Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Is There a Boss Baby in Your Life?
Some babies are just easy. They sleep and eat well. They're content to just be there. Some mothers say that these easy babies "fly under the radar" or fit "seamlessly" into the already existing routines of the family. They go with the flow, and parents, if you have a baby like this, you better appreciate what you've got because you could have a Boss Baby.
Is there a Boss Baby in your life? You know the type: they're demanding; they don't sleep well--if at all. They're picky eaters (and yes, they can even be picky nursers who force mom to avoid whole categories of foods like dairy). They're gassy, colicky, and plain old fussy. These babies change the whole dynamics of family life and parents bend over backwards to accommodate them, get them to nap, be content, or eat. Attachment parenting books euphemistically calls these kids "high need." Marla Frazee calls it for what it is in her new book, The Boss Baby. In this picture book for ages 3-8, Frazee tells the story of a boss baby who arrives one day to his employees' (parents') house in a black sleeper with footies, white collar shirt and tie, and toting a big briefcase full of an accordion-like trail of papers.
The first line will immediately catch your attention and invoke your parental sympathy: "From the moment the baby arrived, it was obvious that he was the boss." He proceeds to set up his office in the middle of the living room (in a baby walker) and conducts lots and lots of meetings with mom and dad, such as get me outta my crib NOW, you fool; spoon-and-food-throwing highchair hysterics; changing table conniptions; and the good old just-won't-stop-crying-jag). Mom and Dad may be suffering from sleep deprivation but make no mistake about it, the Boss Baby's got the good life. Like other tycoons, he's got mad perks: a lounge, spa (baby bath); executive gym, 24/7 room service, and a private jet (his jumper).
Frazee is a two-timed Caldecott Honor medalist (A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever and All the World, a collaboration with author Liz Garton Scanlon) and this book is probably destined to be a third. The illustrations are rendered in her usual style--pencil and gouache--with a beautiful 1950s-inspired theme. The retro colors, dress, and decor make the pictures unique and fun to look at. The facial expressions and renderings of various baby antics will make you and your children laugh out loud.
So if there's a Boss Baby in your life, hang in there, and keep this book handy for when you need to see the humor in your little creature's frustrating antics. They're bossy, they've got you wrapped around their tiny little fingers, but make no mistake about it: they're little people who are going places.