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Babyproofing Your Marriage– Book Review

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The “Five-Minute Fix” was all anyone could talk about. I was at a restaurant eating dinner with a coed group. We had just left the book party for “Babyproofing Your Marriage,” and everyone wanted to talk about the authors’ key to fixing your marriage in five minutes. (Full disclosure: one of the diners is married to one of the authors).
So what is the Five-Minute Fix for any marriage? In their opinion– weekly fellatio. (The word they use actually starts with the letter “B.”)
Yes, that’s right, in addition to a lot of other useful advice, the three authors recommend this particular sex act. As they figure it, it “costs” you some exertion, a mere five minutes, and some feelings of compromising yourself. The “benefits”– your husband will think you’re a sex goddess and he’ll change the next diaper without being asked.
I’m writing about this book now, as part of my monthly blog with my breastfeeding blogger friends. Our theme for February is “Baby Love.” And I think the authors of “Babyproofing” are onto something with the general premise of their book. Parents with a little bit of perspective will tell you that one of the best ways to love your children is to create a sense of harmony at home. In most cases, that comes down to making sure your marriage is strong.
The authors write::
“Parenthood and family take everything we have to give and then some. But we all know, we reap what we sow. What we invest in our kids and our spouses come back to us in ways we can’t even imagine.” (p. 230)
“Babyproofing” takes a realistic look at how kids impact a marriage. Couples that were just recently wooing each other over late night dinners suddenly find themselves fighting over the minutiae of everyday life.
On any given weekend in thousands of homes across America, wives stand in front of their husbands listing all of the selfless acts they have performed in the last week: “I paid all the bills, bought a birthday present for your mother, read Goodnight Moon 5 times, took 4 six-year-olds to Chuck-E-Cheese … and that was just Tuesday…”
The husbands return fire: “Excuse me, but did I not make the kids breakfast every morning last week, including the morning it made me late for my presentation, when I really should have gone in early? And I picked up the dry-cleaning without being asked, and I did bath duty three times last week. What more do you want?”
A volley of personal accomplishments and sacrifices ensues. Not exactly what we thought life would be like when we eyed each other across a room all those years ago, is it? We both end up angry and defensive, each convinced that we have it tougher. Some people are habitual scorekeepers, some people just do it occasionally. But we all do it.
( Click here to read more of this excerpt).
Fortunately, the authors do have some practical solutions. My favorite is the “Training Weekend.” Mom takes off for the weekend leaving Dad behind, unassisted to deal with everything. It’s supposed to make him more appreciative and more confident. Sounds clever to me. So honey, as soon as I wean The Bear I’m going to give this one a try. Not because you need the kick in the pants, but because I NEED A BREAK. We’ll make it a training-Training Weekend. I’ll get the sitter to come help you.
Sometimes “Babyproofing” is painful to read. Sometimes it’s reassuring. Sometimes you will literally laugh aloud. My husband and I had a good chuckle over this one:
“Can you imagine a day that doesn’t begin with someone screaming and hurling a sippy cup across the kitchen in a wave of toddler fury?” (page. 266).
I only have a couple of issues with the book. First, I didn’t see much mention of breastfeeding (unless I’m so tired I missed it). I would have liked to see how the authors fit breastfeeding into their analysis. Second, the book is a little long. If we’re all so tired and stressed out, then who has time to read a nearly 300 page long book?
Nevertheless, even if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, you can still get something out of reading selected chapters. If you want to read about battling grandparents, check out Chapter 5, “In-Laws and Outlaws.” If you want to hear how having more kids (yes, more) can actually restore some balance to the marriage, read Chapter 6, “Ramping Up and Giving In: More Kids More Chaos.”
Finally, if you just want to focus on “The ‘Sex Life’ of New Parents: Coitus Non-Existus,” turn to Chapter Four. But ladies, rest assured, the responsibility for fixing things is not just on your shoulders with the Five Minute Fix. In the authors’ opinion, your spouse needs to keep romance alive and do more “domestic crap.” “The bottom line is: pitch in if you want her to put out.” (page 153)
You know what, I think the guys have their work cut out for them. That stuff– romance and housework– take a lot more than five minutes!

Pork Board vs. Blogger Is Over

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It’s done. They’ve settled the matter, and Jennifer over at The Lactivist is quite pleased.
You may remember this story from last week, when the National Pork Board threatened Jennifer with trademark infringement suit. They said her t-shirt slogan, “The Other White Milk” infringed on their slogan, “The Other White Meat.”
The Board apologized, and employees are actually digging into their own pockets to make donations to the Ohio Milk Bank. (Jennifer donates money from t-shirt sales to the milk bank).
You still can’t buy “The Other White Milk” t-shirts. But Jennifer does have a new one that should make you smile: “Breast: The Original White Milk.”

I Need More Help For My Book

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Calling all readers…I’m still wading my way through the edits to first draft of my manuscript…typing as fast as I can. And I’m looking for some more ideas on a few topics. Here are my questions for you:
1. What did you do to re-ignite your sex life after you had a baby?
2. How did you wean your baby? What approach did you use?
3. What sort of diaper/pee/poop calamities have you experienced? What sort of tricks do you have for keeping your baby’s bottom, and your house, clean? How do you handle diapers when you aren’t at home?
Here’s my most recent story. This morning The Bortski almost peed on my head. I was lying on the bedroom floor, trying to stretch my back. Dad was supposedly changing his diaper, but the Bortski quietly slipped away before a new one was on. Suddenly I heard a little sound behind me. I looked up and saw a naked boy leaning in my direction. Seconds later…a stream of pee landed just inches from me. Oy vey.

National Pork Board Threatens Breastfeeding Blogger Over T-Shirt Slogan

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An Update
Jennifer got an apology from the CEO of the National Pork Board and they are trying to work this out.
If I wasn’t blogging friends with Jennifer of The Lactivist, I might think this story was a joke. But really, it’s true.
The National Pork Board is threatening to sue Jennifer over a t-shirt that she sells through her site. The t-shirt says “The Other White Milk.” The Pork Board says this infringes on their trademarked slogan, “The Other White Meat.” And just note, Jennifer sells a range of t-shirts with cute slogans in order to raise money for the milk bank in her home state.
As you can imagine, Jennifer is fighting back. In her other job– the one where she’s not running her blog– she’s an expert in internet search engine optimization. So there’s a whole community of web people who are taking up her cause, blogging about this.
Now in a previous incarnation I was a lawyer. It’s been eons since I practiced and I don’t remember much about trademark law. But I can tell you this basic principle– there has to be the possibility that a consumer would be “confused” by the similarity in slogans. If you ask me, I don’t really think of breast milk and pork in the same train of thought. But that’s just me. What about you?
Read Jennifer’s post to see the original letter from the law firm, contacts at the National Pork Board in case you want to send a letter, and links to other sites that have been covering her story.

Breast Feeding on the Today Show

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The Editor In Chief of BabyTalk magazine was on the Today Show this past week, talking about the challenges women face when it comes to breastfeeding. Top of the list, of course, breastfeeding anywhere outside of home. To watch the clip, click on this link. To find the video, go to the left hand column, click on “Today Health and Living” and then click on “What is Breastfeeding Etiquette.”
Moms…I’m curious to hear from you, how you’ve handled the challenge of breastfeeding in public. I’m working on that section of my book now. Cramming to get all of my edits done this week. Is there anything you want to see included? Let me know.