Books

Potty Training Your Baby: A Practical Guide for Easier Toilet Training by Katie Van Pelt

I didn't actually get all the way through this book. I threw it across the room on the page where she suggests you don't have your child wash their hands every time they go to the toilet because you don't want them to think that peeing and pooing and private parts are dirty. I have news for you, stupid lady: peeing and pooing and private parts are dirty. And if they aren't, your bathroom probably is. If you can't get straight in your head the difference between literal, germy dirtiness and figurative, sexual dirtiness then may I suggest you have a problem? Also, I'm not shaking hands with you.

She also suggests that there is an epidemic of adult constipation caused by parents being negative about their kids' poo in childhood. She provides no evidence, of course, but apparently if you so much as wrinkle your nose at your child's fetid diapers, you will damage them and their bowel health for life.

And last but not least, she says you can't possibly begin potty training until nine months, which directly contradicts the Trickle Treat book, which incidentally comes off as the height of reasonableness compared to this one.

Honestly, I'm almost sorry I read about potty training. I got more value out of a conversation I had with another mum at the library than I have out of these books. I have decided I am just going to switch Delphine to big girl pants in the new year, and clean up messes until she figures it out. What the hell, I launder diapers anyway, and it's not like I have expensive carpets.

Incidentally, both I and a friend with kids the same age have decided we will put our babies on the potty as soon as possible this time around. No more waiting for them to figure it out on their own. In fact, her six-month-old has already peed in the potty more times than her two and a half year old.


Men's Style: The Thinking Man's Guide to Style by Russell Smith

Russell Smith is a men's fashion columnist for the Globe and Mail, and he has written this book about men's fashion. He covers the history of modern men's fashion and gives instructions on such things as how to tie different tie knots, or what "black tie" means, as well as giving his opinion on various style options. As such this is a useful reference book and I might even buy a copy.

It's also very funny, particularly when he says "if you do such and such, you will look like a..." whatever. I already sent the book back to the library so I can't give you any quotes, you'll just have to read it yourself.

I can't agree with all his style opinions, though. I think a man in a sweater can be very attractive, and rust is a fine colour. He's right about three-piece suits, though: SEXY.

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