Why you should always read the book

February 3, 2006

I’ve been in school for, like, forever. So I know a thing or two about books. And I’ve been in school so long that they let me teach people who haven’t been in school as long as I have, and so I know a thing or two about telling people that they must read books.

It is, some would say, one of my more irritating qualities – pestering my students, and sometimes members of the general population, including my husband, with the admonition that they must always, always read the book. No getting around it. No, I don’t care that you heard that The Matrix is, basically, Plato’s Republic in a cinematic nutshell (Gah! It’s not!) You must read the book.

Say it with me. You. Must. Read. The. Book.

If you like, you can join me in whacking my head against the wall as I repeat this. Over and over. Or, maybe you could go look up ‘irony’ in the dictionary and read the definition aloud to me.

I finally looked up Harvey Karp’s book, The Happiest Baby on the Block. I figured, might as well. I’ve been pushing it on everybody. Hadn’t read it though. Saw the movie. (Which I highly recommend, BTW. I really did see it, so you can trust me on this.)

But I did not read the book. Why does this matter, apart from the issue of intellectual and pedagogical integrity? Because I’ve been polluting the blogoverse (blogiverse? blogverse?) with my manic rants about how swaddling (which I learned about from the Dr. Karp movie) is becoming less effective as Baby gets older, how she keeps busting out, how I’m totally anxiety-ridden about how I’m going to wean her from the swaddling, blah, blah blah. And because having polluted the blogverse (?) with this crap I finally follow MY OWN LINK to the site for the book and discover that it has a chapter with a sub-section that addresses “how to wean your baby off the 5 S’s” (swaddling is, if I have to explain this to you, one of the S’s). That’s right. The goddamned book has a goddamned how-to.

That sound you hear is me continuing to whack my head against that wall.

‘Cause while I love this girl, to, like, infinity and beyond (the Husband hates when I say stuff like this, BTW. Says it’s so extreme as to defy comprehension and so meaning. He prefers ‘completely.’ Nice and straightforward.) So, although I love her COMPLETELY…

… (how could one not?!?! Look at her!!!) when the swaddle ends up tangled around her I go a little bit crazy. (OK, she doesn’t get quite so far out of it on her own. But close.)

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