There is an instruction manual after all!
Ran into "The Baby Owner's Manual: Operating Instructions, Trouble-Shooting Tips, and Advice on First-Year Maintenance" (Louis, M.D. Borgenicht, Joe Borgenicht) at the bookstore the other day: a baby-care book written in the style of a technical user manual. One doesn't put diapers on the baby, one installs them. Useful but spare coverage of basic baby maintenance. Amusing baby shower gift for geeky parents-to-be.
Strangely enough, Brian in Tulsa emailed me about the book a day later. He says:
It's both very funny and extremely, extreeeeeemely useful; it's instructed and reassured my wife and me several times already during our son's 5 months and change. There's a second version for toddlers too, I believe.
Ben had something to say as well:
...must-have for every geeky dad. I gives you solid information in an easy-to-find, quick-to-read point-form with none of the touchy-feely stuff that turns off most nuts-and-bolts guys. I read it cover to cover a couple of times in the days after we brought our baby home from the hospital, and referred to it a lot in the first few months. Even my wife, who read every book she could find while she was pregnant appreciated the quick-reference style of the Owner's Manual. All that, and it's hilarious, too.