So of course over the past few years I have read more than a few books on parenting, simply because I am in the thick of parenting (and it's still relatively new to me). Although I tend to plow through a lot of informational books on kids, health, and parenting methods*, I also read quite a few memoirs and humorous books on the subject. The last time I went to the library there happened to be, purely by chance, two (somewhat) similar such books waiting for me.
The first of the two I read was the catchily titled I Heart My Little A-Holes: A Bunch of Holy-Crap Moments No One Ever Told You about Parenting. I think I learned about this one on the New York Times bestseller list (it was originally self-published, and then re-issued by HarperCollins), and it's written by a mother who blogs at Baby Sideburns.
As you can probably tell from the title, this collection of short essays on motherhood is a bit saucier than most. It opens up, for example, with a number of chapters under the broad (no pun intended) heading of "5 Funny Stories about Vajayjays." And the second grouping is called "Bundle of Joy My Ass, More Like Bundle of Hell." Now, that's not subtle, but it IS kind of funny. And, to me anyway, refreshing. You have to kind of like a woman, I think, who offers you a chapter on "a lot of shit you don't need when you're having a baby": she lists "a fancy bedding set, clothes that go over a newborn's head, a wipes warmer, newborn shoes, expensive baby clothes, a fancy stroller, a baby bathtub, the Bumbo seat, and pee pee teepees." Although, for the record, I do love my baby bathtub, but that's because it's a great model that folds up, and also because my bathroom is about 2.3 square feet, so washing the CRboys in the sink would have been a tight fit.
So I can give you the flavor of this one pretty easily. Here's the beginning of the "Chugga Chugga Typhoid" chapter:
"Before I had kids I had no F'ing idea how many times I would have to take them to the doctor's office. I mean, you go to the doctor once a year, right? Well, twice. Once to your regular one, and once to the one with the stirrups. Giddy up.
But apparently babies need to go like 9,000 times a year. And that's just for wellness checkups. Which they're always F'ing well for. And then the second you get them home they're like pulling at their ear or barfing up their spleen or some shit like that and you're dragging them back to Flutopia because they caught something when they were there for their wellness checkup." (p. 39.)
Later on in the same chapter Alpert says she hates the train table in her pediatrician's waiting room, and calls it the "Ebola train table." This, my friends, is a mother with whom I can work. She swears, she's annoyed that she got hemorrhoids even though she had two c-sections, and she includes a handy list of items that her kids' grandparents should not buy them for the holidays.
It's not the most smoothly written or well-edited book. But it did make me F'ing laugh.
*I'm still laughing about the response of a friend of Mr. CR's, who is a doctor. When I asked him a fairly basic medical question and told him I'd read about it (and further asked if he didn't get this question from others when they learned about it), he laughed and said, "Oh, CR, people don't read."