Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Parenthood: a guide for writers

BABY:

A useful means of networking with female television executives. Note that baby photos can be used as a form of networking currency, with a value roughly akin to that of a well-painted Warhammer figurine to an Aardman animator (quite a lot). HOWEVER: do not use pictures of babies you have found on the internet 'because they look less mental'. Or if your baby is particularly odd-looking, at least take care that selected photos roughly approximate your own child's skin colour/racial origin. Do not attempt to substitute photographs of particularly cute kittens, puppies, baby crocodiles etc - WOMEN ARE TRAINED TO NOTICE THESE THINGS.

STAINS:

When you have a baby, people positively expect you to have odd-smelling stains all over whatever you happen to wearing. If you are a full-time writer, the chances are you would have had odd-smelling stains all over whatever you were wearing anyway, but it's nice to have an excuse.

RAPID CALORIE LOSS DUE TO BREAST FEEDING:

Note that this only applies to the female babykeeper. Constant snacking to keep strength up 'for the baby' on the part of the male babykeeper/writer will only lead to writerly flesh taking on a flabby, dough-like texture. Referring to this as 'winter bulk' will not convince anyone.

ATTEMPTED PROFUNDITY:

Observations as to the wisdom of Mother Nature in making babies all cute rather than 'being covered in scales and having multifaceted eyes like a wasp, because if they looked like that you'd be less likely to look after them' will not be greeted as a breakthrough in evolutionary theory akin to that of Charles Darwin's 'Hey, what if populations evolved over the course of generations through a process of, oh I don't know, let's call it natural selection'.

DIALOGUE:

Writers may find their dialogue skills drying up a little at this early stage, as most of the day's conversation consists of singing 'Hey now little baby, why don't you stop screaming' to the tune of the 'Ooooh Bodyform' advert from about nineteen ninety two.

'I'LL GO AND GET THE WARM WATER':

A useful phrase to bring out right as soon as you've spotted a nappy change is imminent, as this gives you a useful job to do, whilst simultaneously manoeuvering the female babykeeper into the position of prime nappy-remover by the time you return from the bathroom.

'I"LL TAKE THIS AWAY THEN'

A phrase to be used at the end of the nappy changing process. Take the dirty nappy in a careful, yet firm manner, to suggest that this part of the deal is AT LEAST as onerous as the actual nappy removal and maintainance bit.

BUMS:

Remember: the phrase 'ooh what a shiny bum!' IS ONLY TO BE USED INDOORS.



12 comments:

The Dotterel said...

Thanks, BC. That's very helpful. If only I'd known this before...

Vicus Scurra said...

I feel that it behoves me to proffer some advice at this stage, unsolicited though it may be.
Men, normal men at least, do not use the word "cute". Your use of if suggests that you have been got at, in some underhand way. It is quite acceptable, indeed laudable, to be an affectionate, loving, caring and model parent in many ways, but the use of this word breaches the boundaries of what can be tolerated.
I hope that this helps.

Tim Footman said...

If babies had scales and multifaceted eyes, I'd want about 12 of them.

Jayne said...

I can tell you're really getting to grips with fatherhood...

james henry said...

Ah yes, it's all right really, this parenting lark.

*puffs contentedly on pipe*

Boz said...

We used to sing along with that Bodyform song as a family. I fear we were very easy to market to.

james henry said...

When I was shelving books in Waterstone's, I used to sing the 'oooooh Denon' theme, and the 'dur dur dur dur dududuh' bit from Jurassic Park. Clearly I can only remember tunes no longer than eight notes.

Imo said...

Awww you're still at the warm water and cotton wool ball stage of nappy changing. Beware the day will soon be looming when small bits of soggy cotton wool will no longer be up to the job!

Jayne said...

Bugger it, I have now got "oooooh Denon" stuck in my head. This is all your fault.

realdoc said...

Have you made up your own baby song yet. Ours was penned by mer realdoc 'Simon the sausage went out one day, out to see his friends and play, his friends said would you like some lunch, coconuts all in a bunch.' We had about 15 verses by the end of the walking and bouncing phase.

Jayne said...

Nothing to do with babies or baby songs but this is just genius...

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9gJubTHeA6s

james henry said...

THAT'S BRILLIANT.