Monday, July 2, 2012

Ms Gingerbread Goes to the Dogs

The Pack Master in my parents' house
I have an admirable collection of books on pregnancy and child-rearing. I bought one - What To Expect When You're Expecting - but after a brief flick through it, I decided I'd rather not expect anything at all. But one cannot be properly prepared by not reading one book - oh no, I've not read half-a-dozen! I've been given a selection of books from other mothers, all of which are in unread and pristine condition (the book I got from my sister-in-law is as-new, but flops open on the chapter entitled 'How to recognise if you're in labour'. This was the first and only chapter she read.) The only books that are well-thumbed are two ancient tomes from the Seventies, featuring lots of groovy pictures of hairy women with enormous nipples, stark nekkid, with legs akimbo in various stages of labour, surrounded by brown and orange granny square blankets and even hairier husbands. This has caused me Pre-Traumatic Stress Disorder and I can only emphasise that these books are not well-thumbed by me, but the previous owner must have found them very helpful.

In any case, I have found a more pleasant role model for child-rearing: César Millán, the Dog Whisperer. Mr Gingerbread and I found some of his videos on YouTube and we're enjoying them a lot. Mr G is enthralled by the dogs - he loves dogs - and I'm secretly taking notes. Yesterday, we watched an episode that featured a Dalmatian puppy and my husband nearly cried.
"He's so beautiful! He's so cute!" he said. "I love him!"
This is the very reaction I would've hoped for when he saw his unborn child's face on the 3D scan. Instead, he's gaga about a slipper-chewing Dalmatian puppy on the telly. Whatever.

What have I learned? Well, as I'll be in the minority among males, I'll have to establish dominance as the Pack Master, something Mr Millan emphasises again and again. The practicalities have yet to be sorted out, because I don't think I can use a choke-chain on my husband or wrestle a newborn to the ground.  Much as I love my husband, he's a sucker and, as we all know, babies are fiendishly manipulative  little creatures. So one of us is really going to have to take charge here or our already-chaotic lives will rapidly descend into madness.

P.S.: Cathy asked me how big the daisy hexagons are -  they're 12 inches / 30 cm in diameter. I think this one is going to be a paid pattern, though, and not a freebie (just giving you advanced notice so you can start saving your pennies if you liked it) because it's too complicated to write as a blog post and will need a lot of photos and diagrams.


Katie K said...

That What to Expect book caused me a lot of stress years ago. On another note, I really hope you're exaggerating your husband's indifference in order to give some simple comic relief.

Emily said...

Boy, am I looking forward to photos of Ms Gingerbread, nekkid as the day she was born, with a hairy Mr. Nekkid Gingerbread on their collection of granny-square blankets for the "Birth" Blog Post, woo hoo!!!!

The Gingerbread Lady said...

No, Emily, there were be no recording devices of any kind in the delivery room. No, no, no.

Katie - I don't think he's indifferent so much as overwhelmed. The photos of our baby are to me, clearly, OUR baby. He doesn't quite see how our baby looks different to everyone else's baby. Whereas a Dalmatian puppy? Well, that's just cute on legs. Hopefully once the child is there, he'll be able to compete with puppies and kittens in the cuteness stakes.

Barbara Bell said...

There are better birth books. Was one of the ones you didn't like called The First Nine Months of Life? Because when I read that one over 30 years ago, it really helped me visualise what was going on with baby in a very positive, non-hairy and non-granny-afghan kind of way. (If there were things like that in the book, I might have forgotten about it.) I notice the book is still available and maybe even in a new edition, with at least one used copy available on Amazon for a penny --and whatever the shipping would be to Germany--sorry about that: