Friday, November 6, 2009
It's Gonna Be a Cruel Ride, Kid
Only a guy that’s ushered his wife through two pregnancies and births can look back at the absurdity of it all. Not the miracle of life, of course, (cue angels singing) but the cult-like devotion first-time parents hold for what’s considered the childbirth bible — What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff.
With more than 16 million copies sold, the guide, originally published in 1984, is to expectant mothers as Bibles are to hotel rooms, making it the perfect fodder for parody — everyone has either seen it, read it, can quote full passages from it, or avoided it like the plague.
Enter David Javerbaum, comedy writer and former executive producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, whose target audience for What to Expect When You're Expected: a Fetus' Guide to the First Three Tirmesters (Spiegel & Grau, $15) is the most underserved of literary audiences, “the little child in some of us.”
Mom’s asked for advice from every female within a 1,000-mile radius, including the bag lady who picks out the beer cans from the recycle bin before the sanitation truck makes its early morning rounds, and dad’s playing the “mmm-hmm” card from his “I’m feigning attention/agreement/deep interest” repertoire, but who’s Cliff-Noting the baby?
Don’t fear, Javerbaum’s here.
“Changes are Mommy will be taking it a little easy these first three months, going to bed earlier, waking up later, canceling all but her most essential triathlons … The household’s entire collection of cookware may soon form a giant game of Jenga in the sink that stands in silent condemnation of Daddy’s astounding selfishness.”
“For her co-workers, Mommy’s pregnancy is sure to unleash a welter of conflicting emotions. … Then there’s Mommy’s boss. He had a lot of faith in her. He thought the company meant everything to her. Now this is the thanks he gets for choosing her over that asshole Phil in sales.”
And advice for week 38 of gestation:
“This week, your body is producing a lot of surfactant, fluid that prevents the air sacs in the lungs from … oh, you don’t care about this stuff anymore. … Remember the time between Obama’s election and his inauguration? When no one gave a crap anymore what Bush was doing, even Bush? Well, right now, this pregnancy is President Bush.”