I've seen Elizabeth Weil and Amy Maniatis's book, Crib Notes: A Random Reference For The Modern Parent several times, and have meant to buy it and post about it, then I forgot. Then I'd read McSweeney's, and think, oh, right, I gotta write about that book. And then I'd forget.
Anyway, after reading Weil's NYT Magazine article Sunday, I thought I'd better get around to it. As its title suggests, Crib Notes is a compendium of random baby-related trivia and information, alternately useful and utterly useless, but almost always interesting.
The pair have compiled some very practical comparable data on nanny salaries, for example, and have a sample nanny contract as well. [Although you don't have to be Tom Cruise to not want to turn up as the thinly disguised dope in your nanny's screenplay; their boilerplate could use some IP and non-disclosure clauses.]
Meanwhile, there's a list of signs to tell if your child is the reincarnated Dalai Lama (moot, since His Holiness is feeling just fine, thanks.); a list of Barbie's careers (no Barbies need apply around our house, let me tell you); and a collection of old wive's tales about predicting a baby's gender.
In Newsweek's review, Weil said they did Crib Notes because, "There was no book out there that spoke to the sort of urban and hopefully hip people we were before we got pregnant."
And here's the last line from their publisher's catalogue about the book's target audience: "And dads-to-be arenít forgotten: they can find out if a girl or a boy is more expensive to raise. The answer, on page 137, is a boy, by $6,000."
Oh yeah, dad's-just-the-checkbook, that's pretty hip.