Have you ever met someone and your first impression was, “Holy crap, chica- could you tone it down a notch?” Then, of course, you find that you are crossing paths with said chica at least daily. At first, you want to hide when you see her. Then, you chat a bit more, overhear her talking to others, and maybe even get to meet her kids. And slowly, you realize that not only does she not grate on your nerves, but that you might even want to be her BFF. Ok, maybe not that last one- but you definitely want to make sure that you do cross paths with her on a regular basis. She’s a hoot!
Such was my experience with Stefanie Wilder-Taylor’s new book, Naptime is the New Happy Hour- and Other Ways Toddlers Turn Your Life Upside Down. I had missed the boat on her first mommy book, Sippy Cups are not for Chardonnay, but was introduced to it during the explosion of media coverage on moms who have a drink at playdates via Melissa’s blog. So, given the chance to review her book on the ups and downs of having a toddler in the house? Yes please, sign me up! And bring me a glass of wine while you’re at it.
As soon as the book arrived, I cracked it open and prepared myself to be amused. I was not. In fact, I kept thinking that Wilder-Taylor was trying way too hard to make me laugh. I must be a Brit at heart because I like subtle, dry humor. I’m not much for in-your-face-without-a-break type humor. But, the good folks at MotherTalk had asked me to write a review, so I continued turning pages.
And I am so glad that I did.
After the first couple of chapters, I really started to warm up to Stefanie. I laughed along with her descriptions of playdates, outings, and gatherings with a toddler (and other parents- my gawd the other parents). And I found myself nodding and reliving my own experiences as the pages continued to turn. I’m not sure if it was an acclimation to her comedy style, a change in delivery, or divine intervention, but by the end of the book I was almost wishing that I lived in LA again so that she and I could do coffee.
I even found myself stopping to revisit places where we disagreed. Stefanie can’t stomach Thomas the Tank Engine. In our house, however, Thomas is king. So, when she started in on Thomas being a snore, and stuffy, and pretentiously British, I took offense. How dare she criticize my son’s favorite character? But then I stopped to realize that I, too, find things about the show to be ridiculous. Like the way that many episodes have the engines getting lost. How exactly do these engines get lost on the tiny island of Sodor? Trains, on tracks, in a geographically limited space getting lost. I believe that makes them completely daft, not stuffy. But I started to realize that Stefanie and I are more alike than I thought. We both spend way too much time analyzing our kids' shows.
Wilder-Taylor is one opinionated mamma. But I admire that. Sure, I disagreed with her on some stuff, but do you actually agree with your friends 100% of the time? If so, then you need to grow a spine and form some opinions of your own. Bottom line, if you like a bit of snarky mommy humor to get you through the day, read the book. If people being brutally (but comically) honest rocks your boat, you might want to skip it.
And if you’re in the snark-loving camp (like me), make sure to follow her blog.
In the interest of full disclosure, in exchange for agreeing to write this review, I was provided with a copy of the book and a gift certificate.