I know--it's what you've always wanted, right? Wendy Molyneux of McSweeny's offers a lengthy thank you to those kind crusaders who let you know what you should be doing:
Oh, hello, person I have never met before! I am so glad you ran up to me on this street where I am walking with my baby. You did not scare me at all with your very loud voice and the way you grabbed my arm! In fact, I am super relieved because I have a series of questions about my baby that I hope you can answer, and I am going to ask them because I know you would never ever offer me unsolicited advice.
First of all, should he be sleeping, ever? If so, should it be at night? Should I keep him in a bassinet or crib or should I let him just sleep in the yard, or the toaster? And when he sleeps, should I just let him sleep as long as he wants, or should I wake him up every fifteen minutes or so for a “baby party” where I give him hard candies and play loud music? Being a new parent is confusing, and there aren’t any books or internets about it, that’s why I have to rely on kind strangers like you.
Yes, he IS crying, isn’t he? You are right. He’s probably hungry. Should I feed him? And if so, where do I put the food? His eyeball? His butt? What kinds of cuts of meat do babies like? Should I not give him hot peppers? How much salt is too much, and when can I expect him to use a knife? If he spits up, should I have him put to sleep? There are just so many things I need to know, and that is why I rely on total strangers like you who happen to be experts on child care.