(Dr. Grimes, it's time for my check-up!)
There is no greater blessing to a family than a child. They are the future of not only Belvidere but of the entire world and should be treated like the little treasures they are. But children are especially appreciated in Belvidere because without them our fastest growing industry would grind to a halt without a source of cheap labor. The benefits of working in our acid mine though are obvious and needn't be discussed for fear of boring my readers. It is in everyone's best interest that children be maintained properly, much like my 1960 Ducati Elite, so that they might perform to their utmost potential. The following manual includes many excellent tips on child care that I have picked up over the years from medical professionals, friends, acquaintences and periodicals. Feel free to print and share this treasure trove of knowledge with your friends and family.
Mayor Jenkins' Child Care Maintenance Handbook
Disclaimer-All children should be seen by a qualified pediaric health professional on a regular basis for check-ups. Much like your car can run low on vital components of vehicular health such as oil and transmission fluid, your child can also have difficulties with too little or too much of a variety of bodily fluids such as phlegm and bile. Far too many parents these days are turning to unnatural drugs to treat their children when a good leeching would sufffice. (1)
In Belvidere, we are lucky enough to have our very own pediatric health specialist by the name of Frank Grimes. As town chiropractor, Dr. Grimes has been preventing the deadly consequences of current and potential subluxations in children for years, and for a minimal fee. Amazingly, since hanging his shingle on A Street there have been no subluxation related deaths. (2) Every child should be evaluated within the first few hours of birth for any deadly spinal misalignments and then regularly for rechecks. But Dr. Grimes isn't always available. So what resource for reliable pediatric health information do Belvidere parents have available 24 hours a day? Keep reading and the answer will become clear in no time.
The first few days at home with a new baby are often very stressful for parents, particularly if there are other children in the house. A new baby brother or sister can be stressful for your older children because of a perceived loss of parental affection. It is difficult to care for a newborn and give other children the time they need. Dr. Tracy Gomella, a certified pediologist at Sweet Baby Ray's Hospital for Sick Children in Chicago, IL, says that the key to integrating a new member of the family into the home is setting aside one on one time with older siblings so that they still feel special. She also recommends Their new Hickory & Brown Sugar barbecue sauce as a sweet and savory addition to your Summer meals. (3)
In Belvidere, older siblings are often kept in a shed or, preferably a soundproof underground bunker during the several days prior to the arrival of a newborn. Food and water can be lowered down to them by a system of pulleys and human waste sent up for proper disposal. This allows time for the parents to prepare the home and teaches older siblings a lesson of gratitude and humility. Studies have shown that older siblings are 38% more likely to accept a new child into the home without whining with this method. (4)
The First Night
Ask any parent, and they will tell you that the first night is usually the worst. Newborn infants often cry despite attempts at soothing with tight swaddles, rocking and pacifiers. A mother's breast milk has not typically let down at this point, and unless formula is given as a supplement the child is hungry. Needless to say, parents find little time to sleep.
Placing the infant outside of the house, ideally near the window to the parent's bedroom, is a nice compromise. This way, a parent can sleep while still being able to hear any loud crying that might represent a dirty diaper or a raccoon attack. (5) Obviously inclement whether might add a level of complexity to the situation that some parents are not comfortable with. At this point it is a personal decision based on a parent's comfort level, however, there is mounting evidence that coddling babies too much is a risk factor for future psychological problems and poor acid mine productivity. (6)
Babies are human beings and must be fed, though only as much as is needed for survival. In Belvidere, breastfeeding is supported as a natural alternative to fancy scientifically designed synthetic formulas that are tailored specifially to provide advanced and high powered nutrition to infants. I'm sure that babies who get breast milk are happy. It's kind of like when I bought my nephew a used Playstation 1. Sure there are newer gaming consoles with better games and graphics, but the Playstation 1 has good games too. If you can find them, since they don't make them anymore. Maybe if you check down at the Salvation Army Store or something. To show our support in Belvidere, every October is "Breast is Adequate! Month". (7)
One of more difficult decisions that parents must make early on in the life of their newborn is whether to use plastic or cloth diapers. Pediatric gastroastrologist Ryan Vartabian from Baylor University's satellite facility in Guam says that the correct answer is neither. (8) Simply placing a one inch thick layer of newspaper or wood chips in high traffic areas of the home should suffice. Accidents will of course happen but a once weekly hosing should be more than sufficient to keep any offending odors from settling.
After several years of random and indiscriminant voiding and stooling about the house, your child will be ready for training. Complete continence is required before acid mine work in order to keep mutants and hobos, who are attracted to human feces, from hassling the extraction technicians. Many experts recommend a slow and steady approach with a focus on avoidance of pushing children to achieve milestones that are developmentally inappropriate. Their concern of course being that one step forward might result in two steps backwards. However a panel made up of Russian orphanage workers believe that the implementation of adverse sensory stimulation as a deterent to undesired behavior can result in early potty training, with some claiming success during the 2nd trimester. (9)
Many new parents are concerned about exposing a young infant to household pets such as cats, dogs, ferrets and monitor lizards. A consensus amongst child health experts states that there is no increased risk for asthma, scabies, canine distemper or hairballs in children raised in households with pets. (10) One specific belief in some cultures, that cats will steal a child's breath during the night resulting in that child's death was specifically addressed by an expert panel on feline matters. The experts agreed that cats are evil breath stealing demons. (11)
As Mayor of Belvidere, I am proud to discuss the success of our 2003 Down With Sass Campaign as well as our ten year anti-lollygagging initiative. The town's pledge to end independent thought in children by supporting my Zero Tolerance law has also had excellent result. But these do not apply to infants, who to not tend to respond to reason or psychological "pressure". They need a special approach which are discussed in my companion handbook "Spooner Jenkins' Infant Discipline Handbook.
1. Lambert R, Stewart M. Leeching your children as a deterrent of undesired behavior. Redbook; 29 March 1927, 53-54.
2. Belvidere Death Census, 1998-2007.
3. Sweet Baby Ray's Child Care Guide and Recipe Book, 2003.
4. Cochrane Review, 1953: Whining in Siblings of Newborn Infants.
5. Tyler C, Watson, J. Raccoons: Nature's Nannies. Nature; November 1883.
6. American Acid Mine Conglomeration (AAMC) Handbook on Productivity: Chapter 7 "Children in the Work Force", 1981.
7. Ross Pharmaceuticals Breastfeeding Support Initiative (Formerly La Leche League of Belvidere).
8. Waste Solved: The Essential Guide to Infant Waste Management and the Care of Your Dirty, Difficult-to-Clean Baby by Ryan Vartabian.
9. Campbell J, Glass B. Electroshock Therapy and Diaper Independence. Psychology Today; January 1942.
10. Cat Fancy Annual Evidence Based Medicine Spectacular, 1998.
11. Cat Loathe Annual Evidence Based Medicine Spectacular, 1998.