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'Portlandia' sketch pokes fun at parenting books

Feb. 26, 2013 at 3:41 PM ET

Unfortunately, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. In the absence of such, we often turn to one (or more) of the seemingly endless parenting books on the market. A hilarious new “Portlandia” sketch pokes fun at our willingness to try just about all of the advice given in these books – no matter how contradictory, difficult or even kooky that advice may be.

From worriedly letting a baby “cry it out” to attempting French-style parenting (complete with beret, no less), these first time parents are perhaps a bit too relatable. Over the din of the hair dryer, white noise machine and vacuum cleaner, Carrie Brownstein’s character asks her spouse, “Ryan did you actually read the book?” as the couple attempts Dr. Harvey Karp’s “5 S’s System.”

Those of us with a stack of half-read parenting books on our nightstand will chuckle uncomfortably as this hapless couple skips from one technique to the next, as we think to ourselves, “Been there. Tried that. Wonder if I still have that book somewhere…”

Portlandia - Books on Parenting


The skit ends with a young toddler admonishing the viewer, “Parents, trust your instincts. Most of these books are… s***.” (At least, that’s what the subtitles read. Luckily, the little one keeps it clean, instead saying only, “caca.”)

Did you have a life-saving parenting book or do you agree with the little tyke at the end of the clip?

Dana Macario is a Seattle-area mom who swears by the 5 S’s System and has half a dozen other parenting books just waiting to get read.

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