"She was a challenging baby": BC dad wrote picture book with adult twist

May 10 2023, 4:56 pm

Constantly being dirty (because you’ll get spit-up on your shirt every day), having one too many glasses of wine (which is not recommended), and a lot of sleepless nights. That’s how Cameron Spires, a father of two from Delta, described what it was like being a new parent.

The struggles inspired him to write a baby illustration book with a grown-up twist, What Were You Expecting?: First Words for New Parents. Spires said his first daughter was not an easy child.

“She blossomed into quite a pleasant toddler but the first couple months were really difficult,” he said. “That’s very much how I feel about parenting. Like it has been the hardest time of my life, and it’s been the best time of my life.”

His way of coping? Humour.

funny parent book baby illustration adult twist humour

Cameron Spires/Provided

funny parent book baby illustration adult twist humour

Cameron Spires/Provided

Like any other baby illustration book, the board book is filled with cute colourful drawings. However, the text is loaded with sarcastic jokes that only adults would understand.

Spires came up with the concept after reading a picture book to his then-infant daughter, yet again.

“I kind of realized, hey, these words are not connecting with her. She’s just enjoying the pictures,” said Spires. “That’s a bit of a waste. So why not write a story where the words were for the parents, and the pictures were for the baby.”

Once he landed on the idea, the creative director at a local advertising agency had a burst of inspiration, finishing 80% of the book in half an hour with a few loose scraps of paper.

Through the book, Spires wishes new parents would feel a sense of relatability that they are not facing the challenges alone.

His advice on overcoming the challenges? Spires said one would need more than just a sense of humour.

“I would say for the first few months, just hang in there. Don’t make any big decisions. And recognize that it will get easier. And once it starts getting easier, it gets easier rapidly.”

“Some babies come out perfectly, and some babies come out and they have some things to say,” Spires continued with a laugh before, like his book, concluding with a sweet remark.

“Don’t try to wish your way into the future because you might just look back on that time fondly.”

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