It’s Sunday morning as I write this. I am currently in my office while the kids are distracted down in the family room with a bag of candy from a birthday party yesterday.
Yes, it’s 8am, but we’ve already been up forever (not my choice) and I wanted to write this book review, so obviously my kids can smell my need to be away from them so they have been all up in my grill since before the sun considered even seeing what’s over the horizon. The only things that can make them get off of me are bribes and bribes. So there you have it.
If you don’t already know Amber Dusick of Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, then I am about to make your day. Her blog is so true and funny, without being too naughty or too nice. It’s a perfect blend, which is why I believe so many people love it. Or, at least, why I love it.
When I heard she wrote a book, my eyes got all big-excited-happy. Books bring me joy. Seeing talented people I adore getting book deals brings me joy.
When I was offered a copy of her book to read before the release, I may have fast-clapped and gone “Squeee!” But there were no witnesses, so shut your face with that eye-rolling.
Here it is, in all its glory:
I grabbed my Post-Its and insisted I’d pop one in at only my very favorite parts that made me laugh out loud or vigorously nod an amused, knowing nod.
You will notice the many, many Post-Its above, which I started to rip in half because I did not have enough to mark all my favorite bits. Yeah, it’s that good.
Let me start by saying (Ha! Get it?) that I had my two kids in less than two years, also have two black cats, as well as a husband who can sleep through anything, so think Amber took some notes from my life here on the East Coast rather than simply document her own life on the West Coast. I also think Amber and I need to get a split-heart BFF necklace set.
I’m actually kind of comfortable knowing that she spies on me. I’m also fairly certain she’d be totally comfortable wearing the other half of that necklace. But I digress.
The Table of Contents of this book tells it all: parenthood can be summed up in 10 chapters. From how we age differently before and after kids to what having sick kids is really like, from how good the sweetly special moments can be to how really, really badly a road trip can go, Amber’s book touches on the highs and lows of all the experiences that make us parents dizzy.
Her drawings are all total crap in the best way possible, with captions that will make you snort with laughter because Oh my God she just drew a picture of my daughter doing Calisthenics while I attempted breastfeeding her. No! Wait! That’s HER kid! Oh my God we are living parallel lives of insanity. Her ability to toss in one-liners that sum up life lessons about homeless people or the untrustworthy nature of toddlers made me get choked up with teary love and fits of giggles. This girl is one clever chickadee.
My personal favorite part of the book was about sleeping, because Holy Foam Pit is it hard to have a good night’s sleep when you have a baby and a toddler at the same time. I laughed, I cried, I had sweaty nightmarish flashbacks to those years of mind-bending sleeplessness and double-checked the lock on my bedroom door.
What I love about Parenting: Illustrated with Crappy Pictures is that you laugh because of The Big Picture and The Small Moments without anyone in particular being the brunt of all the jokes. It is fresh and funny and true, while being kind and loving and relatable.
When you close the back cover upon completion, you feel lifted and happy, ready to go back downstairs and face whatever insane mess your kids made in the family room while you left them unattended to make forts out of the couch and tablecloths while hopped up on stale, manhandled candy.
If I’m being unclear: I loved this book. I read it in a snap, could not put it down, and found myself hoping she got a two-book deal, because I want lots of her to put on my shelf. I highly recommend it for you, and as a go-to gift for Mother’s Day and your mom-friends’ birthdays.
Want a copy for yourself?
I’m giving away a Kindle copy!
Just comment below with a book recommendation for me (I need some summer reading ideas). I’ll pick one winner by random on Friday March 29th at 12noon EST.
I am paying for this prize out of my own pocket – that’s how much I want you to read this book.
Edited on 3/29/13: GIVEAWAY IS OVER!
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNER!