I’m told that when a fetus is in its 18th week or so, it can hear sounds from the outside world. For that reason, parents are encouraged to speak to their future children to get them adjusted to their voices. This book tells me that, as a dad, I should try to talk to the baby at the same time every day so that it settles into a routine.
Mind you, the book’s author also recounts the time that, as children, he and his family went to Central Park, stripped down, and body-painted each other. The book does have a lot of useful information but once in a while, it comes through that the author is kind of a new age yuppie twit.
Still, I thought it might be a good idea to talk to the baby once in a while before it’s born. The problem is, I don’t really know what to say.
So I decided that I’d read to it. My current bedside book is The Looming Tower: Al Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 but that might be a bit heavy. Also, the baby may not want to come out after finding out what kind of world we live in.
I decided, instead, on poetry. I went through the few books of verse that I have and decided that the Victorian poets were never really my thing seeing as they’re exceedingly dull. That’s when I decided that I’d read the same book of poems that I loved as a child: Alligator Pie by Dennis Lee.
As she is a foreigner and therefore not blessed with the knowledge of Canadian children’s literature from the early 1970’s, the Baby Mama was unfamiliar with the work. It offers up mostly nonsense rhymes for the toddler set and makes numerous references to Canada in general, but Toronto in particular. In one poem, Honest Ed’s gets a shout-out, for instance.
As a kid, I never owned my own copy but spent one summer repeatedly signing it out of the local library. Hopefully the baby will like it too, and not think its dad is weird.