The factory is silent. Its assembly line stands motionless. Somewhere off in the darkness, a buzzer sounds. One by one, lights begin to flicker and illuminate on long-unmanned diagnostic panels, giving a sense of enormity and complexity and scale to the machinery. The low hum of power supplies warming up comes next, followed by the higher and louder whine of turbines and electric motors. A whistle sounds, and one by one, employees begin to file in and take their places at the controls. Purposed for a single task, whose time has now come, the factory slowly comes to life...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

50% of all Kids are Raised by Amateurs

At least that's what my Dad says. Having absolutely no experience with baby care, I'm inclined to agree with him. My sisters and I were all born within about 4 years of each other, so I was still pretty useless myself when they were babies. As a toddler, I didn't pick up a lot of baby care tips.

Fortunately, as is usually the case, our hospital has taken this into account and offers several birth, safety and childcare classes for modest fees (and in some cases, no fee at all).

I called to get us registered today, as the nurse at Monday's appointment told us that the classes fill up fast. The lady who answered the phone asked me which class I called to sign up for. I told her that, being new at this whole baby thing, we'd like everything on the menu.

So we are now signed up for the following classes, which will occupy about a quarter of our free weeknights in April and May:

- A 9 week childbirth preparation class.
- An infant CPR and safety class.
- A breastfeeding class.
- An epidural class.
- A car seat safety class.

And I will be calling shortly to sign up for a "New Dad Boot Camp" class. I assume they call it Boot Camp to make it seem more masculine. Also, no one would sign up for a class called "Practice Cleaning Someone Else's Baby's Diaper".

I'd like to think we will be pros after all of this, but as everything in my life to this point has taught me, education is no substitute for experience.


  1. 50%? I think I would go with 99% :) Ask them on the last day of your childbirth class for the intsruction manual you were promised at me they'll laugh!

  2. An epidural class?
    So you can find out how it feels when done right and bad it can feel if the tube slides to the side of your spine?

    I guess i was lucky being the oldest of a huge extended family, i was the designated sitter.

    Just know that with all the classes and preparation you will do before baby gets here, you will still be freaked out. Having met both you and Kathy, i KNOW for a fact that you will be aces.
    Just remember that a little butt cream goes a long way!! ;)

  3. Heather -- You know, "amateur" implies that at some point you get paid as a "professional." So yeah, I'd say it was closer to 99%!

    Gen -- From the class description, it is "taught by board-certified anesthesiologists, provides information on anesthesia options available during labor." And hey, it's free! So I can ask them, "OMG what happens if the tube slides to the side of your spine?!?!?"

    I think we both realize, as Craig said, there is no substitute for experience. But we like to go into things as well-educated as we can be (also relying on knowledge from good people like you and my sister-in-law!) :)

  4. AS a childless youngest sigling, I might not always comment, but I'm reading, I'm involved and invested.


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