b Papa Dog's Blog: Baby, Be of Use

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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Baby, Be of Use

Back before five years of trying to conceive sobered us up, Mama Dog and I had a little joke about our theoretical offspring which involved bartending duty as one of the little tyke’s chores. “Make Daddy a martini, and this time don’t skimp on the olives” (spoken in a Foster Brooks voice) was the punchline.

We’ve never really made much of a big deal about Christmas, what with it following so closely after Mama Dog’s birthday and our wedding anniversary, but when I heard about the Baby Be of Use Bundle from McSweeney’s, I just had to get them for Mama Dog. These are two little board books, just like the ones Baby Dog spends her days poring through. The first is called Baby, Mix Me a Drink, and it consists of a series of illustrated cocktail instructions to help baby prepare a hair of the dog for each primary caregiver. The very first page says “Mama wants a martini,” and shows a vodka bottle silhouette plus a vermouth bottle silhouette plus a long spoon and a mixing cup with olives equalling a perfect martini in a martini glass. Later pages show baby how to make a margarita for daddy (who would actually prefer single malt scotch neat with water back, baby), a Bloody Mary for grandma, an old fashioned for grandpa, and a champagne cocktail for nanny. It ends with a cheery “Thank you, baby! And please pass the pretzels!”

Baby, Make Me Breakfast, which is effectively the sequel, shows how to make mommy a half grapefruit, a soft boiled egg, some toast, a cup of coffee, and a couple of aspirin, and ends with, “Thank you, baby! (Now scoot, Mama’s hung.)”

Unsurprisingly, Mama Dog was entertained by these books for about ninety seconds and then decided that maybe they should just be added to Baby Dog’s library. There they quickly achieved favourite status, and have added several new words (i.e., “martini”) and phrases to Baby Dog’s vocabulary. “Scoot! Hung!” she exclaims when looking at the last page of the breakfast book. She was so interested in the word “pretzels” that I had to share some of my own pretzels with her the other day. We don’t usually let her eat and food that – well, any food that I’d eat if I was single – but in the realm of junk food, pretzels are fairly innocuous. I broke her off a little piece, and she gobbled it quickly. “They’re salty,” I told her. “Salty!” she agreed. “Good! More pretzel?”

Baby Dog is close to having the words of these books memorised, though I don’t think she quite gets their instructional intent. At any rate, I’m going to wait until she’s figured out how to feed herself before I let her touch any of my good glassware.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Big sister said...

Oh, my goodness! Just you wait for the questions from the day care staff and, much later, kindergarten teachers! Next will be the baby board book for how to swear correctly!

Reminds me of the time I though a t-shirt was very funny until my Jr. High son wore:

G_ F_CK Y_ _RS_LF
"Want to buy a vowel"

to school.

4:50 AM  
Anonymous huskita said...

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11:59 AM  
Blogger Twizzle said...

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12:00 PM  
Anonymous Mama Dog Duvalier said...

Yes, we're currently having a dialog about whether or not to censor one of Baby Dog's books, "The Best Nest" by P.D. Eastman (not a classic like "Are you my mother), which contains the word, "HATE." When we read the book to BabyDog, we conveniently replace the offensive and powerful verb with "strongly dislike." Baby Dog seems to have picked up on our discomfort around that word and has made "I hate that!" one of her most repeated phrases. Oh, what to do? Parenting is hard!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous bigsister said...

Parenting is so hard. And I still think that t shirt is funny. The teacher told our boy that there was no way his mother had bought that shirt (he knew us quite well - but not entirely). And I had to blantantly claim that yes, I had bought it - the boy wasn't supposed to wear it to school - but I had bought that offending shirt. The boy loved it. And me. But in the instant that I bought it, I don't think I was being the parent. I was just being me with my weird sense of humor. Sometimes we are just ourselves. Not anybody's parent. All mine seem to be surviving these little brain burps, thank goodness.

4:41 AM  

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