(a slightly sleepy) Sunday review – Dirt is Good for You

February 28, 2010 at 7:20 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
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I have a huge achievement to announce.  I have now read two, yes two whole books in 19 months.  Bring out the marching band.

Reading just seems to be something I don’t find huge amounts of time for.  I’ve never been a bookworm, unlike husband who gets through a book a week on the train to work.

However, many, many months ago, I was given Dirt is Good for You from the editors of Babble.com to review.  It’s a collection of true stories about surviving parenthood, and it was possibly one of the first things I was asked to review after starting to write Baby Genie, so the guilt has been following me around for far too long.

Dirt is good for you

Dirt is Good for You aims to be completely, 100% honest with stories from real parents.  Junk food, TV, tempers, breastfeeding, discipline, the lot.

I was a little skeptical about this.  Firstly, I live and breath being a mum so surely in my down time I should read something unparent related, a James Patterson or something – I really used to like them; my friends and I even had a monthly book club…those were the days.  Secondly, the stories are from American writers and I didn’t feel ready to welcome Vegemite and Walmart into my bedtime reading.

However I smiled within the first page or so and proceeded to giggle quite soon in.  It’s that kind of book though that you shouldn’t read in bed, with husband by your side and then chuckle out loud.  Because then, you get the inevitable ‘what’s so funny’ question, to which you have to reply ‘oh nothing hun, just a story about breastfeeding don’t worry’.  And it can go on from there.

The book is a collection of short stories, 45 in total, and I admit I skipped a few including ‘to hell with babyproofing’, an unfortunate necessity in my eyes, although stair gates are a right pain in the wotsit, as well as ‘unschooling’; I’m all for main stream education and worry about the social effects homeschooling may have.

I did thoroughly enjoy stories about development milestones and the pressure of keeping up, bonding with your newborn, or the inability to, as well as the ultimately awful situation when you hate your friends children – I don’t hate any of my friends children I hasten to add!

So, the Americanisms didn’t spoil the read, and I really enjoyed the honesty – especially the parent who admitted to hating playing make believe with her children, and the other who deals with wanting a girl and having a boy.  All are written with brutal truth and lots of wit.

Check out Amazon for Dirt is Good for You for £11.69.  It makes you feel sane and quite normal about the tough parenting decisions you may have made.

Am off for tuna pasta bake and bed.  Night all.

p.s. This book also made me question whether we give our husbands enough chance to prove they can cope, so maybe I’ll instigate a few little taster sessions and also reminded me that I am bored of waiting for an eternity ring now.



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