Raising Infants


Raising infants — let's start with birth, which usually occurs in a hospital or the back seat of a taxi.

In the old days, the standard childbirth procedure was for the husband to drive his screaming wife to the hospital, where compassionate doctors would lovingly clunk her on the head, let the baby exit its unconscious mother, put it in a room with 25 other babies, and then, after the mother woke up, allow her and her husband to view their newborn child through a pane of glass.

“Which one's ours?" they'd ask, looking wistfully at the cutest one.

“It's that one over there,” a nurse would reply, pointing to the one with big ears and a funny-shaped head.

The parents would then turn their attention to it and exclaim, with parental enthusiasm, "Oh."

Then, sometime between The Twist and pet rocks, natural childbirth was invented. A guy named Dr. Fernand Lamaze convinced pregnant women not to take drugs while an object the size of a watermelon passed through an opening that normally wouldn't accommodate a can of olives. This masochistic lunacy is still practiced today, if you can believe it, although it does have its good points. For one thing, the baby can be brought to its mother right after being born, which allows the mother to be absolutely sure that this baby is hers; whereas in the old days, when she was unconscious during the birthing procedure, the hospital could have sent her home with an orangutan.

So how do we feed this bundle of joy? Let us return once again to those good old days before our society was infected with body piercing, Facebook and hipsters. Clever companies convinced women not to breastfeed and sold them baby formula, which was a mixture of cow's milk and chalk. Mothers fed it directly into their babies' mouths. We now know that breastfeeding is much more healthful. So, ladies, if you plan to reproduce, please breastfeed your children. I wasn't breastfed and look how I turned out.

Whatever you feed your infant, she will produce, from the other end of her body, some rather disgusting material, much like fast food places do with the ingredients they receive. Consequently, you will need to put a diaper on your offspring, unless you raise her in a barn. Disposable or non-disposable? Some of us are old enough to remember diaper services, which would come to our neighborhoods, take our soiled diapers, give us fresh ones, and then leave, flies swarming behind them. When disposable diapers were invented, people thought, "Yay! Now we can throw our soiled diapers into our garbage cans and contribute more items to our badly underused landfills!" And so, millions of Americans switched from natural cloth to plastic models while the diaper services went out of business and the people who used to work there got jobs in Congress.

Now we get to the really fun part of baby care: sleep deprivation. I've never understood why people use the expression, “I slept like a baby,” unless they woke up every three hours crying. Just about every night you can count on getting interrupted by a hungry infant. It would be so much easier if you could just hook the child to an intravenous tube for the first year of its life. However, I believe that's illegal — at least that's what they said at the trial.

In summary, if you want to raise a baby, all you need is love, patience and amphetamines.

Or you can get a dog.


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