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When I was growing up, my older sister and I were arch enemies. Not only was she bossy and fond of torturing me for no apparent reason, but I knew for a fact that our parents loved her more than me. After all, one had to look no further than her handsome, elaborately detailed and brimming-with-photos baby book -- and compare it to my own virtually empty, pink plastic hospital-issued model -- to figure that out.
“You were the second kid,” my mom stuttered, trying to justify her blatant favoritism. “Plus you were a terror! I was too busy trying to keep you out of trouble to write in your baby book.”
I vowed that none of my future children would ever feel this particular pain, and I kept my word. I made sure number two’s book was as fine in features and as meticulously maintained as her older sister’s. I snipped and stashed the requisite locket of hair from each of their precious heads, and dutifully documented every developmental milestone.
As my daughters got older, I noticed something that came as a great surprise: Their baby books were really boring. First word? Mama, of course. What did we do on rainy days? Watch TV, naturally. What the hell did other people do, jump in rain puddles? (They did? Oh.) Where were the prompts for most embarrassing or grotesque or cringe-worthy moment, like the time my youngest asked the portly old man on the train if he had a baby in his tummy, or when her sister jammed a huge, pointy bead up her nose when my in-laws were visiting from out of town? And where on earth was I supposed to chronicle the millions of laugh-out-loud things they said and did on a daily basis?
I had an idea. I went out and bought two beautiful, blank journals, and inside the cover of each, I wrote “The Funny Things I Say... by [kid’s name]." I started taking notes immediately. Entries were sometimes one line, sometimes a page, and often read like this:
Sophie (3): “Why is there a hole in this bench?”
Mom: “Well, what’s the bench made of?”
Mom: “That’s right. And where do we get wood?”
Sophie: “Home Depot!”
My daughters are enormously proud of their Funny Books and insist on sharing them with every visitor who drops by. When they say something that gets a laugh, they’re apt to respond, “Go get the Funny Book!” The books live right on the coffee table in the living room, so it’s never a chore to find or update them. Who knows? Maybe someday someone will want to make a sitcom out of them. I have the perfect name for it: "Sh*t My Kids Say."
Do you have any great ideas for a unique baby book? Chime in below!