Friday, March 09, 2007

Headline: "Battle of the Baby Gurus"

Battle of the Baby Gurus is an actual headline I saw on CNN this morning. Now, the story is actually about some barbs exchanged between two authors of new childcare books. For some background, I found this article online:

Modern mothers are being made to feel bad about their parenting skills by " harsh disciplinarian" books that treat their babies as "the enemy" , complains Sheila Kitzinger, one of Britain's leading experts on childbirth. Her ire is directed at Gina Ford, the childless former nurse whose best-selling strictures for dealing with newborn babies so deeply divide parents. Both women's books will be high on the list of presents for prospective parents this Christmas.

Ms Ford's bible for new mothers, the New Contented Little Baby Book, has sold 700,000 copes in Britain alone. But Mrs Kitzinger, who has five children and three grandchildren and whose own new book, Understanding Your Crying Baby, was published last month, is icily dismissive of its prescriptiveness, saying she would only give Ms Ford's book to one of her daughters as "a joke". She remarks: "It is based on rules and timetables. It might work for dogs." [The Independent Online]

But a fight between rival childcare experts was the furthest thing from my thoughts when I saw the headline accompanying pictures of infants. I immediately thought of two, beatific babies battling each other for supremacy and followers. You know, maybe one is the reincarnation of Mithras while the other is the reincarnation of Krishnamurti. Or perhaps Siddhartha Gautama vs Zoroaster. Hey, it made me giggle on the way to my office.

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