Stuff Every Dad Should Know, (Quirk Books, 2012) by Brett Cohen is a small, 3.75″ x 6″ book, perhaps because the “stuff” has been reduced to the basic information without a lot of discussion or explanation.
The book covers topics from diaper changing to how to teach your child to drive a car to how to meet your child’s in-laws — all in 143 small pages. Other topics include how to build a sandcastle, how to photograph your child and how to host a sleepover. Not really specifically dad stuff, just parenting stuff.
Page 40, though, is dedicated to “Male Humor: What is and is not funny.” Item 4: Smart dads are self-deprecating. When the baby pees on you while you’re changing the diaper, it’s funny. When he pees on your wife, it’s not funny…unless she laughs first.” See, good dad stuff.
Another new dad book, What to Expect When Your Wife is Expanding (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2012) by Thomas Hill, is a parody, at least as far as the title is concerned. This is the third edition of the book, which originally came out in 1993, so some of the humor is a bit dated. But if you need to give a gift for father’s day to a new or expectant dad, this one is amusing for dads who have never come across the “I’m going to be a dad — now what?” genre of humor, which revolves around how to deal with a pregnant wife, how to mentally prepare for the baby and all the usual life changes baby will bring.
There is some useful information about weight gain, toxoplasmosis, breastfeeding etc., but at the end of the short breast feeding discussion, Hill writes, “When the baby is six months old or so, you just go grab away his favorite toy and stick it in your mouth. When he starts to cry, just say: See? How do you like it? It’s important to let him know who is boss.” New-dad humor to buffer the fathering information.
Jenny Gillespie, a graphic designer at the magazine, says a book for expectant dads could be written on a post-it note: 1. Help with changing diapers and don’t pretend you don’t smell it. 2. Help with the feeding. 3. When you see a crazy look in her eyes, let her sleep.
Hmmm, No humor or parody but useful advice for new dads.