Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
A Father's Guide: When Children Fall Uncomfortably Close To The Tree is a nonfiction book about parenting written by Stephan J. Hahn. When the author wrote this guide, he was 29 years old and had spent the last seven years juggling school and work, while raising two very different children. Somehow, he managed to stay sane and even find the time to write a book. In A Father’s Guide, he offers the prospective dad a user-friendly guide to all the joys, humor, laughter and horrors that are part and parcel of raising children. Hahn begins at the beginning -- in the hospital where mom, new baby and dad are gearing up for the onslaught of relatives, friends and well-wishers, who, for the most part, want that baby. He describes the different personality types of visitors: The Cuddler, who he alternately describes from a new mother’s perspective as the Baby Snatcher, whose innate and compulsive desire for that baby must be met with firmness and some diplomacy; The Slobberer, who may be sniffling from a cold or worse or might have the propensity to somehow mishandle an infant and must be guarded against even more vigilantly; and The Petrified, who really doesn’t want anything to do with your baby. They don’t want to hold them, and new parents must be on guard that they curb their own innate tendency to want The Petrified to overcome their reluctance.
Stephan J. Hahn’s nonfiction guide to parenting, A Father's Guide: When Children Fall Uncomfortably Close To The Tree, is not only a humorous, easy-to-read and informative user manual for new and prospective parents, it’s also an engaging memoir of the author’s experiences raising his son and daughter. Hahn shares both the awfulness and the sublimity of parenthood, and he does so in a manner that is part commiseration and all optimistic coaching. Yes, poop is awful, and something you will learn more about than you ever dreamed in your worst nightmares, but you will survive it and actually become an expert on the topic, so he confides with the weary tones of one who’s been there. As you progress through this well-written book, one thing comes through brilliantly clearly: Hahn is the consummate dad, mistakes and all. He’s a dad any kid would be most fortunate to have, and the wisdom he shares in this book can help dads who don’t have a clue become that consummate dad as well -- not perfect, as Hahn says, since there are no perfect dads or moms, but one who loves, laughs and thrills as their child develops their individual personality and becomes their own separate being. I had a marvelous time reading A Father's Guide, and it gave me some vital insights into the world parents enter when they have that first baby. A Father's Guide: When Children Fall Uncomfortably Close To The Tree is most highly recommended.