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9 / 30 books. 30% done!

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Friday, May 07, 2010

Legos Clogging the Toilet? Permanent Marker Murals on the Walls? If You're a Mom Who Needs A Laugh, This One's For You.

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

The more time I spend in the trenches, the more convinced I become - there's nothing funnier than motherhood. I mean, what else can you do about vomit stains on the carpet, murals inked on the wall in permanent marker and comments like, "Oh, now I know why you spend so much time on the toilet, Mom - it's because your bum is so big!" Not that any of these things have happened to me, of course (especially not that last one - my loving children would never utter anything of the sort!). You either laugh or you sob, right?

Mother and grandma Jane Isfeld Still takes the former approach in her book Mother's Daze. With wry humor, she looks back on the days when she struggled with young motherhood. You'll laugh out loud as she transforms from a newly-married know-it-all who takes the liberty of disciplining other people's children (after all, she sat through a child development class in college) to a frenzied first-timer with milk stains on her shirt and stretch marks everywhere else to a mom like the rest of us - one who sighs and lets the kids take over, realizing that some day, she might actually miss them when they're gone. If you've ever debated over cloth or disposables, tried to breastfeed without exposing yourself to the world, attempted to hike a zipper over a "mommy belly," or eaten a breakfast of runny eggs and burnt toast while trying to convince your kids it's the most delicious Mother's Day feast you've ever had, well, this book is for you!

(Actually, the chapter on Mother's Day reminds me of the most recent episode of The Middle. Did anyone see it? If you missed it, click here. My husband and I were both laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. Check it out. Hilarious.)
Sorry for the aside. Back to the book ...

Still's frank, sarcastic attitude on life makes her every observation ring true. Even if you haven't personally grappled with a nursing infant (I wasn't all that disappointed to find out I couldn't breastfeed), learned about the convenience of disposable diapers firsthand (I was self-aware enough to know that me and cloth nappies were never going to get along) or locked yourself in a closet to steal a quiet moment (I prefer the bathroom), you'll still find Jane's experiences resonating and heartfelt. You'll feel for her, laugh with her, and come away with a lighter, happier attitude about this crazy little thing called motherhood.

Most mothers could wax on and on for hours about their experiences. Still keeps it short and sweet (except for the chapter when she plants dirty diapers all around the house - there's nothing sweet about that). If you haven't yet grabbed a gift for Mom - shame on you! - consider this slim, funny volume that's sure to keep your mom in stitches. Trust me, it's better if she's laughing at someone else's kids than dwelling on the devilry of her own.

(Readalikes: I guess I don't read a lot of Mom humor books. Any suggestions?

Grade: B

If this were a movie, it would be rated: PG because motherhood is not for the feint of heart

To the FTC, with love: I received this book from the author. Thanks, Jane!


  1. As someone who has fished legos out of the toilet (after taking the whole thing off and laying it on its side), I will take your advice and check this one out!

  2. So, that's how you get them out! Charlotte, you're superwoman. We're having a plumber come out to unclog our toilet today (and it's not the first time he's done this, either!).

    Happy Mother's Day!

  3. I did it while my FIL (who is a plumber) was in town. We've had to remove the toilet to fish stuff out at least 5 times since having kids.


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