(In the Beginning There Were No Diapers was provided to me free of charge by Mind and Media, who received it from the publisher for the purpose of being reviewed.)
“I wasn’t prepared to enjoy watching Paul play T-ball. I suspected the games would be slow and tedious. But when T-ball ended, I missed the unpredictable, fast action that only five-year-old boys can bring. Where else do you see unassisted triple plays in back-to-back innings and players who have the fine-tuned teamwork of a litter of puppies? What other sport’s athletes not only play for the love of the game but also for the snack at the end? When I missed a game, Paul beamed as he told me he got two hits but had even more exciting news. “Dad!” he said, licking his lips. “We each got our own pack of Oreos!” If professional baseball owners were smart, they’d sign T-ball players to lifetime contracts. The players would sign on the dotted line for peanuts — especially if they were chocolate covered….
T-ball players do get distracted at times. During one game, a player pointed toward center field as he took the plate. At first it appeared he was imitating Babe Ruth, showing the fans where he was going to hit a home run. Then I heard the sound of the ice cream truck passing by. The entire team turned and started walking — as if in a trance — toward the truck. All, except for the second baseman who was writing his name in the dirt, and the first baseman who was trying to catch a butterfly, and the right fielder who was practicing his somersaults.”
When I read that passage from In the Beginning There Were No Diapers by Tim Bete, my husband asked, “Is he from around here?” Actually, Mr. Bete lives in Ohio, but some things — like T-ball — about parenting are just universal. Mr. Bete has written about these “universals”, and done it with humor and grace.
From a pyramid scheme for rewarding children who successfully use the potty to a young girl’s description of pet heaven, this book had me laughing and shaking my head. It is amazing that you can add unique children to unique parents and still get the same results. For example, I give you Mr. Bete’s list of parenting anxieties:
– “The Our-kids-haven’t-eaten-anything-but-grilled-cheese-sandwiches-in-three-weeks anxiety”
– “The If-I-have-to-read-The-Cat-in-the-Hat-again-I’ll-scream anxiety”
– “The There-was-a-ladybug-on-the-floor-a-minute-ago-but-now-it’s-gone-and-the-baby-is-chewing-something anxiety”
– “The I-can-hear-the-Talking-Barbie’s-voice-but-it-sounds-like-it’s-coming-from-underwater-and-I-just-heard-the-toilet-flush anxiety”
I don’t know about you, but I can relate to all of these, or at least some variation of the same.
Not only did this book make me laugh and remind me of some of the stages we’ve successfully passed (whew!) with our children, it also reminded me what a miracle our children are and how amazing it is that God has trusted us to raise them.