The book’s introduction says it all. “Children. They want everything you have, and they want it now. They don’t care about ruining your abs …
about the mortgage, saving for retirement or the way they add six inches to the length of your breasts.”
This is not Dr. Spock. This book is the real “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” It’s the how-to moms have been waiting for, full of the advice no one tells you at the baby shower for your firstborn.
Because, bless their blissfully ignorant, optimistic hearts, those glowing pregnant first-time moms have no clue what they’re getting themselves into. And smart moms don’t share the truth — we’re too polite to mention a noose where there’s about to be a hanging. Or we’re just too tired to say it aloud.
Parenting — motherhood — is tough stuff. So thank you, Alicia Ybarbo and Mary Ann Zoellner, the Emmy Award-winning news producers who wrote the realistic parenting guide, the hilariously irreverent, “(Expletive) Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us.”
Plop the kids in front of the TV (OK, they’re probably already there, so just rewind the show they’re watching) and read on about the crazy things moms do to stay sane.
HAIL MARY PASS
Moms will confess — sometimes with a new baby, she just can’t handle another dirty diaper. Home all day with an infant, she hasn’t had a second to brush her teeth, much less take a shower. Meanwhile, Dad’s working, or worse, out golfing. Now it’s his turn.
Ybarbo and Zoellner offer several methods for handing off the newborn with a freshly fouled Pamper, including “sneak out of the room. Just go … walk away from that mess like an action star walks away from a deadly explosion. Slowly, with a smirk on your face.”
Not your style to ditch and dash? Try Serena’s QuirkOut alternative. She paints a much uglier picture for her husband. “Honey, I’ve been wearing these pajamas for three days in a row.” And suddenly, with longing, he remembers the version of his wife as the hot, skinny chick in tight jeans he lusted after many years ago, and he shoos her right out of the room. Bravo, Serena, for making him think changing the poopy diaper was his idea.
All moms need a break. Eventually, sneaking away for 20 minutes to have hot wax smeared on her face and hair ripped from delicate skin under her nose becomes a vacation. Yes, motherhood can make even a lip wax feel decadent.
Hence the need for a reliable baby sitter. Good luck!
Chapter 34, “Stop Looking for a Great Babysitter and Settle for One Who Shows Up On Time” offers this insider QuirkOut tip: “Do not trust your friends. No one gives up a good sitter.” Never thought about it that way, didya?
The book cleverly points out that no smart mom will give up the name of the reliable 13-year-old who brings an activity bag full of art supplies and board games (not sure how sitters know you refuse to play Chutes & Ladders).
Nope, your friend keeps her “A” sitter “a secret, like a teen pregnancy in the ’50s.”
ODE TO EVITE
The book examines the “unspeakable evil” of a birthday party with a bouncy castle at a public park. That got us thinking about the mixed blessing of kids’ birthday parties in general.
On the one hand, a friend’s birthday party offers your child an adult-supervised, age-appropriate activity — with lunch, no less. The perfect alternative to the mom-guilt-inducing reality of your kid drooling in front of Cartoon Network on a sunny fall day.
On the other hand, you’re stuck at Chuck E. Cheese.
Jennifer makes the best of it, thanks to the brilliance of Evite. The online invitation service displays the list of everyone invited, and Jennifer uses it to make a QuirkOut plan accordingly. Finally, she’s made her last awkward offer to carpool with kids who aren’t invited. She sees her high school boyfriend’s kid is going, and she arranges for her husband’s turn to chaperone.
What to do when the overzealous, type-A room mom will be there? Simply RSVP no. Jennifer would rather sit through the Chipmunks’ “Squeakquel” for the 200th time than listen to Mrs. Judgmental.
Go get ’em, Jen. Who says parents are too old to embrace technology?