Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Baby Rulebook

Yesterday, Ryan spent an hour and fifteen minutes in absolute hysterics until he finally dropped from exhaustion – but then his nap only lasted for 45 minutes. Doesn’t that seem a bit unfair to you? Mom spends an hour and fifteen minutes walking, rocking, bouncing, and singing, only to be rewarded with a mere 45 minutes of peace? I decided there should be a baby rulebook prohibiting such things.

So the first rule of my rulebook would be a minimal scream-to-nap time ratio. The time of screaming must be rewarded with equal time of napping. That’s a fair rule, right? But what other rules would I include in my rulebook?

There would probably be a whole section on diaper rules. Minimal time between diaper changes, for example. Ryan has had several episodes where I changed his diaper and less than fifteen minutes later he needed to be changed again. I would institute a 30-minute minimum policy. Also, peeing on the changing table would be prohibited at times when a) baby is wearing a dressy and/or dry-clean only outfit, and/or b) mommy is running late and doesn’t have time to dig out a second clean outfit. Oh, or c) we are out and about and either didn’t bring a change of clothes or already peed/pooped/spilled on the first outfit and have used up the change of clothes we brought. Also, peeing on the changing table at such velocity and volume that the stack of clean diapers, clean clothes, various assorted teddy bears, or the carpet below the table receive a dousing would be strictly prohibited.

Closely related to the diaper rules would be general laundry rules. Spitting up would only be permitted on outfits (baby’s or mommy’s) whose color coordinates with the dinner of the day. Carrots and sweet potatoes are acceptable on orange or yellow shirts, green beans and peas on green or khaki clothing. Pears, bananas, and rice cereal are wild cards. Similarly, overflow pooping would be prohibited on white onesies but acceptable on brown or khaki pants. Wet-only leaks are acceptable on quick-drying fabric only.

What about behavior? I’m not so unreasonable as to ban crying or whining altogether, but there are limitations. Whining at mealtimes should be limited to the end of the meal, not beginning just as the family sits down to eat. Crying in church is welcome during hymns, loud anthems, and the passing of the peace, but must be avoided during prayers and sermons. Church crying should also begin quietly so as to allow a parent a moment to escape unobtrusively. Sudden screaming without warning is unacceptable. Restaurant behavior should follow church behavior with the exception that pleasant cooing and the occasional reasonably quiet interjection is acceptable.

I bet I could get scores of other moms to support this rulebook. Now if only I could figure out how to get the babies to read it…


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