I Should Have Done That Differently

by david

(the second in a series of important, or at least self-important, posts)

So, 2013 is also the year that I get serious about something I’ve been meaning to do since I was 5 years old. I’m writing…no…writing AND finishing… a book. Not a novel, like I always imagined (though stay tuned for more on that), but something else.

I’m writing a book on parenting. And it’s funny. Notice the verb tense. It IS funny. This isn’t speculative. It’s underway.

The book is called I Should Have Done That Differently, and it is the antithesis of every other parenting book out there: it is not boring or preachy or self-important. It does not assume that parents have no other interests, or that your child has become the whole of your existence. It does not even assume that you like children, because let’s face it, most people have terrible children. It is a book that acknowledges some key facts about babies:

  • Babies are boring
  • Babies are a pain in the ass
  • Babies ruin your life
  • Babies are, despite this, potentially a lot of fun

Even though I mean what I say in that last bullet point, I intend to focus on the negative, because that’s the stuff that people don’t really talk about much, or don’t talk about with non-parents. The book is comedy, but it also does have one very serious point: I hate the normalization of “perfect” as an expectation in parenting. I want people to know that every parent is either winging it or delusional.

I’ve currently written the foreword and a single chapter, but am BLAZING through the rest. The book may be published as audio first, as the writing style is similar to my shows. It could be, essentially, a subscribable audio book that will, at the end, be available as a complete print or ebook. I’m still working that out. Maybe I’ll Kickstart it. For now, the goal is to write the book.

My tentative Table of Contents:

* Foreword: What Was I Thinking?
* So You Thought You Could Conceive: Adventures in Infertility
* She’s Pregnant! Staring Down the Barrel of a Loaded Uterus
* The Arrival of a New American Citizen: How We Do Birth
* Your Baby’s First Night at Home: The Worst Thing That’s Ever Happened to You (Yet)
* Intelligent Design Refuted: No Intelligent Being Designed a Baby
* One Million Ways to Die: Easy Baby Care Tips
* This Baby is Boring: Yes, I Mean Yours, Too
* My Life Is Over: A New Approach to Managing Your Social Calendar
* Just When You Thought the Worst Was Behind You: Your Baby Attacks at Night
* The Emergence of Personality: Just Another Thing You Have No Control Over
* A Roomba With Feelings and Legal Protections: Your Beloved Child is Mobile
* Expensive Parrot vs. Child: A Case Study in Life Planning
* I Just Bragged About What? Protecting Yourselves From Strange Feelings of Pride
* Feeding a Child: 10 Ways to Needlessly Cause Yourself Trouble (and then serve ketchup)
* Your Child in the Wider World: How Complete Strangers Ruin Everything
* Surrendering Your Child to the Education System: The Alternative to Destroying Them Yourself

This book is happening. Each chapter is essentially a stand-alone essay, about the length of a magazine feature article. Want to know more? Let me know.