Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 07/24/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
To: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
From: A helpful Canadian father
Re: Raising a royal baby
Dear Your Lordship and Ladyship: Hearty Canadian congratulations on giving birth to a healthy eight-pound, six-ounce bouncing baby prince.
On behalf of all of Canada, and from the bottom of my heart, let me just say this: What the (bad word) were you thinking?
Seriously, Your Highnesses, as a seasoned parent, I can only assume, after reviewing all the options, you decided you do not need to sleep for at least the next 20 years.
I do not wish to boast, but I am something of an expert in the general area of raising babies because, with a certain amount of help from my wife, I have raised two of them and I am proud to inform you they both still have all of their limbs, zero tattoos and neither has spent any time in prison I am currently aware of.
Given that you have decided to take the royal plunge into parenthood at a time when I have a few minutes to spare, I am more than happy to share my vast storehouse of fatherly knowledge to help you survive the modern parenting process.
As a military man, Prince William, you will understand when I say raising a child can be extremely hazardous. Like running through a minefield or taking a trip on Air Canada, it helps to have an experienced tour guide to get you safely to your destination.
For starters, Your Graces, I was not joking when I suggested you might have to do without sleep for the next couple of decades. This is because, based on my experience, babies do a lot of crying. A standard baby will cry in the following specific situations:
1) When it is daytime;
2) When it is nighttime;
3) When it is hungry;
4) When it is wet;
5) When it is third and goal and the Bombers still can't push the (bad word) ball into the end zone.
I am guessing you are very proud today because the world was swept off its collective feet at the first glimpse of your newborn. This makes absolutely no sense. I can tell you first-hand ALL babies look exactly the same, by which I mean they are small bundles of wrinkles and resemble miniature versions of the Michelin Man, or Shar-Pei puppies.
The world is also on pins and needles waiting to learn the name of the new princeling -- The odds-on favourite among London bookmakers is "George" -- but this makes even less sense. Take it from a veteran parent, no matter what you name your baby, it is not going to come when you call it.
In that respect, babies are an awful lot like dogs, especially my dogs. They also share the trait -- do not read to the end of this sentence if you are feeling queasy -- of spending the majority of their time pooping. That is the unvarnished truth. According to baby experts such as my wife, you can tell a lot about the health of your baby by staring intently into... well, I think you catch the thrust of my parenting gist here. The point is, you have a lot to look forward to.
Fortunately, what with being incredibly wealthy, you have the option of hiring a fleet of professionally trained nannies to help care for the newest member of the Royal Family. This might be a good idea for a brief period of time -- for example, until the baby has finished his second year at Cambridge or Oxford.
The other thing you need to know -- and by "you" I mean "Prince William" -- is babies can be very slippery, especially if someone slathers them with baby oil and doesn't mention it to you. I am not saying I personally dropped my son on his head when he was an infant; I'm just saying wearing a pair of rubber kitchen or fishing gloves at bath time would not be such a bad idea.
As rookie parents, you will also be expected to entertain and amuse your baby, especially when you are travelling on a crowded royal airplane and the young prince is shrieking at a decibel level that can shatter the windows in Buckingham Palace.
Forget buying the most expensive high-tech baby toys. Babies have utter disdain for modern gadgets like that. What babies find hilarious -- trust me, they can watch this for hour after hour -- is when you, or possibly some servant who has displeased you, dangles their car keys in front of their tiny faces. In the world of babies, this is a guaranteed showstopper.
In conclusion, I'd like to assure you, even though you will doubtless make a number of common parenting mistakes, your little prince will definitely grow up to become a typical teenager.
After that, with any luck, he may eventually become a human being.
Yours with little sleep and lots of black coffee,
Doug "Dad" Speirs
P.S. There's a tiny bit of royal throw-up on your shoulder
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 24, 2013 A2
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