The “Good Enough” Baby

We have to be able to laugh at ourselves once in a while, right?  Comedian Andy Borwitz shares parenting advice in the New Yorker:

As new parents, we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards. We settle for second or third best when we buy a house or a car, and, when it comes to choosing a spouse, ninth best will often do. And yet, for some reason, we throw this time-tested principle out the window when we have a baby. We try to be “perfect” parents and raise the “perfect” baby, even if that means taking care of the baby “all the time.”

Borwitz says while “raising a perfect baby is impossible, raising a ‘good enough baby’ is surprisingly easy”, then proceeds with his “Good Enough Baby Checklist”, which includes “Is my baby clean enough” and “Is my baby well fed enough.” The most amusing to us was “Is my baby stimulated enough?”:

During the past few decades, early-development “experts” have stressed the importance of so-called “enrichment activities”: reading to babies, singing to them, even talking to them. We are now finding that these activities, in addition to being excruciating for the parent, may actually be harmful to the baby, lengthening her attention span to the point where she will be unable to enjoy most popular entertainment. Fortunately, there’s a simple way to reverse this damage, using a system I call FIT (Facebook, iPhone, TV). By exposing your baby to these three things for as many hours as possible, you’ll insure that she’ll be well equipped for a lifetime of pointless multitasking. Quick test: Put your hands in front of your eyes and play peekaboo with your baby. If she ignores you and picks up your phone, reward her with her favorite app.

This is all pretty important stuff says Borwitz: “When you have a baby, you are bringing a human being into this world, and you are responsible for that human being for the next five or six years.”

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