Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't Lick the Minivan by Leanne Shirtliffe

Don't Lick the Minivan: and other things I never thought I'd say to my kids
by Leanne Shirtliffe
Skyhorse Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-62087-526-1
Buy from Indigo

Description: As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe recognized the constant fodder for humor while pregnant with twins in Asia's sin city. But in spite of deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap, Shirtliffe manages to keep her babies alive for a year with help from a Coca-Cola deliveryman, several waitresses, and a bra factory. Then she and her husband return home to the isolation of North American suburbia.

In Don't Lick the Minivan, Shirtliffe captures the bizarre aspects of parenting in her edgy, honest voice. She explores the hazards of everyday life with children such as:

•The birthday party where neighborhood kids took home skin rashes from the second-hand face paint she applied.
•The time she discovered her twins carving their names into her minivan's paint with rocks.
•The funeral she officiated for "Stripper Barbie."
•The horror of glitter.
And much more!

A delayed encounter with postpartum depression helps Shirtliffe to realize that even if she can't teach her kids how to tie their shoelaces, she's a good enough mom. At least good enough to start saving for her twins' college, eh, therapy fund. And possibly her own. Crisply written, Don't Lick the Minivan will have parents laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. Shirtliffe's memoir might not replace a therapist, but it is a lot cheaper

The Good Stuff
  • A truly beautiful mix of laughter and love
  • This is the kind of parent I want to hang with. She obviously loves her children beyond reason, but is frank about how hard and boring it is at times. 
  • Even the more Sappy (her word, not mine) passages are fabulous. Real, sweet, yet never ever what I would consider sappy
  • Yup this one made the JR Staff Pick - it is my duty to help out those new parents who want to buy What to Expect When You're Expecting - and get them to buy something more practical (trust me just get those parenting books that help you with the medical stuff and than just buy parenting books like this that make you laugh - that will help you more. Trust your instincts people, love your child and believe in yourself - that makes all the difference) Oh yeah and don't do everything for them, they need to learn to do things themselves (When I worked in a college library I saw what happens when mom and dad did everything for them -- they have no idea how to survive)
  • She understands what its like to be a parent after "working for a living"
  • Impressed with the fact that she breastfed even though she had Mastitis - I totally feel like a wimp now LOL!
  • Loved all her stories about living in Thailand
  • Really respected her decision to mention she had postpartum depression but doesn't go into detail. As some of you know I suffered the same fate and don't want to burden or remember that horrible darkness but I too am not ashamed
  • Halloween Candy - yup we are simpatico on this one and the Santa Clause as discipline routine
  • Makes you feel like you are not alone - and if you are a parent, you know how important this is
The Not So Good Stuff
  • She made me snort with laughter on Calgary Transit and people stared (Yup not in TTC territory anymore where people are used to weirdos laughing out loud in public and they don't stare at you
Favorite Quotes/Passages

" Parenting Tip: Keep your household well stocked with these items essential to newborns: diapers, wipes, alcohol, alcohol, and alcohol"

"Being parents, we boarded early so we could keep our babies cooped up in an enclosed space even longer. As we sat on the tarmac, we watched innocent passengers struggle down the aisle to our row, recheck their boarding passes in disbelief, and wonder what they did to get such bad karma."

"Parenting Tip: When you ask your children a question, the reply "nothing"  means they're guilty. Either investigate or hide."

"I smiled, wondering how many times Canada's Prime Minister had been compared to a Ken doll."

Who Should/Shouldn't Read
  • Fans of Kathy Buckworth will eat this up
  • Every parent or expectant parent should read this - this is real folks, not those holier than thou textbook parenting books that make you feel like you are the worst parent in the world (BTW that I also totally threw out 6 months into my first child's life)
4.75 Dewey's

I purchased a copy of this because I met the author and after talking to her figured anything she wrote would appeal to me - yup right again

1 comment:

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