Here's needed help for the sorriest of new parents

October 16, 2005|By SUSAN REIMER

"I am so-o-o-o-o sorry." It is one of the things you will say often after the birth of your child.

Along with, "You won't believe what happened today," which is usually followed by a calamitous tale or an anecdote that only your spouse will find adorable.

But parents can be certain they will do a lot of apologizing because of their child, or on behalf of their child.

Either you have just run the stroller into someone's Achilles tendon, or your child has just burped up lunch on a friend's blue suit, or your child has just gotten into a screaming tug-of-war with another child over a toy that is not yours.

Into this entrepreneurial opportunity steps Lane Walker Foard with his latest book, New Parent Apology Cards (Chronicle Books, $9.95).

Actually, it is less a book than it is a collection of tear-away postcards that busy new parents can use instead of the thank-you note or the RSVP or the, well, the apology they don't have time to write.

"As it turns out, yes, we are still alive," begins one apology card. This one is for failing to stay in touch with single friends.

The card goes on to make the case that new parents are no fun to hang out with, anyway.

"Call us after you've found someone, married and had your baby," it concludes.

There are two copies of each of 15 apologies, the assumption being that new parents can't help but be repeatedly impolite.

But there might have been 30 copies of this apology for an offending thought: "I think my baby is cuter than yours.

"I think my child is in higher percentiles across the board. I think my baby is more alert than yours, will walk sooner than yours, talk sooner than yours and will get that final day-care spot ahead of yours."

The only excuse for such thinking, the card says, is that "you're most certainly thinking the same thing about your own baby."

There is an apology card for the neighbor who has been kept awake by the colicky baby.

There is an apology for the mess left behind in the restaurant, for being late - again - for failing to send a thank-you note for a baby gift, for driving erratically while reaching back for a dropped pacifier, and for calling a friend too often for comfort and advice.

"Please don't put me on your Caller ID rejection list," that last card concludes.

And there is one for the co-parent, apologizing for a number of transgressions, including pretending to be asleep when the baby started crying at 4 a.m. and falling asleep during the long-awaited "date night."

Foard has the franchise on these little card books. An earlier one includes 30 love notes to be used anytime, anywhere.

Tthe New Parent Apology Cards is perfect for a baby shower or for a new parent.

Just don't expect to receive a thank-you note in a timely fashion.

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