The Perfect Baby Handbook by Dale Hrabi. An exclusive excerpt from the satirical parenting guide on


Excerpt: Perfect Baby Handbook

How many vowels should your baby’s name have? And other burning questions. by Dale Hrabi

April 13, 2009

Satirist Dale Hrabi provided Babble with this fun, exclusive excerpt from his new illustrated, absurdist how-to, The Perfect Baby Handbook: A Guide for Excessively Motivated Parents – and with an equally witty interview you can read here. Hrabi says in the Q&A that he’s trying to get across in a funny way the notion that “you may be doing your kids a disservice if you buy into the idea of perfection” – a worthy message if we’ve ever heard one. – The Babble Editors

Rambling Poses

Interpreting Baby’s Body Language

class=”iframe”> 1. The Time-Out Pose

Averts eyes, twists away, folds in limbs.

Baby is saying: “I’m overstimulated and need some quiet time alone. I’m thinking mid-weekish. Oh, it doesn’t matter . . . either Spain or Mexico. But not that little villa in Majorca. You know, with the mildew?”

2. The “Hold Me” Pose

Looks up at you, lifts arms

Baby is saying: “Hey, what’s going on? You look bored and unfulfilled. Would it help if you could cuddle me and walk around the room murmuring soothing things? Because if that’s where you’re at, it’s completely doable. I have four minutes free . . .”

3. The Alert Readiness Pose

Clasps hands cutely, leans toward you, smiles.

Baby is saying: “Boy, am I glad you’re back! You’ll never believe what’s been going on here! Did you know Nanny is totally Wiccan? The minute you left, all her friends came over to dance naked around the fireplace and keen like wolves, and then we sacrificed Daddy’s clownfish to the moon goddess and . . . Hi!”

4. The C Pose

As part of a sequence involving the Y, M, and A Poses, Baby forms the letter “C” with arms.

Baby is saying: “Daddy, what is this song? It’s so . . . anthemic. You seem to think it’s just a feel-good ditty, but it’s obviously laden with alternative-lifestyle innuendoes. What’s up with that?”

5. The Evaluation Pose

Steeples fingers, purses lips, gazes at you intently.

Baby is saying: “Are we absolutely sure you’re my biological parents? Anyway, moving on . . . Wow, I’m hungry.”