Book: Rules for my Unborn Son


Here's a video for a new book that I received from the publisher a couple of days ago called Rules for My Unborn Son, by Walker Lamond, based on his entertaining blog 1,001 Rules for my Unborn Son.

The Lamond's rules are good advice for sons, as well as anyone else, really. I wish my wife would remember the rule, "Never under any circumstances ask a woman if she is pregnant," which she has broken several times with embarrassing consequences.

More of Lamond's rules:

After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it.

Stand up to bullies. You'll only have to do it once.

If you trip in public, don't blame the sidewalk. Pick yourself up and pretend nothing happened.

Your best chance of being a rockstar is learning the bass.

Thank the bus driver

Don't gloat. A good friend will do it for you.

Don't spit

A few of the rules on his blog I don't recommend (e.g., "All drinking challenges must be accepted") but most of his rules offer specific tips for living a life of kindness, politeness, and preparedness.

Rules for My Unborn Son

48

  1. courage wolf motivationals are much better than this. not to mention they will turn your kid into batman

  2. “Remember the girl you’re with is somebody’s sister and he’s perfectly capable of kicking your ass.”
    Right. Because (a) you’re going to WANT to mistreat her, and the only reason not to is fear. and (b) she wouldn’t possibly be able to think for herself. Nice.

    1. Sometimes, brothers can be overprotective. Sometimes, they don’t respect the wishes and free will of their strong, independent sister.

      If you go looking for sexism you’ll find it everywhere. There’s plenty of overt sexism to be mad about, and that’s where you’ll get support from people who aren’t normally active feminists.

      If you go complaining over something as innocuous as this you just end up looking overly sensitive.

    2. The one about the girl having an older brother that could beat you up and the one about not backing down from bullies…what am I supposed to do?!? Grope her AND beat up her meathead brother? Too many rules to keep track of. But – if I’m supposed to insure I have not backed down from a bully only once in life and it will never happen again because of the bully code that is whispered on the wind of who not to mess with – does this mean later in life the big brother isn’t even an issue? Ipso facto – I’m home free on the groping?

      1. Alternatively, I think we can interpret this to mean you are free to grope the girl’s brother, and if that brother happens to be a bully, you may have also satisfied the “stand up once” rule.

  3. The 50’s motif is appropriate, it sadly adopts the gender roles, heterosexism, and old fashioned boxy constrictions a fifties child suffered through. dumb.

  4. “Some rules are made to be broken. Jaywalking is not one of them.”

    Clearly the author has never been to Manhattan.

  5. As I walked out the door headed to university my father gave me those exact words of advice: ‘never under any circumstances ask a woman if she is pregnant.’ It’s a great piece of advice because it is so specific and almost universally true. The only circumstances I can imagine it being wise to do so would be if you were buying an internet bride, but I guess the phrase was coined before that was a possibility.

  6. How many of us would gladly obey the rules our parents might have written for us before we were born? To me this seems the author was rather writing “The person I wish I could be like more often”.

    Dave Barry said “You should never say anything to a woman that even remotely suggests you think she’s pregnant unless you can see an actual baby emerging from her at that moment.”

  7. Jaywalking is a rule meant to be broken.

    Not in all cases. Certainly not when children aren’t as tall as the hoods of cars, but in many cases the middle of the street can be a much safer place to cross. Remember, in the middle of the street, traffic is coming in two directions. At the crosswalk, traffic is coming at you in four directions.

    Having drivers assume that people will be jaywalking also has a traffic calming effect.

  8. “If you ever travel back in time, don’t step on anything because even the tiniest change can alter the future in ways you can’t imagine.”

  9. “To me this seems the author was rather writing ‘The person I wish I could be like more often’.”

    That’s sort of why many people have children.

  10. During a recent vacation, I was lamenting the fact that I hadn’t upgraded to one of those wheeled suitcases. Imagine my dismay when I watched the video and learned that getting one would strip me of my manhood.

    Now I have to go find a girl who’s an only child and mistreat her just to feel like a real man again.

  11. As for rolling luggage, sometimes Daddies go on business trips, and have to walk the entire length and breadth of Heathrow and Milan.

    Sorry if that offends his manly sensitivities.

  12. No, nobody’s being ‘overly sensitive’ (what an overused anti-feminist trope that is!) this list is totally sexist.

  13. These are pretty good. The luggage one is dangerous and stupid, but there are enough solids in there to make up for it.

  14. In a way this book reminds me of the “Life’s Simple Rules” books that was popular when I was in college. People are drawn to these books not only because of the wisdom they contain, but because unlike other books, these types are easier to read and allow one to randomly open a page and get something with meaning.

    1. I’m pretty sure some of them were in the “Life’s Little Instruction Book” series as well. I do remember “thank the bus driver” for one thing.

  15. ‘A Man’s Luggage Doesn’t Roll’

    So putting wheels on something that’s heavy-what most consider ‘a really, really good idea’, hence the invention of the wheelbarrow-is somehow unmanly? Wow….

    Let’s continue that machismo-to-the-point-of-stupidity train of thought:

    -‘A Man Should Never Be Put In A Wheelchair, Or On A Gurney-He’d Prefer To Drag Himself Across The Floor’

    -If A Man’s Car Runs Out Of Gas, He Will Push It To The Next Gas Station’

    -‘No Matter How Hard It’s Raining, A Man Will Never Use An Umbrella’

    -‘Ambulances Are For Losers’

    etc.

    1. powermatic, I want the “A Man Should Never Be Put in a Wheelchair” one on a T-shirt, with appropriate cartoon graphics.

      1. Use the cartoon Stephen Hawking, powermatic! When he was first crippled to the point of being unable to walk, he insisted on dragging himself up the stairs every night while his family watched with tears in their eyes.

        Look it up, it’s true. Real men don’t use wheelchairs if they can still drag themselves where they need to go.

        Of course, as Marion Robert Morrison supposedly said: “Real men don’t eat quiche. But if they do, they aren’t afraid to admit it.”

    2. Hmm. Don’t forget pulleys! Those are “wheels” too, designed to multiply the force of your wimpy arms.

  16. Geez, some of you are real uptight. Might wanna have a laydown, enjoy a cup of tea. Life must be a real nightmare for you being so wound up all the time.

  17. Yes, the list is totally sexist. It seems like a companion to “If”. In the case of the poem, and this book, there is a celebration of physical strength and emotional resilience. Fostering these, with kindness and proper context, can save sensitive ADD little boys from freaking out and/or destroying things on a daily basis.

    “Baby X” genderlessness has had 30+ years of being debunked as horribly debilitating. If a person of either gender has a tendency toward “masculinity” or “femininity”, it should probably be nurtured responsibly instead of discouraged.

  18. “All drinking challenges must be accepted”

    Considering the suave, manly always make the right move at the right time,/i> thing going on with that list, I was surprised to see this.

    I would consider “challenges” and “games” to be the stuff of amateurs when it comes to the world of gentlemanly drinking. On the other hand, as a general rule I think you should never turn down a shot or an offer to be bought a drink.

  19. Never under any circumstances ask a woman if she is pregnant

    That one is kind of common sense but I’ll add a variant that most people don’t consider: “Never ask a couple when they are planning to have children.”

    It’s annoyingly personal for couples that are planning on kids, rudely presumptuous for couples that aren’t, and downright devastating for those that do want kids but haven’t been able to conceive.

    1. Seriously, thanks. That letter brought tears to my eyes, especially the part about one of his earliest actions in life being to save a life. Nicely done. I recommend you wait until he’s out of the house before you give it to him.

  20. “Learn to pronounce French words correctly”
    “Keep a garden”
    “Don’t be so eager to leave the kid’s table”
    “Know the difference between arts and crafts”

    What’s wrong with those? I’m not saying there aren’t some really stupid stinkers on this dude’s list, I’m just saying it’s not all sexist tripe or bad advice.

  21. There’s a This American Life that discusses “luggage with wheels” among other things. The narrator eventually realizes that by refusing to get wheeled luggage, and suffering with a big bag that he’s become “that guy” (an idiot) rather than coming off as unique and manly.

  22. so has it occurred to any of you complaining about wheeled luggage that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the point is that if you’re carrying so much you need wheels, you’ve got too much stuff?

    Travel light, friends.

  23. @39

    Bad reasoning,
    It’s just a lot faster and easier with wheels, besides you don’t even have to use them if you feel more macho/old school carrying the bag. It’s all personal choice, but certainly there’s nothing wrong with using wheeled luggage.

  24. Bullies are by definition seeking weak targets. Standing up to them once does tend to mean they will leave you alone in future. It certainly worked for me, despite the fact I got myself beat up.

  25. Lots to agree with, lots to disagree with and some where we clearly just differ. (Inspired to make up my own list though.)

  26. I’m a union carpenter in New York City, a pretty “manly” occupation if I do say so myself.

    And, since most of us take the subway or a bus to our jobsites, we have wheels on our toolboxes.

    Which means that, according to the ubermacho Mr Lamond, means that all 25,000 union carpenters in New York are somehow less than masculine.

    Perhaps he should come down to the next union meeting and tell us that.

    Beyond that, I’m puzzled that Mr Lamond seems to think that the only reason a man should not beat, rape or otherwise abuse his female partner is because her brother might beat him up.

    By that “logic”, if you’re a 300 pound weightlifter and your girlfriend’s brother is a 130 pound art student, it’s perfectly OK to beat and molest her at will (cause he CAN’T beat you up!)

    So, gentlemen, according to the man rules of Mr Lamont, you should always date women who’s brothers are in a lower weight class – and NEVER use wheels to move heavy objects!

    1. lighten up. The guy clearly meant to teach his kid to respect women and imagine the girl you are dating is someone’s sister. And he says luggage, not toolboxes. He means to travel light. DUH

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