When I stop and think about it, I’m honestly a little surprised that I lived past the age of three. Now, this isn’t due to my parents’ negligence or my poor health—they weren’t and it wasn’t—but because they didn’t attend a single, hospital-sanctioned parenting class.
In the Dark Ages of Child Birthing (anything before 1981, or thereabouts), women having children were absolutely clueless.
“COURTLAND WON’T STOP CRYING, SHOULD I STRIKE HIM WITH A STICK?”
“ROG DOESN’T LIKE EATING STRAINED PEAS, IS IT OKAY FOR ME TO FEED HIM SOME MCNUGGETS?”
That’s why, before the prevalence of parenting classes (and other useful tools like Facebook, Web MD, Wikipedia and other people you know who’ve had babies), the average life expectancy of human beings was 28 years old. Oh, sure, there were a few outliers who lived to 50 or 60, but the numbers were skewed by billions of children who died because Ma and Pa Dipshit forgot to burp them.
But lucky for all of us, folks are routinely living to the ripe old age of 30 and even 40, and all because of magical parenting classes! For only a few hundred dollars and what will feel like a few hundred hours of my precious, precious weekend(s), I can now learn all loads of shit about how not to haphazardly mangle or kill my new little bundle of joy. It’s an experience not unlike weekend traffic school for those who’ve chosen to get caught while driving drunk, or something the judge mandates you attend when you’re caught masturbating outside of your attractive neighbor’s window. (So I’ve heard.)
To date, my wife and I have signed up for three parenting classes.
The first of which is on childbirth itself. While birth may seem like a natural, totally self-embedded thing that women have been doing since the beginning of time, it apparently used to kill a lot of them. But then they invented doctors—Heathcliff Huxtable, for example—and regulated everything while making it very sanitary, so nobody has died in childbirth ever since.
That doesn’t mean the whole process is easy, though, and that is why on a future Saturday, for seven and a half hours, I will get to attend Birth 101. I will learn all kinds of things about what to expect during the process—things like, “it’ll hurt” and, “you’ll probably poop a little and totally gross Brandon out.” I’m also expecting a lot of 1980’s sitcom style hijinks involving the breathing stuff, or as rich assholes call it, “Lamaze.”
And then there’s the most valuable lesson of all: under no circumstances should one ever venture south of the equator. ALWAYS STAY NORTH SON!
The bottom line is, everyone is familiar with this type of class due to years of worthless pop culture inanity. In fact, if Danny Tanner isn’t there helping a single mom-to-be who he met at the mall only hours prior (but couldn’t initially tell she was pregnant due to a lot of comedic visual activity where her girth was obscured by a shopping bag, then a table at Orange Julius, then a Samoan man and so forth), I’m fucking rioting.
Then, on another Saturday in the not-too-distant future, I’ll be attending a class on newborn care. I expect this class to cover things like:
- How to feed the baby, food
- What KIND of food the baby can eat (limited amounts of solids, preferably nothing with bones)
- How often to feed the baby (daily, at least)
- How to burp the baby
- How to dress the baby (for success, and otherwise)
- When it is appropriate to throw things at the baby (rarely)
- How/why keeping wildlife away from the baby is important
These things are very significant, to be sure, and I am sincerely looking forward to this class.
Also important, and covered in the afternoon session: breastfeeding. Although I’ve heard the art of breastfeeding is much more complicated than I can ever hope to understand, this class should be three minutes long and consist of the professor showing a GIF of a mom putting her nipple into the baby’s mouth, because, you know, breastfeeding.
If only things were that simple, I guess.
But nothing about having a child is simple, and more importantly, nothing about it is cheap, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that people think a few hundred dollars and a couple of wasted Saturdays is “totally okay” and “definitely not stupid or ridiculous.”
This is a child, after all, and it’s very serious business.
Latest posts by Brandon Leftridge (see all)
- New Daddy Chronicles, Part II: Now the Baby is Home – Year One - August 21, 2016
- New Daddy Chronicles, Part I: Here Comes the Baby - May 28, 2015
- Infant Care Class (aka: A Very Important Saturday That I’ll Never Get Back) - February 13, 2015