Week 38

Read the manual

There are some great parenthood books out there, and friends & family have been kind enough to give us some of them. One is called “The Baby Owner’s Manual”, and written like something you’d find in the glove box of a car, with marvellously mechanical chapters on “Home Installation” and “General Maintenance”. I think my favourite chapter could be “Activating Sleep Mode”.

On the topic of manuals, Sunday was “Manual Day” for me: I’d tasked myself with assembling the various contraptions we had accumulated for the bump, and working out how they worked. It made me realise that the bulk of the world’s engineers and designers are probably employed making devices for little people, all packaged with little manuals, as they are all a little challenging to get together. Our baby carrier, bottle steriliser and baby monitor all came in a confusing multitude of pieces; successfully putting them together provided the same satisfaction that I had after erecting three Ikea cupboards in our bedroom, without having any pieces left over.

There was another item I had to address: the breast pump. I took the box out of the cupboard, and looked at the device that looked something like a dwarf Dr Who dalek that’d had lip enhancement surgery. I recalled a story of a chap who was curious about his wife’s breast pump, and secretly tried it on himself. He received two shocks: (1) the sensation of his nipples being ripped off and (2) having his wife unexpectedly walk in on him.

I put the box back in the cupboard.

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