A book I can't recommend...
You know? I just enjoy Helen Fielding.

Yet another parenting memoir.

I know, I know, you're saying, good lord, how many of them ARE there?

A lot, it turns out. (I've been addicted to them this year.)

Today's entry in the canon is Leanne Shirtliffe's Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids. This title wins points right off the bat for a fun title and for at least starting off with a bang: Shirtliffe had twins while living in Bangkok, which gives this Mommy Memoir a more international flavor than most (books telling American mothers that French mothers do it better notwithstanding). Later chapters find her family moving back to her home country of Canada and settling into a more typical routine: balancing kids and work; starting the kids in school; traveling with kids and family visits and stories.

This didn't become one of my favorite memoirs, but it did grow on me as I read it. I went into it expecting something a bit more hilarious, but that doesn't mean there aren't a lot of very funny bits here. One of my favorites didn't even have to do with parenting, but with Canada:

"We were driving through Saskatchewan, which is like North Dakota, but with fewer people and straighter roads. The directions for driving across the Prairie Provinces are this: Drive in a straight line until you want to slit your wrists; you're 10 percent there." (p. 119.)

There's also a very nice bit of hilarity between Leanne and her husband, when they have some fun with kids' books, playing a game they learned on the TV show "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" The idea is to add "if you know what I mean" onto everything you say:

"We both grabbed a book and opened up to a random page.

I grabbed a Doreen Cronin book, opened up, and read, 'Bob had all the pigs washed in no time, if you know what I mean.'

We laughed.

'How about this one? Chris said, picking up The Cat in the Hat and opening to a random page. 'And then something went BUMP! How that BUMP made us JUMP, if you know what I mean.'" (p. 171.)

The author, who blogs at Ironicmom.com, also includes "parenting tips" (my favorite tip? "Misbehave during prenatal classes. Nothing is going to go according to plan anyway.") and letters to her children as sidebars.

As far as Mommy Memoirs go, it's a solid read. And extra points just because you know I love all things Canadian.