In the Beginning...There Were No Diapers Laughing and Learning in the First Years of Fatherhood

Book cover: 'In the Beginning...There Were No Diapers Laughing and Learning in the First Years of Fatherhood'
Tim Bete
Sorin Books
Number of pages: 
192 pages

A Catholic parenting humor book? Yes, it is possible. Tim Bete has the timing, the subtle humor and the Erma Bombeck training to take the early years as a new parent, and tell it like it is: from the 672 rules every parent must have in the average home to the bribing of children into toilet training, Bete, a father of three young children, never misses a beat.

One thing I liked about this book was that although I'm a mom, I had just as much fun reading it as any dad. In fact, there were times I thought, "Yep, I've been there, I'll bet Tim's wife told him about that," whatever that was (after all, how many dads are really directly involved in toilet training? How many get up in the middle of the night to the sound of a crying baby, other than to say, "Honey, I think the baby needs you," I mean?)

Fathers and mothers are going to have a great time laughing at the way Bete teaches his children about food, ("What do you think about chocolate french fries?" he asks his daughter. "Great! Can I have some?" she says. "How do you feel about green ketchup?" he asks. "Yuck," she says, then adds, "but could I try it on the chocolate fries?") or about playing by themselves (the way to get kids interested in their toys, Bete explains, is having more kids. "As soon as a sibling is playing with their toys, the child is suddenly intensely interested in them.")

Bete is pro-life, pro-children, pro-family and positively Catholic. And the fact that Barbie, Thomas the Tank Engine and the shepherds can all play together under the Christmas Nativity set is proof that he has real children.

The chapters are short, the stories are sweet, humorous and even touching. I found this book to be a great reminder of the fun and laughter of childhood, and a good reminder not to take parenting too seriously. The life-lesson reminders are good, as well: take time to talk with your children, hold them, read to them, and give them lots of love. Before you know it, you'll be taking your sixteen-year-old out for driving lessons, and remembering how you once had to put green ketchup on the chocolate french fries. Then suddenly--botta bing, botta boom--you become your grandparents, saying, "How fast they grow!" Excellent gift idea for a young or soon-to-be dad, as well as your own husband (Christmas, or Father's Day).

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