a stupid plastic doll?" and decided not to bother), you might still want to test your "Fatherhood Aptitude" by taking the following test.
Use a number 2 pencil. 30 minutes
The Fatherhood Aptitude Test
1. The best way to calm a crying baby is to:
a. hand him off to mommy.
b. gently rock him up and down.
c. slap him silly.
2. An appropriate baby-sitter is:
a. one of our relatives.
b. a trusted teenage daughter of a friendly neighbor.
c. an English au pair.
3. Which of the following is an acceptable toy for a baby?
a. A large doll with plastic crinkle-paper stuffing.
b. A large, hard, plastic teething ring.
c. A large, plastic dry-cleaning bag.
4. Which of the following best describes your reasons for wanting to become a father?
a. I love kids.
b. I feel the time is right to have a family.
c. I enjoy playing with my Tamogotchi hatch-an-egg video game.
5. Why do you think you'd make a good father?
a. I'm so hopelessly, deliriously in love with my wife, that my happiness can't help but rub off on our child.
b. I look forward to imparting all of my skills to a future generation.
c. I just finished reading Earl Woods' book Training a Tiger. I'm ready to get started immediately.
6. Your wife wants to start trying to have a baby. She's charted her temperature, and knows that she's been ovulating on a twenty-nine-day cycle. If today is March 10, and her temperature last peaked five days ago, when is the best time to try to conceive?
a. April 4.
b. April 5.
c. Right now. Continue trying until my Viagra runs out.
7. Baby : Beer ::
a. Square Pegs : Round Holes
b. Checks : Stripes
c. Who the hell let the baby near my beer? That's my beer, dammit!
8. You hope that your first child is:
a. a Girl.
b. a Boy.
9. The young father picked up his newborn baby with ______ in his eyes and gently _______.
a. love...sang a lullaby.
b. joy...Cooed nonsense syllables.
c. horror...dropped it.
10. By the end of its second month, a baby should be able to:
b. respond to a bell in some way, such as startling, crying, or quieting.
11. goo goo : ga ga ::
a. boo boo : ba ba
b. Milli : Vanilli
c. Shut : Up
12. Four babies are getting weighed in the maternity ward. Your baby, R, weighs more than V. T weighs less than R. S weighs more than V but less than T. Which of the following is the correct lineup of babies from smallest to biggest?
a. V, S, T, R.
b. Cannot be determined from the information given.
c. Which one is mine, again?
True or False?
1. Babies can eat Doritos.
2. Babies can be left unattended if you are pretty darn sure you will return by the end of the hour.
3. Babies can't scream very loudly since they just have tiny, little baby lungs.
4. Once you have a baby, you will have more free time since there will be extra hands around the house.
5. Baby fat insulates babies from all but the coldest arctic conditions.
6. You will still be able to golf on weekends after the baby is born.
7. Most pregnant women look like Hunter Tylo.
8. I plan on videotaping the birth and then showing it to friends.
9. I was born a rambling man.
10. Someday, I would like to appear on the Jerry Springer Show.
11. Lamaze breathing techniques could also be useful when I'm on the can.
12. Whenever you mention that you'd like to have a large family of, say, five kids, your wife anxiously eyes the bathtub.
What does commitment mean to you?
If you have finished before the time allotted, you may go over any questions in this section. Then place your answer sheet facedown in front of you with your pencil on top. Do not go on to any additional sections. Do not run screaming out the door to a seedy singles bar for casual, anonymous sexual encounters.
If you answered any of the questions, you pass. And if by some miracle of nature you actually tried to write an essay, then you've got definite fatherhood potential (unless you wrote "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over again, in which case don't go on any vacations in the north woods with your family).
Note: If you answered "c" to any of the multiple choice questions, or "True" to any of the True/False questions, then beware! You are a moron. Of course, that alone does not disqualify you from fatherhood in any way.
Text copyright © 2002 by Mason Brown
|Foreword: A Word from the Doctor||11|
|Preface: A Word from the Author||12|
|Part I||Getting Started||15|
|1.||On Deciding to Become a Father||17|
|2.||Trying to Get Pregnant||23|
|3.||Are You Pregnant?||33|
|Part II||Nine Months and Counting||39|
|6.||Choosing (and Working with) Your Practitioner||47|
|7.||The Best Odds Diet for Men||51|
|8.||Prenatal Care 101||57|
|9.||Sex During Pregnancy||61|
|10.||What's Going On in There? Understanding the Trimester System||67|
|11.||Your Wife's Mental Changes Throughout Pregnancy||73|
|12.||The Working Mother||77|
|13.||The Gender Dilemma: Should You Find Out the Sex of Your Unborn Child?||79|
|14.||Naming Your Baby||83|
|15.||The Baby Shower||89|
|16.||Preparing the Baby's Room||93|
|18.||What to Bring to the Hospital||101|
|Part III||D-day!! Labor and Delivery||105|
|19.||Making the Decision to Go to the Hospital||107|
|20.||Driving to the Hospital||113|
|21.||You Made It to the Hospital. Now What?||117|
|22.||The Final Push||121|
|24.||It's A ... live||129|
|25.||Picking a Room||135|
|26.||Keep Baby Off the Grid!!||141|
|27.||The Great Circumcision Debate||143|
|28.||Other Body Modification Rituals||145|
|29.||The First Days Home||151|
|30.||Postpartum Depression: Hers and Yours||157|
|32.||Day Care Providers||169|
|33.||Television and the Younger Child||177|
|34.||Out with the Old, In with the New: The Second Baby||179|
|Appendix||A List of Recommended Baby Books||191|
Chapter Three: Are You Pregnant?
You're a man. Men can't get pregnant, you moron!
Some men, however, experience what is known as "empathic pregnancy." They feel symptoms that mimic actual pregnancy signals. Other men get bad gas. The point is, even if you feel like you are pregnant, don't worry about it. You're not.
Is She Pregnant?
Well, usually she'll tell you. Then she'll get fat. Then she'll give birth. If these three things occur, you will know with certainty that she was pregnant.
Sometimes, however, women show signs of pregnancy that are actually symptoms of something else.
Of course, if you want to be sure that your wife is pregnant before she gives birth, the two of you can buy a pregnancy test kit. There are a variety of over-the-counter pregnancy test kits, and each one of them is remarkably accurate. They are also extremely easy to read. Just use this easy chart:
Sometimes, however, you may suspect that a woman is pregnant and doesn't want to tell you. If this woman is your wife, then you are in serious relationship trouble and you should seek counseling immediately. But you might suspect that a friend is pregnant. Or your sister. Whatever. The important thing is that there are still a few simple tests you can use to determine whether a woman knows she's pregnant. These time-honored techniques are many a man's first source of information:
If a woman won't take you up on any of these offers, then she may be pregnant. Of course, she just may not like really cool, fun things. You'd be surprised how many women don't.
Text copyright © 2002 by Mason Brown
The world is filled with books that help women deal with the changes they undergo during pregnancy. Often these books deign to include a sidebar or two about the man, but for the most part he is immediately relegated to the status of his wife's personal assistant. To be sure, any man in a relationship should be used to "drone" status, but somehow pregnancy makes it seem more definitive.
Worse than that, the father-to-be has no guidebook that tells him what to expect. His wife's books tell her she should be eating folic acid, but what should he be eating? She knows that she should take a light walk every day, but should he walk, too? Or is walking a pansy-ass exercise no matter how you slice it? A young father may feel helpless, or even guilty (especially if he still finds himself looking at pictures of lovely, young Swedish au pairs).
This book is designed with you, the father, specifically in mind. It follows the course of the pregnancy and gives you step-by-step advice about what will be happening to you before, during, and after your wife's pregnancy. And stop looking at that au pair! What's wrong with you! You're going to be a father, for crying out loud!
You make me sick.
Text copyright © 2002 by Mason Brown
Posted March 4, 2003
This is exactly what I needed to relieve anxiety of my first born. He saved the best for last too. The page of other book titles to look for had me on the floor crying of laughter.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 21, 2002
For expecting fathers this book is excellent BUT don¿t ask your wife to review it first. It contains absolutely no educational material but when I read it I was looking for a laugh to help me relax about the pregnancy. If you¿re looking for some quick-reading educational material about what¿s going on with your wife, read the Girlfriends' Guide.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 17, 2002
Absolutely what I wanted from an editor of the National Lampoon. Funny, and not for everyone. As for the swastika, that's what you get when your baby listens to Wagner instead of Mozart in the womb. Brilliant.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 17, 2002
No useful advice, but laugh after laugh! A welcome relief from reading What to Expect. Great illustrations too, especially the ultra sound of the twins whose mother spends too much time watching Jerry Springer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 25, 2002
My fiance and I were disgusted as we read through this book. Besides jokes that were less than funny and 'photos' that extremely distrubing (especially the one of a fetus with a Swastika armband) there was no useful information in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.