Olivia Wilde recommended a book about parenting so I went down to Powells to try and find it. There were two copies left. A nice older man pointed me towards the bookshelf in the back, beyond the children screaming, to a quiet place in the parenting section where the childless can still plead ignorance.
The book is called Mama Tried and I bought it for ten dollars. I started reading it on the car ride home. I’m not pregnant and I’m not having a kid and I’m not trying to have a kid and I only know like two people who have kids so I have a pretty strong degree of separation between myself and parenting. Let’s not make this weird. You read books to learn new things and I know nothing about parenting.
That seems strange to me because I write a blog about sex and sexuality and relationship dynamics and as I tiptoe ever closer to my thirties, parenting is rapidly becoming a pretty important component of that. I have to wonder – at what point between trying to figure out my career and my relationship and how to wash my hair so that it’s not too greasy or too dry am I supposed to learn how to keep an infant alive?
I feel like the best time to get my feet wet is now. When I’m not responsible for another living, breathing human being. When I’m years away from even having to register for the exam.
I don’t want to presuppose that parenting is something that you can learn from a book. I’ve heard you can’t. I’ve heard that books about parenting mostly just make you feel anxious about how you’re parenting. I guess the book is less functional and more erotic. It’s the magazine under the bed you sneak looks at because it doesn’t quite belong to you yet. I get all wide-eyed like how do cloth diapers work and is swaddling literally a baby burrito?
It doesn’t provide me any answers but it gives me a glimpse into some kind of unique horror story. Is this the honey in the trap? The sleepless nights, the dazed-eye look, the promise that it’s so wonderful as you walk crooked down the hallway, middle of the night, nipples bleeding, stomach stitched, screaming I really love my children(!) waiting for the next one to take the bait.
Don’t know, don’t know, don’t know.