Friday, November 20, 2015

Book review: Don't Lick the Minivan

*Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to review for myself. I was not compensated in any other way and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone. 

I have a new favorite parenting memoir. It arrived in a pile of books early this week, and I intended to just glance at it before moving on to finish up one of the other books that I'm in the middle of. But that didn't happen- once I picked it up, I was immersed in author's life as she went through pregnancy, childbirth and raising small kids. Before I go on further, here's a bit about Don't Lick the Minivan, from  a press release that I received:

In DON’T LICK THE MINIVAN: AND OTHER THINGS I NEVER THOUGHT I’D SAY TO MY KIDS, author Leanne Shirtliffe captures the bizarre aspects of parenting in her edgy, honest voice. Despite some inevitable snafus, a delayed encounter with postpartum depression helped Shirtliffe to realize that even if she can't teach her kids how to tie their shoelaces, she's a good enough mom. This book will have parents laughing out loud and nodding in agreement. While Shirtliffe's memoir might not replace a therapist, it is a lot cheaper!
I really, really, really loved this book. The author writes with honesty, yes, but she does so with humor and an eye toward the absurdities of motherhood. Even when she's laughing at the ridiculous things that she and her kids do, you can tell how very much she loves them. The book is told chronologically, from pregnancy to having young children. And it takes place in the very diverse worlds of Bangkok and Canada, as the family moves from one location to the next.

I may have loved this book in part because I could relate to a lot of what's said in the book. I laughed out loud when she pulled out an iron to do a craft project with Perler beads and her kids didn't recognize the appliance, because I had the exact same thing happen earlier this year with my 6 and 7 year olds. Many situations that she described had me smiling and nodding in recognition. I also really appreciated her honesty about postpartum depression. It's not a main topic of the book, but when it happened, she admits to the challenging times.  Another great feature of the book is the heartfelt letters that she writes to one or both kids at the end of each chapter. Her love for them shines through and several had me in tears. So wonderful!

Overall, this is a funny, entertaining book that I immensely enjoyed and would wholeheartedly recommend to any mom who needs a good laugh!